It's summer here in OZ, time for spending lazy days in the sun, BBQ's and socialising with friends and family. We all want to stay healthy so we can enjoy all that summer has to offer. Chinese Medicine diet therapy has been used for thousands of years to optimise health by eating according to the changing seasons. Let's take a look at what you should be eating to stay healthy this summer.
Summer is the season of abundance, the most 'Yang' time of the year or the most energetic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine each season has it's own emotion, taste, element and organ and summer is linked to:
Organ = Heart
Emotion = Joy
Element = Fire
Taste = Bitter
Summer is hot, so the body needs to be kept cool - sounds logical right?! It's the perfect time to eat cooler foods and build up our body fluids. Just don't go overboard with raw foods as these can affect your 'digestive fire' leading to poor digestion and discomfort.
In summer it's best to choose lighter foods and avoid heavy, greasy and fried foods as they make our digestion sluggish. So try lightly grilling or stir-frying instead.
Bitter flavours in TCM are linked to the Heart and 'fire phase' or summer months. Bitter-cool foods should be eaten in moderation during summer to help keep our 'Heart' in balance. The function of bitter foods is to drain excess and dry dampness to form 'yin' or fluids in the body. When our 'heart fire' is in excess, the body needs to drain and descend this excess or our 'spirit' becomes irritated resulting in insomnia, palpitations, excessive sweating, irritability, anxiety and restlessness.
So what should you be eating during summer?
🌱Fruit: Apple, lemon, kiwi, watermelon, orange, pear, pineapple, tangerines, melon.
🌱Cooling foods: Cucumber, spinach, tomato, salads, kale, broccoli, eggplant, barley, seafood, mint, dill, coriander.
🌱Drinks: Lots of water, watermelon juice, green tea. Try a combo of mint and chrysanthemum tea - both are great at cooling the body and skin. Remember if you're breastfeeding drink mint tea in moderation as it can affect your milk supply.
🛑Avoid: Hot and dry foods such as coffee, heavy and greasy foods, excessively spicy and ice cold foods.
Staying healthy during the summer months it's not just about the food you eat, lifestyle choices are also important. Summer is a time for growth and expansion so allow yourself to stay out a little later, socialise with people who bring you joy, make time to play, experience life and go on an adventure or two but be sure to balance it with plenty of water, downtime, and relaxation.
Here at HQ we love to combined the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Evidence based nutrition. Find out how our Post Birth Vitality, Re-Energise and Daily Vitality whole food supplements can help you stay healthy this summer.