As the official beginning of summer is approaching, temperatures are already heading upwards. The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer can be a delight if we stay cool. According to Ayurveda, sizzling summer weather can cause Pitta dosha—the metabolic principle that governs health and metabolism—to increase in our body. Heat rashes, ulcers, acid indigestion, irritability and anger are just a few problems caused by too much Pitta.
Try these tips to beat the heat and feel your best during the Pitta season, which lasts from June to October.
Cool foods and drinks. (But avoid ice-cold or carbonated drinks, as these inhibit digestion, which tends to grow weaker in the summer.)
Fresh, organic foods and pure water.
Sweet foods such as milk, cream, wheat products, rice, sweet and ripe fruits, and sweeteners like raw sugar (in moderation).
Astringent (dry) foods such as beans, split mung dal, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, pears, and pomegranates.
Bitter foods such as romaine lettuce, endive, spinach and other leafy greens.
Oily, heavy foods.
Eat less food in general. You’ll likely find that your digestion naturally slows down in warm weather, to counter the rising heat of the environment. You’ll feel healthier if you eat lighter during the summer months.
Sour foods, such as yogurt, sour milk, cheese, tomatoes, vinegar and sour grapes.
Pungent (hot) foods, such as chili pepper, salsa, cayenne, ginger, onions and garlic.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Opt for light colored, natural fabrics like cotton and linen.
Stay hydrated! Room temperature drinks are ideal. Pure water, tepid herbal teas and coconut water will help refresh the entire physiology.
Keep the temperature cool when you are indoors.
Take it easy in the summer. It is the season to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.
Avoid the mid-day sun. Evening walks are highly recommended.
Enjoy cooling aroma oils such as lavender, sandalwood, and rose.
Over-exercise. You’ll want to choose milder exercise and avoid getting overheated. Cooling sports like swimming are ideal.
Sunbathe for long periods. The noonday sun can be damaging during the summer months.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is both stimulating and dehydrating.
Consider switching to coconut oil for your morning massage. Coconut oil is cooling by nature.
Remember, these are general tips that address the basic principle of reducing Pitta dosha in the summer months. Consider getting an Ayurveda consultation in order to receive individualized recommendations that address your specific imbalances and concerns.