Carrots: Carrots contain a ton of essential enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that our body requires. They have calcium, iron, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, K, biotin, potassium, and thiamine. Carrots are also a great source of fiber and beta-carotene. Research suggests that people who lack beta-carotene were twice as likely to get cancer. The lignin found in carrots helps to strengthen our immune system to fight against cancerous cells.
To make carrots easier to digest and its vitamins to absorb, it is best to eat carrots with the presence of oil. According to Ayurveda, Vata’s weakened digestion would benefit from slightly steamed or sautéed carrot or a warming carrot ginger soup. If you are too busy to cook, head to Whole Foods for this gentle stomach cure. Vata, if imbalanced, can lead to digestion problems so easy-to-digest, fiber-rich vegetables like carrots might be exactly what the nature’s pharmacy prescribes.
Beets: Beets have a special place in Ayurveda. They are tridoshic, which means they are suitable for all dosha types, so you can cook them for your entire family. Beets provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support to our bodies. These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects, and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Though the iron content of red beets isn't high, it is of the finest quality which makes it a powerful cleanser and builder of blood. This is the reason why beets are very effective in treating many ailments caused by toxic environments. Similar to carrots, Ayurveda advises that beets are cooked. Try this yummy, Vata friendly recipe or use my recent beet inspired quinoa recipe.
Sweet Potatoes: Ah, what a wonderful, rich, creamy, and sweet autumn dessert! Sweet potatoes prove that tasty things can also be good for you. Rich in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and Vitamin C, sweet potatoes are powerful antioxidants that work in the body to remove free radicals, prevent ulcers, and inflammations. Sweet potatoes can help reduce blood pressure, and they're diabetic-friendly because they stabilize blood sugar levels and improve immunity. Sweet potatoes have higher fiber content than regular potatoes and contain magnesium, making it very digestion-friendly. An easy way to cook sweet potatoes is to bake them. They taste so good on their own that you don’t need to add anything besides a sprinkle of cinnamon and allspice. In 30-40 minutes in the oven you will have a delicious side dish or dessert.
Pumpkins: Pumpkins are soft, they build ojas ,and also have beta-carotene which is useful for the regeneration of tissue. As a cooling demulcent and laxative, pumpkins are restorative to the GI tract. Beta-carotene gives pumpkins an orange color and acts a tonic to the liver, purifying the blood. The rich orange color is a dead giveaway to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Pumpkins are also considered to be a sedative and can help reduce stress which can come very handy when Vata is out of balance. Pumpkins are loaded with potassium and zinc and studies suggest that people who have a potassium rich diet are at lower risk for hypertension. Zinc provides a major boost to your immune system and aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis. Pumpkins are great for skin due to a high content of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging. Try this yummy Pumpkin Coconut soup or these yummy muffins.