“ Let Food Be Your First Medicine And Kitchen Be Your First Pharmacy”
The ancient text on Ayurveda– the Chakra Samhita states that living beings are composed of food that they consume and the diseases are also caused by the food. Further, it emphasizes that for the development and maintenance of a positive health, proper food taken in appropriate quantities is crucial. Ayurveda– the science of longevity aims to grant holistic body, mind, and soul to all those who sincerely abide by this age-old practice. Regular exercise, optimistic thinking, and yogic diet play a significant role in keeping the health of a person balanced.
The concept of Ayurveda is centered around tri-doshas– Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person is a unique makeup of these energies that govern their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Ayurvedic teachings advocate preventive care and nourishment by harmonizing these doshas through the foods we eat. The seasons also affect the Tri-doshas in the body.
The long, hot, and leisure summer days are here. According to Ayurveda, summer is the pitta season. Depending upon your constitutional makeup the summers may aggravate your internal sense of harmony, and therefore, Ayurveda suggests that all the individuals, especially the pitta-dominated ones remain cool and not allow it to increase.
Foods consumed in accordance with the season helps promote saatva, detoxification, and rejuvenation of the body for longevity and ideal physical, mental and emotional health. Dr. Vasant Lad, one of the world’s foremost expert in Ayurveda prescribes a list of foods such as apples, pears, melon, broccoli, etc., that a pitta prakriti person can eat in order to pacify the Pitta-dosha in summers.
Another Ayurvedic proficient Dr. Tanuja Nesari, highly recommends the inclusion of foods like pomegranate, sattu, fenugreek leaves, buttermilk, etc. that are easy to digest and are healthy.
Here is a list of 21 summer superfoods that Ayurveda experts suggest every individual include in their diet for a harmonious and energized body.
- Sattu: An indigenous source of protein, Sattu is well-known in the homes of locals of India. Formed of roasted Bengal-gram, it is a natural cooler in the scorching summer heat. An insoluble fiber, healthy for your intestines, and good for diabetics. Mostly served as sharbat, sattu in any form– whether eaten with curry or as balls, is a powerhouse of energy.
- Amla: It is a popular fruit with numerous nutritional benefits. Rich in Vitamin C, it is an excellent coolant during the summers. The amla acts as a powerful body coolant that also detoxifies the body, increases vitality, and is a great antioxidant. Consume this savory bitter-sour fruit in the form of juice and jams and live a good life.
- Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter loaded with healthy fats that keep the body in good shape. The humid-dry summers make our body dull and parched. Therefore, a half tablespoon of ghee a day helps restore the internal moisture. Take ghee along with Khichdi made of basmati rice and dal that makes up for a delicious meal. Ghee is well-known to aid digestion and to modulate the activity of three doshas.
- Ginger: The ginger is a storehouse of anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in an irritated skin. Add ginger to your curries, juice, and tea as it effectively eases stomach discomfort. It also grants the recipient many other health benefits such as relief from pain, motion, nausea, etc.
- Coconut Water: Fresh coconut water works as a potent electrolyte in summers. This refreshing drink rejuvenates the body and keeps it away from dehydration. The presence of essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium assist in maintaining the well-being of a person.
- WaterMelon: Welcome your summers with water-rich fruits like watermelon, berries, grapefruit, mangoes, etc., that keep you hydrated in extreme heat and makes you feel fresh. Blend these fruits into juices or eat them raw as you like.
- Cooling Herbs: Ashwagandha, Brahmi, and Tulsi are three invigorating herbs that keep your body energized. Ashwagandha is beneficial for reducing inflammation and treating diseases like asthma and arthritis. Brahmi is known to soothe the nerves and reduce stress. Tulsi acts as a detoxifying agent.
- Green Leafy and Root Vegetables: Vegetables like sweet potato and other green leafy vegetables are alkaline in nature that reduces acidity, acid refluxes, and help secrete gastric juices that break down the food resulting in proper digestion.
- Yogurt: Yoghurt is a simple food packed with nutrients, microflora, and taste that keeps your system fine-tuned. This creamy and pleasing food reduces body fat, prevents the risk of diarrhea, decreases stomach acidity, and gives a fresh breath. There are different varieties of curd ranging from plain to flavored that you can add to your diet.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk (Chaas) is a salty-spicy drink commonly found in the Indian households. It is loaded with many therapeutic benefits that keep the body cool and digestive system healthy. In Ayurveda, buttermilk is used to cure diseases and to maintain overall health.
- Mushrooms and Tomatoes: Vegetables like mushrooms and tomatoes are inherently cool in nature and gem of essential vitamins. The consumption of mushrooms decreases the risk of obesity, heart diseases and increases energy. Tomatoes have antioxidants that nurture the body and mind.
- Aloe Vera: This warm season, protect your skin from the harsh rays of the Sun through the consumption of Aloe Vera. Thankfully, Aloe vera is a rejuvenating, healing, and soothing herb that nourishes the skin. With antioxidants, nutrients and pain relief properties, Aloe vera is a perfect food for summers.
- Soy Products: Add soy products and tofu to your refrigerator as they are a powerful source of healthy proteins. Tofu is a low-fat plant food with high portions of protein and Vitamin B. Eat this pale block-shaped food to maintain your health and wellness.
- Lassi: A refreshing drink relished by many across India. Topped with scrumptious flavors, Lassi is a healthy and immensely delicious drink that provides you with strong bones, healthy digestive system, and good immune system.
- Cucumbers: A water-based food, cucumber is extremely beneficial for overall health, especially in summers. The flesh of a cucumber is rich in Vitamin A, C, and folic acid while the outer peel is loaded with fiber, magnesium that prevents water loss and heals skin problems.
- Cooked Oats: Begin your summer mornings with a bowl of cooked oatmeals and get your daily dose of cholesterol-fighting and fiber-rich cereal. Cold Oatmeal is a nice way to refresh your mornings and it also keeps you full for a longer period of time.
- Coriander: Coriander is a cooling spice that strengthens the digestive fire without aggravating the Pitta dosha, soothes the GI tract, and removes excess heat from the body. Garnish your buttermilk and other dishes with coriander for a cooling and healthy effect.
- Legumes: Legumes are a powerhouse of fiber and Vitamin B and confer the people with many health benefits such as reduced cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and increased production of healthy bacteria.
- Barley: It is a whole grain found in bread, beverages, and other cuisines of diverse cultures. An important source of dietary fiber, barley is good for the heart and bones.
- Brown Rice: Fill your kitchen with a sweet aroma by cooking Brown Rice that promotes healthy weight, good heart health, and increases vitality.
- Rosemary: A fragrant herb with the goodness of iron, calcium, and vitamins, this herb is known to boost memory, immune system, circulation, and overall goodness.
Incorporate these food items into your diet plan and enjoy your summers in a relaxing, cooling and healthy way.