Chinese Medicine is all about balance. This system sees the key to good health is to move through the world in such a way that our bodies can remain in balance. This idea includes what we eat, our sleep patterns, how we move, and the flow of energy throughout the body. Because of this, healthy eating during the summertime, according to Chinese medicine, is all about using foods to balance out how hot it is outside. In this way, we can achieve balance from the inside out.
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for healthy foods to keep you cool and active all summer long.
Fresh fruits like watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes, and pears are cooling and have strong yin energy. Chinese medicine recommends that summer meals should be predominately fresh fruits and/or vegetables. These food groups have the strongest yin energy and balance out the fierce yang and fire energy that summer brings.
Fresh vegetables that are in season locally are also a great choice. Cooling vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, peppers, celery, radish, carrots, and cauliflower are especially beneficial. Vegetables have the second highest yin energy.
Summer herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, and mint are excellent additions to mot recipes. These herbs are natural diuretics and heavy metal detoxifiers and help flush excess waste from the body.
The best foods to eat vary with the region that you are in. If you live somewhere where summer days are long, but not very hot and the nights get really cool, you may want to incorporate more netral or even warming fruits and vegetables into your summer shopping list. These fruits and vegetables can include most varieties of squash, especially pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash, lentils, legumes, whole grains like brown rice and root vegetables like beets, potatoes, and parsnips.
For those with cooler summers, or during late summer (the fifth season according to Chinese medicine), this time is about self nourishment so it can be utilized as energy. Late summer is the time to choose smart sugars that won’t clog up the spleen pathway. This can include apples, carrots, dates, figs, grapes, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, and squash. These smart sugars also regulates the body’s blood sugar, which decreases the strain on the pancreas.
For those whose summer climate is hot, I’ve included one of my favorite infusion recipes. Trust me, you’ll want to give this one a try! And you can drink this cooling, detoxifying water all summer long to keep yourself balanced and hydrated.
Cooling detox water:
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- ½ cucumber
- Bunch of fresh mint
Slice the lemon, lime and cucumber and add to the water. Stir in the mint. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and enjoy chilled.
Remember, although Chinese medicine uses different foods each season to maintain balance, we still want to include a protein, fiber, and healthy fat with each meal.
If you’re still not sure what a healthy diet looks like for you personally, we can help. Call 912-424-2871 today for a free consult. We offer health coaching, holistic nutrition coaching, and acupuncture.