Fire in Your Belly?
It's a fundamental principle of Ayurveda that like increases like. As summer heats up, we become prone to accumulating excess heat in our bodies and minds. When we begin to collect and increase our own internal heat, one way that the body tries to cool itself down is by cooling down the digestive fire. This is why we may find ourselves less hungry or wanting to eat less often in the Summer. During this time of year, it's important not to demand too much internal heat of the digestive system by eating smaller meals and lighter foods.
5 Tips to Beat the Heat & Lighten the Load on Digestion
- Ayurveda recommends enjoying not only lighter foods, but lighter tastes as well. Think sweet, bitter, and astringent. Increase your intake of bitter salad greens like lettuce, arugula, radicchio, basil, and endive, and add more zucchini, and asparagus to your plate.
- Cool down with hydrating foods such as cucumber, watermelon, and coconut water. Quench yourself with natural fruit juices without added sugar and mint teas. And sweeten your day with mango, pomegranate, apples, cranberry and fresh berries.
- Add extra flavor to your dishes with summer herbs and spices such as dill, cilantro, fennel, cardamom, coriander, saffron.
- Stay full by using healthy fats such as coconut oil, ghee, and soaked/peeled almonds.
- It’s also a good time to eat less sour, salty, and pungent foods. Limit tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, garlic, dry ginger, black pepper, fermented foods, spicy foods, sour fruits, heavy protein, and molasses.
For some more Summer eating tips, visit Yoga Journal's article, All Fired Up? Or visit one of my favorite Ayurveda practitioners, Niika Quistgarrd. She serves up a wealth of Ayurvedic health and healing. I especially love her Taste is Healing section.
Rest and Digest with this Pose All Summer Long
With all the running around that summer allows, remember that good digestion relies on rest and relaxation. The Restorative pose, Goddess, is excellent for great digestion! So grab three blankets or a few pillows and enjoy this version I created for your relaxation practice at home: