6 Warming Foods That Nourish Your Body and Your Soul



As the weather drops to mind-numbing temperatures—ones I've only ever had nightmares about save for four years in Wisconsin where I met such conditions with distressing regularity—I find myself seeking out comfort. Comfort foods, plush blankets, soft clothing, fuzzy socks, et al. My wintertime hibernation is in full-swing and while I don't fancy myself a homebody, my planned activities are starting to prove otherwise. Aside from the obvious, it's cold outside so I'm trying to stay warm inside, I realized my recent penchant for steamy, hearty comfort foods has a lot to do with Ayurveda. It's Vata season, folks. Let me explain. 

Ayurveda—an ancient Indian healing modality that’s been around for more than 5000 years, emphasizes a holistic and balanced approach to wellness. It revolves around three doshas, or energies, that make up each individual. How the three doshas appear, and in what proportion, is what makes each of us unique. The exact ratio of these doshas moves around naturally in all of us, varying based on time of year or seasons in our lives. All of this has influence in our habits—what we eat, how we react, and various lifestyle choices. Vata, the air dosha, is someone who generally gets cold easily, and often they're told to eat warming foods to resolve any imbalances. So, Vata season is a time when we're all craving those hearty, feel-good, warming favorites. I want to satisfy my appetite for comfort just as much as nourishing my body with nutrient-rich, healthy foods. With that in mind, I reached out to a few authorities on the subject, nutritionists and holistic food experts, for their best warm food-related advice. To be clear, this aren't Ayurvedic-specific offerings, just ones you're sure to find endlessly delicious. Below, find their picks.