What to eat in October

 
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October is a delicious month for the seasonal gourmet! Whilst it’s notably colder with less hours of daylight it’s a great time to invite friends round for an evening meal and a little hygge or the Gaelic equivalent Còsagach. There are plenty of seasonal food options to tantalise your tastebuds and delight your guests from pumpkin and squash to celeriac and brussel sprouts (yes brussel sprouts aren’t just for Christmas!). Amongst its many benefits, eating from ‘Farm to Table’ is a superb way of ensuring variety in your diet so you won’t get in a rut.

Pumpkins are in the limelight in October as supermarkets stock the oversized, carving variety, but smaller ones make a sweet and tasty autumn delicacy. From an Ayurvedic perspective pumpkin’s sweet taste creates relaxation and contentment and soothes stress so it’s a perfect choice for a cold autumn evening with friends. Personally I love a simple bowl of homemade pumpkin soup with its magnesium and potassium content to bring calm and relieve muscle tension. Its tryptophan content promotes sleep and increases serotonin to balance my mood so it’s a great evening choice. It’s particularly pacifying for pitta constitutions or imbalances as it is anti-inflammatory so great for soothing ulcers, acid reflux, an irritated gut or any digestive complaints, as well as antioxidant. Whilst pumpkin’s cooling effect can aggravate those with a vata constitution or imbalance, adding spices such as nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon and cloves will balance this and soothe any gas or bloating. But pumpkins aren’t the only wonderful thing about autumn - it’s also apple season!

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County Armagh is known as the ‘Orchard of Ireland’ for good reason! Today I visited the National Trust’s Ardress House in County Armagh for one of their ‘Apple Sundays’. It was beautiful to walk amongst the orchards and take in the aroma of the different apple varieties. When I was little I used to visit our family friend’s apple orchard and help collect the apples to send to market. I remember being so intrigued by all the different varieties and nuances of taste and texture.

Raw apples are cooling, astringent and drying so not a great option for vata types who would be better to cook them which makes them easier to digest.

Of all fruit, apples contain the highest amount of pectin, a soluble fiber that binds with and removes excess fats, preventing absorption by the body and helping to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Indeed many will have heard the well-known saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ but did you know that in Norse mythology, apples are said to provide eternal youthfulness? From an Ayurvedic perspective they are sattvic, alkalzing and when cooked increase ojas (immunity). So get your apple on!

See below for my guide to what else is in season in October in the UK.

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If you would like to know more about Ayurveda and how to incorporate the principles in your life for improved health and wellbeing then please get in touch to book an Ayurveda consultation in Belfast, Lisbon or London. I also offer online Ayurveda consultations for those of you asking if I practice from other locations. You can contact me on: anthea@modernayurvedist.com to book an Ayurveda consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!