Written by: Susan Bowes, Owner Tattva’s Herbs
It’s summertime and our stress and discomfort can rise as the temperature climbs. Of course, some wise souls know that this is a signal to take a noontime siesta, but most of us still must go about our work and errands. Even when we’re on vacation we can be bothered by hot weather. Here are some recommendations for foods that have cooling energetics and are especially helpful during the hottest time of the day:
▪ Fruits in general are considered to be cooling in both the Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine traditions. Certain fruit, in particular coconut, mango, watermelon, pomegranate and lime are quite cooling in nature . Utilize this information for your food choices or try adding a squirt of fresh lime to your water for additional taste and coolness. It is especially important to buy organic fruit and vegetables to avoid contamination with pesticides and fertilizers. I’m sure that you can also taste the difference!
▪ Most vegetables are cooling and bitter greens are particularly healthful during hot weather. They also had added benefits of reducing our sweet cravings and supporting the health of the liver which is aggravated during late spring and summer. Cucumber is also quite cooling but can cause flatulence and bloating for certain individuals. Herbs can help to counteract these symptoms.
▪ Dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese and cream are very cooling and calming on a hot afternoon. Dairy may be harder to digest though, since it is considered heavy in the Ayurvedic tradition. A light spice such as coriander, cardamom or nutmeg can help with digestibility and taste.
▪ Most grains are cooling and soothing because they have a grounding energy. Since this food group has a heavier energy it’s best not to overdo grains at night.
▪ I hate to be the bearer of bad news but some food is especially aggravating with summer heat. Be careful with overly spicy (pungent taste) seasoning such as garlic, onions and pepper. Also too much red meat, fried and fermented foods can be heating in nature and might aggravate those with allergies, difficult skin, or temper issues. Also, try cutting back on sour fruits since they are considered to have added fire. In other words, enjoy lime rather than lemonade for a refreshing coolness.