Posted on Jul 19, 2019, 2 p.m.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system based on naturally balancing the body and nurturing the digestive system. According to this traditional practise there are foods you can eat that will act as an internal A/C to help cool you.
It’s that time of year when temperatures sore across the nation, some areas even scorch leaving many feeling tired, drained, and looking for ways to cool down. Luckily, according to Sahara Rose using Ayurveda approaches there are a few easy items you can add to the diet that will help to quench the internal heat.
"Cooling foods, such as leafy greens, juicy fruit, cilantro, parsley, and light grains or legumes will help cool the body from within," says Rose, going on to explain that according to Ayurveda, bringing the fire back into balance can help prevent hyperacidity, acne, GERD, rosacea, irritability, frustration, and other pitta imbalances.
"In the summer weather, we're drawn to seasonal foods, like sun-ripened fruit, which is much easier to digest than cold, underripe fruit so often available at the supermarket," says Jasmine Hemsley.
"The sweet taste is cooling, as are bitter and astringent flavors," says Hemsley. "Care must be taken to balance the low-lying agni, or digestive fire, of summer and the heat from the rest of the body," she explains. "While we might want to dive into fridge cold salads and frozen foods, we don't want to further weaken our agni."
According to Ayurveda time of day is also a factor, the digestive fire dips again in the evening, it may be better to respond with lighter and easier digest fare such as soups garnished with cooling herbs and spices such as fennel, dill, mint, coriander leaves, lime, and coconut. Minty cucumber yogurt makes a great cooling snack, which is why it can be found alongside curry dishes. The key is to cool the body down from the inside by keeping it hydrated with food that contains a lot of water, vitamins and minerals.
In the warmer temperatures try reaching for water based foods including fruit like apples, watermelon, coconut, oranges, pears, plums, pomegranates, berries, bananas, mangoes, fresh herbs, legumes, juicy and hydrating vegetables like cucumber, celery, avocado, zucchini, tomatoes, leafy greens, and salad leaves.
“Many people believe that drinking cold water or other iced drinks can help cool the body down but it only cools down the part of the body it comes in contact with, like the mouth and esophagus,” says Dr. Tania Dempsey, who recommends slightly cool or room temperature drinks. “This can backfire and actually make the body work harder by trying to warm up the cold part of the body that the water was in contact with. Working harder leads to more heat within the body.”
“Onion and garlic are very heating, very fiery foods and you can feel them right away,” she says. “In general, foods that are acidic and pungent are heating, so you can go with the taste. If they are very spicy or hot or sour, they’re usually heating foods. See what feels best for your body and act accordingly.”
“Hydrating foods cool the body,” Dr. Dempsey says, “because the more fluid you take in, the better your cells function and the less stressed they are. Cells that function better are less likely to make excess energy or heat so this allows the body temperature to stay regulated,” she says. “In addition, dehydration actually causes you to sweat less, and sweating is important for cooling the body down.”
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.