Summer is one of the best seasons of the year when we can finally bask under the sun and take long walks. According to Chinese Medicine, this is the peak of the Yang season symbolized by the fire element. Chinese Medicine nutrition classifies foods according to their temperature and energetic attributes. This means that there are warm and cold foods; for instance, during summer, it is advisable to eat cooling foods that will hydrate the body and dispel heat.
Summer in UAE is usually very tough with high temperatures that cause dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburns. Since summer is supposed to be a great time for fun, you cannot spend your days indoors; adopting Chinese Medicine nutrition gives your body the required energy.
Chinese Medicine Approach to Foods
There are so many diets these days that it is difficult to know which are genuine. However, Chinese Medicine nutrition has been around for a long period and has been proven to have many benefits.
Foods Have Medicinal Properties
According to Chinese Medicine nutrition, food and medicine are connected. For instance, a pineapple is food, but it can be used to produce a therapeutic effect in summer because of its high water content.
The Four Divisions
Food is categorized into warm, hot, cold, cool, and neutral the classification has to do with the effects the food has on the body. Continuous consumption of a single type of food creates an imbalance in the body. For instance, if you indulge in excess cold foods, your skin will turn pale, and you might experience weakness.
Observe the Seasons
Chinese Medicine nutrition recommends diet changes according to seasons. For instance, summer is characterized by warm weather; therefore, we should eat foods that cool our bodies. An excellent way to follow this approach is to pick seasonal foods.
Chinese Medicine Nutrition for Summer
The heat in summer makes it hard for the digestive system to function properly that is why it is advisable to stick to light foods.
Below are some of the foods we recommend for summer:
Cooling foods dispel the heat and provide numerous nutrients. If your body has too much yang, you might experience perspiration, constipation, red face, headaches, and thirst. To counter these symptoms in summer, Chinese Medicine nutrition incorporates foods such as dark leafy vegetables, lettuce, and spicy foods.
Green leafy vegetables are recommended because they are 80% water. They are easy to digest and assimilate which cools the body almost instantly. Their water content hydrates the body inside out; the cells do not dehydrate, and the skin is kept supple and protected from the harsh conditions.
Lettuce alleviates heat because of their mild bitter flavor. According to Chinese Medicine, lettuce is good for the liver and helps to detox the body. The high amount of fiber in Romaine lettuce helps to clear the digestive system and prevent any complications.
It might seem contradictory to include spicy foods in this list because they warm the body; however, foods like pepper make you sweat, and as evaporation take place, you experience the cooling sensation. Spicy foods kill food-borne microbes which thrive in warm conditions; this means that those who consume them are less likely to experience stomach upsets.
Fruits are delicious, contain a lot of nutrients, and cool the body instantly. Watermelons, pineapples, mangos, and tangerines among others hydrate the body and provide you with energy.
Fruits like watermelons not only have high water content but they are full of antioxidants which protect the body against the harmful Ultraviolet rays. Strawberries, on the other hand, are rich in vitamin C and phytonutrients which prevent sunburn.
During summer, our bodies lose a lot of water – that’s why the Chinese Medicine nutrition recommends regular hydration. One of the best ways to do this is by drinking enough water which is not only cheap but contains no chemicals. Water helps in digestion and prevents constipation which can cause severe conditions such as hemorrhoids.
If you do not like the taste of plain water, you can try mineral water or fruit smoothies but avoid artificial sweeteners because of the high chemical content. You can increase your water intake by sipping some before meals and replacing sodas with mineral water.
The reason Chinese Medicine nutrition favors green tea is that it has been used for a long time. It cools the body and has medicinal values; for instance, it increases energy and improves liver functions. Its bitter-sweet flavor helps to cool the body, reduce heat, and detoxify the digestive system. This helps to control the passing of pungent gas and constipation. Green tea is ideal for summer because it prevents headaches and dry skin.
This tea reduces fatigue and lethargy caused by hot weather. Theanine a natural element contained in green tea induces a calming effect in the body. Green tea does not only protect the skin from Ultraviolet radiation, but it also increases the resistance. The numerous antioxidants help in skin elasticity which reduces damage.
Reaching for an iced cup of green tea on a hot day cools the body; however, a warm cup triggers sweating which cools the body immediately. Some people lose appetite during the summer because of exhaustion which makes their bodies to lose nutrients. Green tea hydrates and restores vitamins and nutrients.
According to Chinese Medicine nutrition, your cooking needs to be light, for instance, steam your vegetables. Sautéing helps to maintain the food’s vitality which is necessary especially in summer. Remember to include more water and reduce the amount of salt you usually use to avoid dehydration.
Chinese Medicine nutrition encourages healthy eating during summer and other seasons. You should focus on foods that cool your body like fruits, water, and vegetables. The best way to recognize cool foods is to identify the effects they have on your body. You should avoid dry foods because they cause constipation. Adopting Chinese Medicine nutrition will help you to have an enjoyable summer because the diet helps to fight the harsh conditions.