Soothing Summer Foods

Pomegranate_close_upAccording to Ayurveda, as the temperatures rise, the qualities of Pitta dosha (sharp, hot, penetrating) increase in our physiology. One might assume that that our digestive fire (or “agni”) would also become stronger. But in fact, in an attempt to regulate body temperature, our phyiology does its best to dispense heat and lower its own internal heating mechanisms. As a result, our ability to digest food actually diminishes. This is why we often feel less hungry and want to eat less during the summer months. It is important at this time to follow the body’s impulse to eat lighter and smaller meals.

Summer Food Tips

Increase sweet, bitter, and astringent tasting foods that are light in nature.  Eat plenty of bitter salad greens. Lettuce, arugula, radicchio, basil, and endive are particularly Pitta balancing. Include cool drinks and raw foods in the diet, including cucumber, mango and coconut water. Natural fruit juices without added sugar, mint teas, and raw berries are good choices.

Reduce sour, salty, and pungent tastes

Favor:  coconut water, watermelon, cilantro, leafy greens, okra, zucchini, asparagus, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, ghee, cucumber, soaked/peeled almonds, kale, broccoli, pomegranate, apples, cranberry, mint, dill, fennel, cardamom, coriander, saffron.

Avoid: tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, garlic, dry ginger, black pepper, fermented foods, spicy foods, sour fruits, heavy protein, mustard oil, molasses, coffee, alcohol.

Drink up!

Be sure to drink plenty of water to offset the drying and heating nature of Pitta. Add fresh mint or lime to your water. Cooling herbal teas such as peppermint, licorice, fennel or rose, taken at room temperature, can be extremely refreshing.

Avoid iced drinks. While it is important to keep cool in the summer it is more important to keep our digestion strong. Room temperature liquids will be assimilated into your body more quickly and they will not extinguish your digestive fire.

Remember that incompletely digested foods create toxins and impurities that are eventually absorbed, travel throughout the body, localize in the tissues and disrupt their functioning. This process can play a major role in wide variety of chronic conditions, including insomnia, chronic fatigue, arthritis and heart disease.

Try this easy, Pitta-pacifying dessert:

Poached Peaches with Raspberry Coulee

Blanch peaches in boiling water. Remove skins. Blend raspberries and strawberries together with sugar or honey to taste. Spoon the berry mix over the poached peaches. Serve with a garnish of mint leaf.

(Be sure to always use unheated honey. When honey is heated beyond comfortable “sipping” temperature, it creates a sticky toxin that adheres to the body tissues and is difficult to cleanse. Adding honey to hot tea is fine, as long as the tea has cooled enough to sip comfortable. Never use honey for baking.)

 

 http://theraj.com/ayurveda/ayurvedic-diet.php

 

 

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Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)

Keeping Cool with Ayurveda Tips

50262018_524e21b23b_zAccording to Ayurveda, the heat of summer is aggravates Pitta dosha, the metabolic principle responsible for energy production, metabolism and digestion. When aggravated, Pitta can give rise to increased anger, ulcers, rashes and other skin problems.

Pitta season starts in mid-June and lasts until mid-October. During this time you may find that your appetite is not as strong as during the cold months of the year. This is because in the winter the body has to provide its own heat, so the digestive fires burns at its brightest. As the outside heat increases, however, our inner fire diminishes. If you find your appetite is less in Pitta season, listen to what your body is telling you.

You’ll want to drink more liquids during the hot months of summer (room temperature to cool is acceptable, but never ice cold) but it is important not to douse the digestive fires by drinking liquids at the end of a meal.

Sunbathing can increase Pitta and therefore should be minimized. According to modern medicine, sunbathing increases the risk of skin cancer—and that risk is greater among Pitta types or those with Pitta aggravation. If you must be in the direct sunlight, wear a hat and sunglasses. The eyes are one of the five main seats of Pitta dosha and excess heat can accumulate there during the summer.

One way to help control Pitta is simply through diet. Pungent (spicy), salty and sour tastes increase Pitta. Sweet, astringent and bitter tastes reduce Pitta. Whether or not to adopt a Pitta-pacifying depends on your constitution and on any imbalances you might have. A trained Ayurveda expert can recommend the right regimen for you. Remember also that the differences among Ayurvedic diets are matters of degree. Whatever the season, we should always include the six tastes in every meal in order to nourish all of our body tissues.

Seasonal Maharishi Ayurveda purification and detoxification treatments, or Panchakarma, are recommended to keep the doshas from unhealthy levels of imbalance. Imbalance of the doshas arises in six successive states: accumulation, aggravation, dissemination, localization, manifestation and disruption. As long as the doshas don’t get past the accumulation or aggravation stage, we can avoid ill-health.

Once the process goes beyond the aggravation stage, however, some symptoms of disease or disorder may be experienced. The traditional rejuvenation treatments of Ayurveda help remove imbalanced doshas, loosening them from localized areas and eliminating them from the body.

For more information on the traditional detoxification treatments of Ayurveda or for information on consultations with Ayurveda experts, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center:

www.theraj.com

 

 

 

( Picture of a Rose in Water. Source: Google Advance Image Search.
Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)