Updated: Nov 19
In the northern hemisphere, we are switching to the summer season. With the heat in the air, our bodies naturally heat up as well. Likewise, with the sun higher in the sky, our pitta dosha will naturally be higher as well.
When our body is balanced, we might notice this by more productivity, a clear mind, an urge to take on new projects, and a comfortably warm feeling in the body.
But when our body is imbalanced, and pitta has reached an excessive state, you will experience symptoms. In pitta excess, they will be heat-related symptoms like inflammation, irritability, agitation, acid reflux, heavy periods, acne, etc.
As many of us know, Mother Earthworks with rhythms (seasons, moon cycle, etc.), but for most of us, we weren't brought up with the knowledge that our bodies function by rhythms as well. Therefore, when we want to feel well and prevent dis-ease, we must obey these rhythms by creating ebbs and flows in our day, week, and life. For example, eat at set times, going to bed at the same time each day, and making minor tweaks during the changes of season.
When we change to the summer season, we have to be aware not to overheat our bodies
from the outside and inside out. Just like how we wouldn't wear a warm coat while the
temperatures are above 25 degrees C, we also don't want to add extra heat to the inside of our bodies. Therefore turning back on your spicing and not eating heating foods like chilies,
peppers, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. It will prevent extra heat from going into your body. Instead, adding cooling spices like fennel, coriander seeds, or cardamom, fresh herbs like cilantro, and cooling foods like cucumbers or watermelons (eaten alone), will help cool down the body. You can find warming and cooling food lists here.
"But did you know that ice (cream) actually heats up your body?"
No matter the temperatures outside, our body will have a tough time digesting very cold things or things that have been frozen (impossible). So your body will create heat to digest these foods and prevent toxin formation. Unfortunately, this will end up heating your body even more than it already was. At the same time, you are compromising your digestive ability (agni). Therefore ice cream on a hot day might feel like a quick fix, but in the long run (minutes to hours after consuming), it causes the opposite effect.
Three things you can do on a hot summer day to stay cool
1. Eat easy to digest foods
Lighter grains, with cooling spices, and plenty of augmenting and extractive vegetables.
2. Consume plenty of liquids with your meal
And with this, I do not mean drinking a glass of water while eating but adding plenty of cooking liquid to your meal, for example, making a vegetable soup to go with your grains and legumes. This is the easiest way for your body to absorb the liquid and prevent it from going straight to your bladder.
3. Don't eat (too much) raw foods
Many people think salads are light and easily digestible, but when we look at it from an Ayurvedic standpoint, raw material takes longer to digest. This is because our stomach will create more heat and acid to "cook" it before digestible. Therefore when we want to simplify the digestive process and prevent too much acid formation. Eating lightly cooked food will optimum.