It is summer time! Like every other season, it has its own distinct effects.
According to Ayurveda fundamentals, our diet, habits, routine should flow with the season. We can support an improved state of health by living in harmony with the natural cycles and adjust our lifestyle and habits with the changing season.
The characteristics of summer are heat, long days of bright sun, small nights, the transformative nature of the season is just like Pitta in nature.
In spite of the humid climate that comes with the summer, the overall effect of the intense heat is drying in nature.
A summer season routine is aimed to nurture diet and lifestyle habits to prevent over-accumulation of the summer qualities in body and hence maintain balance and makes you enjoy summer to the fullest.
Ideal habits to adopt for healthier summers
Your focus in summer would be to keep Pitta balanced by staying cool and conserving the energy.
During this season our body naturally craves for lighter foods and small meals that are easily digestible. Our digestive fire to balance the strong internal heat disperses and lowers down to keep us cool that’s why having heavy and oily foods are difficult to digest and people have aversion to it usually on a prickly heated day.
Summer is a time to savour sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and to enjoy cool and liquidy foods. It is the best time of the year to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetable salads, cold vegetable juices and drinks.
All unrefined sweeteners like unrefined sugar (mishri) and sugarcane juice can be enjoyed in moderation except for honey and molasses which are warmer in potency. It is a good time to indulge in sweet dairy products such as milk, butter, ghee, paneer, fresh yoghurt.
Beverages like mint with lime water lassi, mulethi tea, rose tea can be taken.
All cool beverages but not frozen ones like lemon and mint water, sweet lassi, buttermilk, etc.
Fruits to choose: Apple, Grapes, Lime, cherries, pomegranate, Berries, Pineapple, pears, coconut, watermelon, muskmelon, mangoes, plums and prunes
Vegetables to choose: Okra, cauliflower, Bottle gourd, green beans, cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, potatoes, lettuce, coriander, mint leaves
Avoid taking excessive sour or unripe fruits, heating vegetables like radish, ginger, turmeric, onions, garlic, and mustard seeds. Try avoiding excessive spicy food containing red chillies. Use spices like fennel, cumin, cardamom, coriander seeds/ powder, basil.
- Rise early morning during this season. Indulge in light exercises, almost putting half the body’s capacity.
- Before bathing, massage the body with coconut oil or Brahmi oil to balance pitta.
- Wear vibrant, bright, light, cooling colours like whites, greys, blues, purples, greens
- Wear breathable cotton and silk clothing
- Use sunglasses or umbrellas while stepping outside in the sun
Tips to follow as per the individual Prakriti:
For Vata dominant Prakriti: They should have oily, nourishing foods like coconut, dates, okra, sweet potato, pumpkin, wheat, quinoa, and rice.Fruits like ripened pineapple, ripened mangoes, peaches, apricots, bananas. They can have yellow or green mung dal. They can enjoy sweetened lassi, rice and tapioca puddings,
Avoid astringent fruits like apples, pears, berries, pomegranate, and dried fruits. Foods like salads, raw vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower can be heavy on the digestion so have them in steamed form and spiced with herbs.
For Pitta dominant Prakriti: The best way to keep your Pitta in balance in summers is to include a lot of cooling spices like fennel, coriander, cardamom. Include coconut, watermelon, cucumber, leafy greens, red lentils, mung beans. You can indulge in some sweet, creamy foods like kheer, ice cream, tapioca puddings, lassi and spiced milk. Add Amalaki, aloe vera juice to clear excess pitta.
Avoid very hot, spicy, acidic foods like chillies, sour and fermented foods. Avoid corn, eggplant, olives, radish, tomatoes and cooked spinach, sour curd or cheese, hard liquor, and red wines.
For Kapha dominant Prakriti: Include fruits and vegetables having astringent properties like apple, pears, berries, cherries, pomegranate, and peaches. Avoid excessively oily and comforting foods. Have lots of raw vegetable salads. You can enjoy amaranth, brown rice, barley, quinoa and beans.
Avoid excessive lassis, sweets and ice creams, heavy and nourishing or watery foods like watermelon, figs, dates, coconut, cucumber, olives, tori, zucchini, pumpkin. Minimize heavy carbs like pasta, cooked oats, and wheat.