Which Ayurvedic Foods and Drinks are Best for the Summer?

Date Posted:2 April 2012 

Most people are familiar with or have at least heard of Ayurvedic foods and natural herbal remedies. These remedies, unlike most commercial medications found in pharmacies and supermarkets, cure medical conditions and problems without causing harmful negative side effects. However, there is more to Ayurveda than simply taking an occasional Ayurvedic remedy from time to time. By eating the right Ayurvedic foods for any given time of the year, one will be able to keep his or her body balanced and in good health.

Drinking Right

Even regular medical practitioners recommend that a person drink at least eight cups of water every single day. Water is vital to one's health. It flushes toxins from the body and hydrates the body so that it can function properly. Unfortunately, many people do not drink as much water as they should. On a hot summer's day, the temptation to reach for a cold soda can be quite strong. However, it is important to remember that while water builds up the body and strengthens it, sodas tear down the body's immunity to sickness and do nothing to boost one's immune system.

Ayurveda not only teaches the importance of drinking plenty of water but also drinking water at the right temperature. Ice cold water should be avoided, as it has a negative impact on one's resilience. Those who drink ice water too often will find it more and more difficult to handle the hot weather. Such individuals will then spend most of the summer indoors, fail to get sufficient exercise, and then wonder why they feel sick and lack energy. Too much ice water also causes bloating of the stomach.

While there is hardly anything more refreshing than cold water on a hot day, water does not have to be ice cold in order to cool one's body temperature in the hot summer. Ideally, water from the refrigerator should be allowed to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes before one drinks it. Water left in a cool room can be drunk immediately and will in fact be just the right temperature.

Juice is also important. While it should never take the place of water, it can help to not only provide nourishing vitamins and minerals but also balance out the Pitta dosha, which is the dosha that is prevalent during the summer. One can either buy organic juice at a health food store or buy organic fruits and vegetables and make home made fruit juice with a juicer. Some juices that are particularly recommended are watermelon juice, lettuce juice, and fresh cucumber juice. Juices from any of the fruits listed below are also suitable.

Fruits and Herbs

While ice cream is most people's favorite snack over the summertime, commercial ice cream sold in regular stores contains not only a lot of sugar, but also many chemicals that have a serious negative impact on the body. Needless to say, ice cream and other commercially sold frozen treats will do nothing to balance the doshas. These foods may taste great but should be avoided for the most part, as they also contain a high number of calories and lower one's immunity to sickness.

Fruits are ideal for the hot summer months. They cool the body and provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will keep one looking and feeling healthy and young. However, it is important to realize that not all fruits are suitable for all times of the year. Strawberries and peaches, for instance, should not be eaten over the summer. They aggravate the pitta dosha and will cause an imbalance in one's body system. Instead, one will want to eat plenty of grapes, cherries, melons, and mangoes. Adding a touch of whipped cream to these fruits is a good idea; whipped cream not only makes the fruit tastier but also helps to reduce the pitta dosha in one's body.

Using the right herbs in one's food is also important. Herbs may be small, but they do wonders in keeping the doshas in balance. Some herbs that are particularly good for keeping the Pitta dosha in balance are watercress, mint, and cilantro. Some people who do not enjoy drinking much water have found that adding a small sprig of mint to the water makes it more palatable. Mint, watercress, and cilantro can also be added to the various foods that one eats over the course of the summer.

Change of Diet

For most people, the above recommendations represent a large change of lifestyle and diet. Unfortunately, many people are used to eating foods and drinking beverages that are unhealthy. Such foods and drinks also cause a serious imbalance of the doshas. The results of a poor diet are that one will feel bloated, sick, and fatigued.

It has been wisely said that the only way to change a bad habit is to understand what the consequences are for continuing in the same routine and what the benefits are of changing the habit. Those who have tried Ayurvedic natural herbal remedies and Ayurvedic foods have found that while it is difficult to make the switch, it is more than worth it. Eating the right foods and drinking the right beverages keeps the doshas in check, which gives the body more energy than it would have otherwise. A proper Ayurvedic diet will also give one a high level of resilience and an overall feeling of satisfaction and contentment that can only come when one's doshas are properly balanced out.