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Summer is here so is the unbearable scorching heat. If you've noticed that recent summers have felt particularly hot, you're not wrong. According to reports, summer 2021 will be hotter than normal, with the hottest periods in early and mid-June, early to mid-July, and early to mid-August.
From heart stoke, sunburn to food poisoning and hay fever, the summer season brings various health issues. However, worry not, because you can prepare for a better summer by choosing the right and healthy choices, such as wearing cotton-loose clothes, consuming cooling foods, avoiding alcohol and so on.
Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine, believes food, when consumed according to our personal and physiological needs, acts like a medicine balancing our metabolism and promoting vitality . As Ayurveda point out, summer is the season of pitta - one of three doshas known to govern the metabolism and controls how we digest food.
Therefore, it is advised that one should keep cool and not allow pitta dosha to become aggravated during the summer season. Today, we will help you with some ayurvedic tips and tricks that can make your summer a bit more comfortable and less hot.
Ayurvedic Tips To Keep Yourself Cool This Summer
1. Avoid 'Hot' Foods
In summer, try avoiding foods that will heat up your body. Avoid sour fruits, citrus fruits, beetroots, carrots, and red meat to increase body temperature. It'll be best if you limit the consumption of garlic, chilli, tomato, sour cream and (salted) cheese as well, as these are all foods that can make you feel hot .
2. Eat Pitta Balancing Foods
Ayurveda experts say that during the summer season, eat foods that cool your body and give relief from excessive heat . Consume more water-rich fruits like watermelon, pears, apples, plums, berries and prunes. Add leafy greens, coconuts, cucumbers, yoghurt, cilantro, parsley, and alfalfa sprouts to your dishes for relief.
3. Avoid Hot Drinks
Drinking hot beverages during the summer season is a big no-no. It can upset your pitta and cause indigestion and other digestion-related issues. Always drink beverages at room temperature to balance your pita .
4. Avoid Heavy Exercise
It is best and healthy to exercise early in the morning during the hot summer season as it is the coolest part of the day . Doing heavy and rigorous exercise during other parts of the day will warm up your body, resulting in fatigue and weakness.
5. Eat At The Right Time
According to Ayurveda, your digestive fire is at its strongest during lunch (mid-day). So, it is advisable not to skip your lunch during the summer season as it can leave you feeling irritated throughout the day.
6. Avoid Ice Cold Drinks
Well, what better way to cool down your body that a glass of ice-cold water, right? Wrong! Ice-cold drinks only inhibit digestion and worsen your metabolism because, according to the Ayurvedic explanation of it, drinking extremely chilled drinks puts off the ama or the fire responsible for converting food into energy; this, in turn, causes indigestion .
7. Use Coconut Oil In The Morning
Rubbing coconut oil on your body before taking a bath in the morning during the summer season helps with the heat . The coconut oil can help produce a calming, cooling and soothing effect on the skin.
8. Use Essential Oils
Using sandalwood and jasmine essential oil on your temples, eyebrow centre, throat centre, wrists, and belly button has been said to help calm your pita, especially during the summer season due to their cooling effect.
Some other ayurvedic tips for a cool summer are as follows:
(9) In the evening before bed, wash and dry your feet.
(10) Wear light, breathable clothing (cotton).
(11) Skip harsh skin treatments (peeling, excessive exfoliation).
(12) Practice cooling poses/breath exercises such as Sheetali breath (pranayama).
How to do Sheetali breath/Sheetali pranayama?
- Sit in any comfortable posture.
- Place your hands on the knees.
- Close your eyes and roll up the tongue and shape it as a tube.
- Inhale maximum through the tongue.
- Take the tongue inside the mouth and close the mouth.
- Slowly exhale through the nostrils, remaining aware of the area used for smelling.
- Repeat four times.
On A Final Note...
From an Ayurvedic perspective, summer is governed by pitta dosha, the physiological energy that regulates our body's temperature systems. To have a summer that is a bit less hot, make sure you follow the tips and tricks mentioned in this article.