Best summer foods
Seems like the season would make a difference in our health, doesn’t it? Each season has its temperature, humidity and different hours of sun, and it turns out that seasonal differences have a big effect, and while we usually don’t talk much about it, older health systems have worked out a whole system of eating with the seasons. I’ve found it to be one of the most revealing things you can learn to help you stay healthy.
The Ayurvedic science of Ritucharya (seasonal behavior) explains how to conduct your life during the changing weather patterns of the seasons.
During the hot summer, pitta dosha is getting high, but you can alleviate this concern with diet and lifestyle changes that are opposite in nature to the prevailing condition. Since the weather is hot and pitta is aggravated, cooling foods are beneficial.
Ayurveda classifies the actions of foods and herbs according to taste, from which we can understand the biochemical and energetic properties of the substance. Bitter taste, which is cooling, is composed of air and ether elements, the same elements that predominate in the mind, while sweet taste, composed of earth and water elements, is grounding, cooling and calming. Astringent taste is also cooling.
During the hot weather, concentrate on sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. Focus on the fresh, sweet fruits and vegetables that grow in this season. Use more raw foods, especially green salads. Cucumber, watermelon, non-acidic fruits and juices, grains, such as wheat and rice, and cool milk are ideal summer foods. Add to the list a few more cooling foods, such as coconut, sweet fruits (grapes, pineapple, apricot), cabbage, black olives, squash, white beans, sprouts and sweet potato.
Oh, and eat fewer foods with pungent, sour and salty tastes. Nix on the yogurt, cheese, vinegar and cayenne. Even though those summer tomatoes look mighty tasty, they may be too sour for you if you have particularly high pitta.
Keeping your tummy cool during the hot summer helps you stay cool in your mind and behavior. If you’re a natural hothead, bring on the cucumber.