As I write this, it’s the beginning of July and the heat is on! Summertime means long, bright hot days. It is a time of joyfulness, feeling energized and connecting with friends and family.
In Ayurveda, summer is known as pitta season. Pitta embodies the element of fire – hot, sharp, light and mobile. These are the characteristics you might notice of the summer season – hot temperature, intense heat and thunderstorms, lots of socializing and traveling. In Ayurveda, like increases like, and opposites balance. For the summer season, you want to focus on qualities that are cool, soothing, nourishing and grounding. Keeping these qualities in mind make choosing the food we eat and our self-care practices with the seasons simpler. Below are some tips on how to do this to navigate your way through the summer season without burning yourself out!
Foods to Balance Pitta
To bring balance to pitta dosha in this time of year, focus on eating foods that are cooling, soothing and grounding. Balance the heat of summer by enjoying fresh, cooling, hydrating fruits, smoothies and salads. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Reduce your intake of heating foods and beverages like hot and spicy food, fermented foods and alcohol. Overall, keep your meals light and refreshing.
Incorporate the following foods into your diet:
- Cooling fats – coconut oil, ghee, avocados
- Mildly spiced food – add mild digestives like fresh ginger, fresh cilantro, coriander cardamom, fennel to your food
- Sweet taste – fresh fruit like peaches, melons and berries, tropical fruits
- Bitter taste – lettuces, kale, collard
- Astringent taste – apples, pomegranate, fennel stalk, mung beans
- Cooling foods – avocados, cucumbers, coconut
- Add lime juice to your water or squeeze lime over your meals to help keep you cool and aid digestion
- I love to eat chia seeds to help me stay hydrated in the summer… here is a recipe for chia pudding: https://coribernardo.com/2016/06/05/recipe-mango-vanilla-chia-pudding/
Lifestyle for Pitta
Think relaxation. Pitta season is associated with the fire element. Fire is hot and mobile. The opposite of mobile is stable and grounded. This is the time of year to consider slowing down, and staying cool.
- Limit time in air conditioning as it compromises your bodies ability to deal with the high temperatures
- Try moonbathing! Go for a walk at night under the moonlight to refresh your body and mind.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun and wear light, breathable clothes
- Splash face with cool water in the morning and take cooler showers
- Get to bed by 10-10:30 pm
- Take time for peace, quiet and reflection
Herbs for Pitta
In pitta season, use herbs and spices that help cool and calm the body and mind, and gently your digestive fires strong.
- Make a cooling tea of hibiscus, mint and add a splash of time. Or try this hibiscus ginger tea recipe: https://coribernardo.com/2017/06/26/recipe-ginger-hibiscus-iced-tea/
- Chewing on fennel seeds after meals can be a helpful digestive
- Spray yourself with rosewater to cool down
- Favor mild digestive herbs and spices for your food like coriander, fresh ginger and fresh cilantro
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