Summer is finally here!
Who doesn’t love barbecues, pool parties, and weekends at the cottage?
While many enjoy cooling foods like fruit smoothies and fresh salads, others overload on hot foods like alcohol and charbroiled meats.
Maybe the concept of ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ foods is new to you. Let me explain.
Chinese Medicine Doctors believe that the environment, changes in weather, and the properties of food affect our health.
With summer, the season of fire in full swing, Chinese Medicine Doctors recommend eating more cooling foods.
Unfortunately, the typical North American diet contains loads of ‘hot’ foods.
According to Chinese philosophy, the wrong type of foods during a given season can create energetic imbalances in the body.
In fact, they believe that poor health is tied to disharmonies of “Qi” (energy) or an imbalance of the five elements – wood, earth, water, metal, and fire. Try explaining this to a conventional medical doctor. Say what!?
From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, recognizing a person’s current health status can be very helpful in understanding which dietary plan is best for them.
For example, if somebody sweats a lot, has pounding headaches, and acne rosacea (signs of heat), they may want to introduce more ‘cooling’ foods into their diet, especially during the summer.
- hydrating raw fruits & vegetables
- dark leafy greens
Adding lemons, limes, cucumber and fresh sliced oranges to water is especially beneficial for reducing heat in the body.
Also encouraged are iced herbal teas made from:
- Japanese honeysuckle flower
- lemon balm
- spearmint leaves
Chrysanthemum tea is a cooling Chinese drink that also helps reduce heat.
For good protein sources, add in wild fish, duck, and detoxifying mung beans.
Other cooling foods to include in the diet are peaches, asparagus, summer squash and seaweed.
And don’t forget to chop up fresh herbs. You can add them to salads for flavour and health benefits. Some favourites include cilantro, mint, dill, and parsley.
This upcoming season is one of joy, activity, growth, and expressive energy.
It’s an ideal time to get outside and experience a boost in mood, mental acuity, and physical vitality.
Rise early, relax excessively, meditate regularly, and hydrate constantly.
Pay attention to your diet this summer and work towards balancing the elements.
Why not use food as your medicine and try to include more cooling foods this summer?
Who knows, you may even set a “cool” new trend.