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The Guide To An Ayurvedic Summer


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Summer is also known as the pitta season. Pitta is one of the three ayurvedic doshas. The most distinctive characteristics of summer—the heat, the bright sun, the sharp intensity, and the transformative nature of the season—all correspond directly with pitta.

While there is much to be happy about in the summer season, it’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. The goal of a summer seasonal routine is to foster diet and lifestyle habits that help in preventing the over-accumulation of summer qualities and enjoying summertime to its fullest extent.

Your primary focus in the summer should be to keep pitta balanced by staying cool, mellowing intensity with relaxation, and keeping your energy grounded. It can also be beneficial to recognize early signs of pitta imbalance so that you can address these issues quickly. But there are some distinctly vata characteristics to summer as well, so you also need to stay hydrated, foster stability, and counter vata’s natural expansiveness and mobility with quiet, restful activities.

Summer Diet

During this season, our bodies have a natural craving for light foods and small meals that are easily digested because the digestive fire disperses in order to keep us cool. Eating your meals, without any distractions, while savoring the flavor and texture of your food reduces the risk of overeating. In summer, the best tastes are sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and it is a pleasure to enjoy cool, liquid, even slightly oily foods. Fresh fruits and salads are also great for summertime.

For beating the heat with some drinks, enjoy cool or room temperature water infused with mint or lime and a little raw sugar, a refreshing lassi and, cooling herbal teas such as peppermint, licorice, fennel or rose. It’s best to avoid iced drinks as they disturb the digestive fire and make toxins in the body.

Below are some perfect summer foods:

Fruits:

Pomegranates

Prunes

Avocados

Berries

Cherries

Grapes

Limes

Coconut

Cranberries

Melons

Pears

Mangoes

Apples

Pineapples

Plums

Vegetables:

Broccoli

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Celery

Green Beans

Kale

Lettuce

Ladyfingers

Potatoes

Zucchini

Grains

Barley

Rice, Basmati

Wheat

Legumes

Black Beans

Mung Beans

Soy Beans & Products

Split Peas

Oils

Sunflower Oil

Coconut Oil

Olive Oil

Spices and Garnishes

Basil

Cardamom

Cilantro

Coriander

Dill

Fennel

Lime

Mint

Parsley

Animal Products

Fish (freshwater)

Poultry (white)

Shrimp

Summer Lifestyle

Summer is the perfect time to make a habit of rising early in the morning which is also the best time for exercise. Before bathing, gently massage the skin using a light coating of a pitta soothing oil, such as coconut or sunflower oil, for calming the nervous system and cooling the body. Essential oils like jasmine and khus are good summer fragrances for a calm, cool, and refreshed mind.

Make sure you dress in light, breathable clothing made of cotton or silk and use cooling colors such as whites, grays, blues, purples, and greens to counter the intensity and heat of summer. On especially hot days, a short afternoon nap is very beneficial.