Your journey to better health
If you have gone outside at all today, or really any day this week, you know that it is
HOT (all capital letters). It seems most of the country has been experiencing particularly hot
weather this summer. And while the heat can be good, it is also important that
you take the necessary precautions to help your body naturally stay cool,
particularly by paying attention to what kinds of food and drink you put into
your body. Here are a couple tips from Traditional Chinese Medicine:
- Eat fruits with a high water content, to help moisten your
body and prevent dehydration: watermelons, kiwis, plums, cantaloupes, passion
fruits, and melons.
- Incorporate the following cooling herbs and spices into
your daily diet: mint, dandelion greens, lemon balm, cilantro, marjoram
- STAY HYDRATED by drinking water or coconut water. You can
drink 100% natural fruit juices in moderation (think of each glass as being
like eating a whole fruit in terms of sugar content.) AVOID Gatorade and other
sports drinks, as well as all sodas. Both sugar and caffeine can have a
dehydrating effect on the body making any symptoms of heat exhaustion that much
worse. Avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated tea, or limit your intake as much
as possible. Avoid alcoholic beverages on really hot days. (For a really great
summer drink, crush up some fresh mint and squeeze a slice of lime into a cup
of coconut water. Mmmmm…)
- Drink room temperature or cool water, instead of ice
water, even when you are really hot. Your body is able to absorb this better
than really cold water and actually see the benefits in the tissues. You can
add lemon to your water to help with absorption. Sip your water, don’t chug.
- Eat lighter meals than you do at other times of the year,
more focused on fresh greens and fresh vegetables and less on heavy meats or
- Eat meals that are contain a variety of natural colors,
reflecting the natural bounty of the summer months. This aligns your body
harmoniously with the Fire element, the element of the summer season.
- On really hot days, you can use some hot spices in
moderation to help your body sweat. The sweating naturally opens your pores and
cools down your body, bringing your body temperature back to a normal level.