10 Tips for Eating in Summer
When the temperature starts to rise, it’s important to keep your body cool. Especially when you have a hot constitution, too much heat can lead to imbalances such as insomnia, high blood pressure, inflammation, constipation, and bleeding issues, just to name a few. Sure, you could blast the air-conditioner and take cold showers, but staying cool should start from the inside out. These 10 tips for eating in summer will keep your body temperature down when it’s hot outside.
1. Vegetables, like cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, celery, spinach
Raw vegetables are always cooling, but with their watery nature, these 5 veggies are especially good at bringing your temperature down.
2. Fruits like watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, and berries
Just like raw vegetables, fruits are almost always cooling to the system. You can eat them directly as a snack or dessert, make a smoothie, or add them to your water for a tasty refreshing experience.
The salty flavor of seaweed brings the coolness of the deep ocean right onto your plate. But seaweed’s benefits stretch even further, giving you a vital supply of natural iodine and potassium that are otherwise lacking in the typical western diet.
4. Fish, especially Shellfish
Again tapping into the ocean’s coolness, Chinese medicine recognizes most fish as cool, and shellfish as cold in nature. This means that even after they’re cooked, the result of eating fish, especially shellfish, will be to counteract any heat that’s lingering in your system, so you’ll be brought back to equilibrium on a hot summer day.
These are just a few of the herbs that are known to bring your body’s heat response down to a cooler state. Some, like plantain, chickweed, dandelion, and cilantro make excellent additions to your salads. Others, like nettles, lemongrass, hibiscus, red clover, lemon balm, raspberry leaf, and peppermint, make delicious cold infusions or teas. Nettles and lemongrass, in addition to making yummy infusions, are also great to cook with for summer dishes. In fact, all of these herbs can be a creative and refreshing addition to many of your favorite summertime recipes.
6. Spicy food and Hot tea
It might seem counter-intuitive, but some countries in the hottest climates are famous for their spicy food and hot tea culture. This is because spicy food and hot tea bring your body to its heat threshold, leading it to open pores and cool itself down naturally by sweating.
You might want to avoid these at that mid-summer wedding when you’re dressed to the nines, but you’ll feel great at your next barbeque if you’re sipping some hot peppermint tea with your buddies.
7. Drink lots of water
This one is obvious, but it can’t be repeated enough. In hot summer weather your body is prone to dryness as water is literally evaporating off of you. So even more than usual, keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
If plain water seems too boring, add a couple of slices of cucumber, a few berries, a squirt of lemon, or a few sprigs of lemon balm to keep you coming back for more.
8. Eat less animal products, and avoid alcohol, coffee, processed sugar, soda-pop, flour, and cigarettes.
When the weather is hot, your body shouldn’t have to work too hard to process what you put into it. Give yourself a break by sticking to lighter ingredients like fruits and vegetables, and avoid foods like meat, dairy, alcohol, coffee, and processed foods that can contribute to inflammation.
9. Steam, simmer, stir-fry, and use more raw foods, and avoid pressure-cooking, baking, and deep-frying methods.
Slow cooked meals are great in the colder months, but should be avoided in spring and summer. Instead of eating a casserole in august, take the warm weather as an opportunity to enjoy more sushi, salads, and quickly cooked meals.
10. Be careful not to go overboard
It might be tempting to stick with what comes straight out of the refrigerator when the sun is blazing outside, but it is always important to consider your personal constitution when you are choosing what foods to eat.
If your body tends toward heat, and you notice signs and symptoms like a red tongue with a yellow coating, irritability, dry constipation, thirst, excess sweating, and just feel lousy when the temperature hits the upper digits, the tips in this article are made for you.
However, if you dislike cold weather, tend toward loose stools, bloating, a pale tongue, and generally thrive in the summer heat, chances are your constitution is on the colder side of the spectrum. If this is you, you can still eat the occasional sushi roll and watermelon when it’s scorching outside, but make sure you still eat plenty of warm food so you don’t cool your system down too much.