Foods to Eat and Avoid During Summer – Ayurvedic Tips To Stay Healthy and Cool
Prepare For A Better Summer:
If you’ve noticed that recent summers have felt particularly hot, you’re not wrong. According to reports, summer 2021 will be hotter than normal, with the hottest periods in early and mid-June, early to mid-July, and early to mid-August. From heatstroke, sunburn to food poisoning, and hay fever, the summer season brings various health issues. However, worry not, because you can prepare for a better summer by choosing the right and healthy choices, such as wearing cotton-loose clothes, consuming cooling foods, avoiding alcohol, and so on…
Early Dawn And Longer Days:
- This is the time of year when we feel the strength of the sun’s energy the most for its proximity to the earth.
- In Ayurvedic philosophy, the sun is related to awareness and consciousness, which is probably why summer is considered the season of mobility and transformation.
- It’s that time of the year again and temperatures are soaring high.
- During this time of the year, it is of utmost importance to take proper care of your body as excessive heat can end up making you feel sick.
- From causing various stomach-related issues to an excess amount of sweating, hot summer days can take a toll on your health in many possible ways.
Dominant Dosha: Pitta.
- Pitta, the dosha associated with fire and water, intensifies in the hot summer months, with its oily, penetrating, hot, light, and liquid characteristics.
- In moderate amounts, these benefit the body and mind — and make a summer day magical—but in excess, they can lead to problems.
- For example, if you spend time outdoors during the hottest part of the day eating spicy food and having a vigorous debate with someone, heat can build in your system and cause symptoms of high pitta, such as heat rash, migraines, heartburn, or irritability. In hot temperatures, pitta can get out of balance, and What we eat can either exacerbate or ease pitta.
The Ayurveda Summer Diet:
- According to Ayurveda, cooling foods are not necessarily colder in temperature; rather, they have cooling energy. The Ayurveda summer diet is based upon this principle.
- It incorporates cooling foods; those which nature so intelligently gives you in warm months to counteract the heat.
- Your power of digestion is actually at its lowest in summer. In order to prevent itself from overheating, the body turns down its internal heat (Agni).
- This is why appetite is naturally lower in summer and you tend to crave light foods such as fresh fruit juices or salads.
This is why appetite is naturally lower in summer and you tend to crave light foods such as fresh fruit juices or salads.
Foods to Avoid:
- Pungent – Foods that are sharp or spicy such as ginger, garlic, radishes, chilies, and spicy seasonings.
- Salty – Anything that may have excess salt or is naturally salty such as seaweed.
- Sour – foods that make the mouth pucker or are fermented such as lemons, grapefruit, hard cheese, and sour cream.
- Hot – Go for room temperature over warm, and mildly seasoned over spicy.
- Oily and dense – Foods that are deep-fried or very rich.
Foods to Favor:
- Sweet – Those which are naturally sweet such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and ghee (clarified butter).
- Bitter – Greens such as kale, collards, and dandelion, also bitter spices like fenugreek.
- Astringent – foods that make the mouth feel chalky such as spinach, turmeric, beans, apples, coriander, and dill.
- Cooling – Anything that has a cooling post-digestive effect such as cucumber, watermelon, fruit juices, fennel, dill, and coriander. However, avoid ice or foods straight from the fridge.
- Light – Foods that don’t overburden the digestive fire.
Adjusting The Oils We Use To Be In Tune With The Season: In summer it is best to use lighter, less heating oils for self-massage.
- Sesame oil deeply nourishes all seven layers of our skin, is heavy and very vata soothing. However, it is also very healing. By using sesame oil medicated with Bhringaraj, a tridoshic herb that is very calming to pitta, vata can continue to enjoy using sesame oil even in the summer season.
- Pitta can gain relief in the summer heat by using Brahmi oil in a coconut base, the most cooling and calming of all oils.
- Use Coconut Oil In The Morning Rubbing coconut oil on your body before taking a bath in the morning during the summer season helps with the heat. Coconut oil can help produce a calming, cooling, and soothing effect on the skin.
- Use Essential Oils Using sandalwood and jasmine essential oil on your temples, eyebrow center, throat center, wrists, and belly button has been said to help calm your pita, especially during the summer season due to their cooling effect.
Some Other Ayurvedic Tips For A Cool Summer Are As Follows:
- Avoid Heavy Exercise: It is best and healthy to exercise early in the morning during the hot summer season as it is the coolest part of the day . Doing heavy and rigorous exercise during other parts of the day will warm up your body, resulting in fatigue and weakness.
- Eat At The Right Time: According to Ayurveda, your digestive fire is at its strongest during lunch (mid-day). So, it is advisable not to skip your lunch during the summer season as it can leave you feeling irritated throughout the day
- In the evening before bed, wash and dry your feet.
- Wear light, breathable clothing (cotton).
- Skip harsh skin treatments (peeling, excessive exfoliation).
- Practice cooling poses/breath exercises such as Sheetali breath (pranayama).
So you can use Ayurvedic principles to increase your awareness of those subtle changes and maintain a balanced flow of energy during the summer months when the pitta dosha is in overdrive. We strive to be balanced, healthy, and happy after all. With a few seasonal Ayurvedic lifestyle hacks you can work with the climate and increase your vitality.