Even though we live in a high-tech society, our bodies haven't changed much in the last thousand years. We still follow natural rhythms. For our bodies and souls to be in harmony, it is important to adapt our eating habit to the natural rhythms of the seasons. Let's take a look at how Ayurveda can help us balance the specific influences of summer to increase our well-being. Following a summer diet is one of the best ways to adapt to summer rhythms.
Feeling tired or fit?
First, ask yourself how you feel after eating. Do you feel light, comfortable and alert, or tired, uncomfortable and full?
The average summer temperatures in India, where Ayurveda was founded, easily reach 40 degrees. This extreme heat not only makes it hard to be physically active, it stifles the digestive fire Agni. Therefore, light, refreshing foods are needed to cool the body and stimulate the metabolism.
How you react to heat depends on your type of dosha (Kapha, Pitta, Vata). Vata types quickly tend to relax at high temperatures and feel the heat less than other types. Kapha types can enjoy the heat. For people with a dominant Pitta-Dosha, the summer is the most unpleasant season. Heat is unbearable for the already hot Pitta temperaments. They are annoyed, irritated and tend to sweat a lot.
Soothing Pitta doshas
When it is hot, it is essential to cool and soothe Pitta (which is present in every human and increases in high temperatures). This works best through our diets.
Basically, it is important to drink enough liquids and avoid fats and oils. Some wonderful herbs and spices that help us cope with the summer heat are:
All these spices and herbs cool the body and balance out the Agni. Fresh ginger is also a good idea as it aids digestion.
In Ayurvedic nutrition, cucumbers, coconuts and melons are also recommended to cool the body. In India, coconut-coriander chutney or raita yoghurt with cucumber and cumin is eaten in summer. Of course, cold melon with fresh mint, a cucumber salad or a smoothie are also cooling dishes.
Finally, bitter vegetables can soften and balance the summer heat. Here are the best vegetables:
These salads support the digestive fire while cooling excessive pitta. With new lightness and more serenity, we can enjoy the summer to the fullest.