Ah, do you love the feel of the warm sun or are you feeling overheated this summer? Let’s discuss the Ayurveda’s prescription to beat the summer heat. Ayurveda is based on practical principles that help you maintain balance and summertime.
Vedic Treat’s advice for newcomers to Ayurveda is this: Before you do anything else, simplify how you think about food.
According to Ayurveda, our body consists of three humors: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
For good and healthy functioning of mind and body, these doshas have to be in balance. When it gets hot in summer, Pitta (heat) rises in the environment, and the body reduces its inner Agni (fire), because of its natural tendency to maintain balance. This reduces heat production, lowers metabolism and thus reduces digestive power. Therefore, in hot weather, any activity is difficult and appetite is poor. You probably know this from your own experience. We should respect this change by eating lighter foods in moderation.
Food affects mood? How?
The food we eat has a significant influence on our minds and hearts. You could even say that the nature of our mind and feelings depends on the food we have eaten.
And equally, the state of our mind, emotions, intellect and senses — and our overall state of contentment — all these, in turn, affect the digestion, absorption and elimination of the food we have eaten.
What to eat?
• Increase intake of sweet, bitter, and astringent tasting foods that are light in nature & consume less of the sour, salty and pungent flavors.
• Reach for capsicum, cabbage, cilantro, leafy greens, peas, and summer squash while including cucumber, mango and coconut water in your diet.
• Consume Seasonal & Natural fruit juices, Herbal mint, hibiscus Teas, and raw berries
• Try boiled and cooled milk with a pinch of green cardamom is a natural pitta pacifying. Clarified butter (Ghee) is an excellent choice.
• For cooking purposes be generous with cooling spices such as mint, fennel, anise and green cardamom.
What to avoid?
When used excessively in the summer or by people with an existing Pitta or blood imbalance, it can cause sudden skin outbreaks, heat rashes, acne, ulcerations, a burning sensation and liver damage.
When honey is exposed to heat, its innate metabolic processes activate, which generate a wide range of toxins. These toxins can spread throughout the body causing innumerable diseases, such as cancer, auto-immune disorders, neurological problems and degeneration.
Although it may feel refreshing, it actually causes an imbalance in the water elements by increasing one’s gastric juices. As such, it can lead to indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, upper GI ulcers and GERD.
As a fermented food, it naturally contains acidic and sour qualities — both of which increase Pitta. When combined with fresh fruit, it becomes even worse and completely obstructs normal digestion. Yogurt is a major channel blocker and can immediately pollute the blood, leading to skin conditions, anorectal disorders, gastric diseases, edema and indigestion.
• Cold drinks
Although cold drinks feel refreshing on a hot day, they do not provide a lasting, cooling, healthy effect. Instead, they halt digestion and metabolism, creating a breeding ground for the generation of internal toxins. They should always be avoided at meal times and replaced with pure, room temperature water.
• Avoid sour foods like sour cream, vinegar, ketchup and spicy dishes.
These are general guidelines and will have certain exceptions. For details specific to your situation, please consult us.