Summer- The Fire Element

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we see the seasons as being highly influential in our health. We believe it is essential to use the diet to balance the environmental elements that may create illness or disease.

Summer is traditionally a warm, energetic time of year. We tend to be busier, more outgoing in our lives and be exposed to warmer temperatures. It is a period of growth, excitement and lightness. However, there is a chance that we can become too energetic, warm and extroverted to where it can create and imbalance in our system. That can look like insomnia, scattered thoughts, speech problems, memory loss, anxiety, feeling over heated or experiencing hot flashes and acid reflux.

Both food choices and how we prepare them can help support us through this exciting season. To combat over heating, fatigue and dehydration and to encourage growth, TCM recommends increasing the following foods:

Brown Rice, Oats and Millet

Mushrooms, Cucumbers, Celery, Lettuce, Apples, Lemons, Limes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Berries, Avocados

Tofu, Tempeh, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Mung Beans

Dill, Basil, Cilantro, Chamomile, Lavender, Valarian

Examples: Include cucumber slices or strawberries in your water to give it an increased cooling effect.

(Remember, these are general guidelines and each person should take into account their own needs and ability to digest the foods listed here)*

Eating small amounts of these foods raw is beneficial (if your digestion tolerates it). Also, cooking for short periods over high heat or very lightly sautéing can keep the vegetables light and cooling. Use less salt and more water for sautéing. Keeping your cooking oils to a minimum will help maintain the light quality to the food as well.

Food is a powerful health tool and now is a great  time to re-evaluate what your body needs. Let IHD know if we can help!

*  To find out how you can personalize your plan with food, schedule an in person, online or phone consult so you can get the most benefit from your diet.