(The Best Years in Life)
When the weather starts to heat up the
natural tendency is to go for the iced beverages and cold foods, but both
Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine caution against this approach.
Instead, consider foods with cooling properties to help you beat the heat. These
cooling foods could also be beneficial if you have a fiery constitution, such as
what is known as being a Pitta in Ayurveda. Pittas are often people of average
or athletic build. Some health conditions, from acne to bowel conditions, are
also attributed to an imbalance arising from too much heat in the body. Cooling
foods are thought to bring the body back into balance.
What to eat to beat the heat
be much of a surprise that fruits and vegetables are among the top choices for
foods to eat during summertime. What is good to remember is that certain fruits
and veggies are believed to contain cooling properties that are good for your
health, but not all. Gravitate toward the sweeter fruits – such as cherries,
plums, avocados, oranges, grapes, and melons – on hot days. Some of the tropical
fruits, like mangoes and pineapples, are also recommended.
seem surprising is the advice to steer clear of some fruits, namely sour ones.
Grapefruits and apricots are examples of fruits best eaten during milder
temperatures. Tomatoes are best avoided as well.
vegetables you should include in your diet are mainly green in color, such as
green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and zucchini. Other recommended
veggies include sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
some exceptions to the green rule, namely spinach and arugula because they're
bitter. Radishes, onions, beets, and all hot peppers should be consumed
sparingly, if at all.
vegetables aren't the only foods with cooling properties. Some grains are also
believed to be beneficial, such as wheat, barley, and oats. If you're sensitive
to gluten, there's always rice. However, some Ayurveda practitioners caution
against brown rice. Millet, corn, and rye are on the list of grains to avoid.
Coconut, olive, and sunflower oils can be good for a body with too much heat.
As odd as it
might seem, warm milk is supposed to be good for reducing Pitta and thus could
help the body regain balance. Another trick is to chew fennel seeds following
meals. This is believed to cool one's stomach acid. Herbs like cilantro and mint
are generally good for cooling down.
Foods to avoid during hot
surprising thing you should avoid is iced beverages. Although they might feel
refreshing on your lips, iced drinks are thought to mess with digestion. Tepid
water is considered by Ayurveda practitioners to be optimal for digestion and
hydration. Also, avoid alcohol as it is thought to heat the body.
surprisingly, spicy food makes the list of what to avoid. Chilies and salsas
should be enjoyed during cold weather to heat the body. This goes for curry too.
Also, be careful with your spices. Too much salt can be dehydrating while too
much cayenne or black pepper adds an excess of heat. Any type of sour food, such
as sour cream or cheese, is thought to increase Pitta, so stay away.
your diet may help you remain cool and balanced, but you should always run
changes by your doctor first. An Ayurvedic practitioner could help you further
narrow down what foods are best for you year round.
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the
fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse
University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group
exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy.
Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel,
Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's
Natural Healing Tips
blog or join her on
Sarka-Jonae Miller's "Between Boyfriends eBook"
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