Healthy Eating from Early to Late Summer

Chinese Medicine or CM is all about balance. In this ancient system, the key to health is to move through the world in such a way that our bodies can remain in homeostasis, in balance. This idea connects to sleep patterns, what we eat and ultimately the flow of Qi, or energy, throughout the body. For that reason, healthy eating in summertime, according to CM, is all about using cooling foods to balance out how hot it is outside. In other words, we can find homeostasis 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 pear are cooling and have strong yin energy. Summer meals should be predominately fresh fruits or vegetables, according to CM. These food groups have the strongest yin energy, balancing out the fierce yang and fire energies of summer.

Fresh vegetables that are in season in your region are also a great choice, especially cooling vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, peppers, celery, radish, carrots and cauliflower. Vegetables have the second highest yin energy, according to CM.

Summer herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley and mint are a great, healthy addition to most recipes. These herbs are also natural diuretics and heavy-metal detoxifiers, which flush excess waste from the body.

The best foods to eat vary with geography. If you live in a place where summer days are long, but not very hot and the nights get really cool, incorporate more neutral or even warming fruits and vegetables into your summer smorgasbord. These fruits and vegetables can include most varieties of squash, especially pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash, lentils and legumes, whole grains like brown rice and root vegetables like beets, potatoes and parsnips.

In places with cooler summers, or during late summer, the fifth season according to CM, diet is about prioritizing 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, including apples, carrots, dates, figs, grapes, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes and squash. These smart sugars also regulate the body’s blood sugar, which decreases the strain on the pancreas.

For those whose summer climate is hot, here is a recipe for a cooling, detoxifying water you can drink all summer long to keep yourself in balance.

Cooling detox water:

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.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Acupuncture and Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a collective group of disorders that plague nearly 50 million people in the United States today. When a person suffers from an autoimmune disease it means their own immune system is attacking the body and...

CM and Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that disrupts normal function of the epithelial cells in the body. Epithelial cells line the passageways of many of our vital organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive system and the skin.

Healthy Foods for Fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and...

Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive.

3 Reasons Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility

When you consider all the changes in our agricultural practices, the increased number of medications we take, as well as our dependence on plastic and technology that is constantly emitting low-grade radiation, it’s no surprise more couples are ...

Acupuncture for Kids

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children ...