Ayurveda recommends to adapt diet and lifestyle at each season, to help keep the body in balance. In summer, increasing hot, dry, rough, subtle and mobile qualities must be balanced with cool, moist, unctuous, gross and stable qualities.
Ayurveda Summer Diet
In summer, the sun is sharp and powerful. Day after day it dries up the moist (kapha dosha) from our body and increases heat (pitta dosha) and dryness (vata dosha) susceptible of causing inflammation and other imbalances to the body. It is essential to adopt an ayurvedic summer diet.
According to the traditional Ayurvedic textbooks, the qualities of foods to favour in the summer are :
- Light to be gentle to the weakened digestive function,
- Sweet to produce strength and a cooling effect,
- Oily to preserve moist,
- Liquid to prevent from dehydration.
Salty, spicy and sour tastes of foods are to be banned as they create dryness and heat in the body. For instance, ready made sauces, crisps and nuts, chili, mustard, wasabi or cayenne pepper, and citrus fruits or vinegar.
Alcohol should not be consumed, or if it must be then diluted with lots of water and only for pitta – kapha body constitutions.
Specific food recommendations in traditional textbooks include :
- Boiled white rice,
- Meat animal of arid regions,
- Watery meat soup,
- Lassi (yoghurt drink mixed with spices as it pacifies vata as it has nourishing, strengthening, unctuous, appetiser and aphrodisiac qualities!
- Cooling foods (click here for full list)
Ayurveda is a flexible science, not prescriptive. It gives us universal principles for which practical application must be adapted by each individual, using their intelligence and considering factors such as time, location and individual body-mind constitution.
Some home remedies and recipes for the summer…
Now is a good time to start a 3 week course of daily coriander seeds infusion!
A sweet and cooling date-almond-avocado mousse is the perfect desert or healthy alternative to ice cream!
Or one of divinely talented Ayurveda Chef Dag Weinmann’s recipes including the cooling and weight loss zucchini-sage soup.
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Article content extracted and adapted from AH Su 3.26 – 41.