Eating Seasonal: Foods to Eat and Avoid During Sharad Ritu

As the vibrant colours of summer slowly fade into the golden hues of autumn, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, sheds light on the importance of adjusting our diets to align with the changing seasons. Sharad Ritu, the autumn season, is a time when nature transitions, and so should our eating habits. Indian cuisine is all about eating as per season, with a great focus on Ayurveda and seasonal ingredients. Notably, the G20 Summit's dinner, hosted by Indian President Draupadi Murmu on a Saturday, reflected this essence by commencing with a tribute to the significance of Sharad Ritu. According to Ayurvedic principles, the foods we consume during this period play a pivotal role in maintaining balance and harmony within our bodies. With a focus on flavours, tastes, and ingredients that complement the season, let's look into the Ayurvedic wisdom behind the foods to embrace and those to avoid during this beautiful autumnal phase. 

Foods to Include 

Bitter, Sweet, and Astringent Tastes 

During Sharad Ritu, include flavours that are bitter, sweet, and astringent. These tastes help to balance the heat from summer and prepare your body for the cooling months ahead. Incorporating these tastes into your meals through ingredients like leafy greens, ripe fruits, and legumes can provide a refreshing and harmonizing effect. 

Grains and Pulses 

In this season, opt for grains like rice and barley, which are not only nourishing but also easy to digest. Green gram, a nutritious legume, can be your go-to pulse, providing protein and nutrients without taxing your digestive system. 

Natural Sweeteners 

Choose natural sweeteners such as honey, which adds sweetness without disturbing your body's balance. This healthier alternative complements the season's flavors, enhancing the taste of your dishes while keeping your doshas in check. 

Seasonal Vegetables 

Incorporate seasonal vegetables like pumpkin, gourd, and spinach into your meals. These vegetables are not only readily available during autumn but also have cooling properties, making them an ideal choice to balance the season's warmth.  

Nourishing Fruits 

Embrace a variety of seasonal fruits, including oranges, pears, pomegranates, apples, and more. These fruits offer a bounty of vitamins, antioxidants, and natural sweetness, making them perfect for Sharad Ritu.  

Dry Fruits 

Enjoy dates, figs, raisins, and dry figs as nutritious snacks. They not only satisfy your sweet cravings but also provide essential nutrients, helping you stay energized throughout the season. 

Herbal Support 

Incorporate Ayurvedic herbs like shatavari and amla into your diet. Shatavari is known for its rejuvenating properties and amla for its high vitamin C content. These herbs can boost your immunity and overall well-being during Sharad Ritu. 

Balancing Spices 

Add warm spices like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon to your dishes. These spices not only enhance flavor but also aid digestion and keep you warm and comfortable as the weather cools down.  


Cook your meals using ghee, a clarified butter. Ghee not only elevates the taste of your dishes but also supports digestion and provides essential lubrication to your body, especially during the dry autumn months.  


Seasoned with cumin and coriander, buttermilk is a digestive powerhouse that promotes gut health. It cools and soothes your system, making it an excellent accompaniment to your meals during Sharad Ritu. 

Foods to Avoid 

Spicy, Sour, and Salty Tastes 

These tastes can aggravate pitta, leading to imbalances and discomfort. 

Heavy and Fried Foods 

Avoid heavy-to-digest and deep-fried items. These can burden your digestive system.

Certain Vegetables 

Skip garlic, brinjals (eggplants), and groundnuts as they can be heating and pitta-aggravating. 

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can disrupt the body's natural balance, making it best avoided during Sharad Ritu.