As the weather heats up, so does the body. Summer is the time when we begin to accumulate heat energy. Long days of warmth and activity build heat(pitta) in the body. As our body always seeks balance, it is our natural instinct to counter that heat with a glass of cold lemonade or an ice cream cone. But nature also provides some cooling foods that help move excess heat out of the body. An abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables can be found at farmers’ markets and local grocery stores. Most seasonal produce has a cooling effect on the body, but some of the best are cantaloupe, watermelon, berries, grapes and peaches, along with leafy greens, broccoli, snow peas and asparagus. To keep the body in balance, it is best to favor these fresh foods and avoid foods that are heavy, rich, or high in fat as they will actually build more heat in the body.
Here’s a recipe for a very cooling beverage, courtesy of the Joyful Belly website:
Watermelon Basil Smoothie
Puree 1T. chopped basil and 2 cups watermelon in a blender. Blend and serve.
The watermelon’s sweetness has a calming and cooling effect. The bitterness of the basil brings out the sweetness of the watermelon and also has diuretic properties purging excess fluid from the body.
Coconut oil also has a cooling effect on the body both inside and out! You can take 1 teaspoon with a meal, cook with it, or rub it into the skin. Rubbing the soles of the feet with coconut oil before you go to bed is both a cooling and calming bedtime routine.
Enjoy your summer and stay cool!