Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

"Cool" tips for the summer heat !

Have you noticed there are certain foods you prefer to eat when it's hot? Like a juicy watermelon or a fresh salad... And other foods that are reserved for the winters?

The concept of "heating" or "cooling" the body, based on the seasons and one's constitution is very inherent in Ayurveda & Chinese Medicine.  Eating the right foods in accordance to the seasons act as natural "air-conditioning" or a"heating" system that balances your body temperature.

What comes to mind when we say "cooling" foods?
Ice cream, iced capps...or watermelon?
Foods that cool your body down aren't necessarily foods that are cold.  In fact very cold food & drinks can actually put more of a burden on your body which needs to heat them up to body temperature which requires more energy.  Certain foods, once digested, actually help cool your body down. If you can incorporate these foods, and reduce "heating" foods on hot summer days, you will not only be doing your body a favour, but you will feel much better as well!

Summer, in Ayurveda is considered as the "Pitta" season.  Ayurveda recognizes each individual's constitution, and suggests lifestyle & diet that balance the constitution. During summer you can reduce Pitta heat within your body by adjusting your diet accordingly.

Some suggestions on COOLING foods:

  • Fruits: sweet juicy fruits (cherries, grapes, plums), melons, apples, pears, dates, figs, limes... 
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peas, zucchini, squash, celery, cucumber, okra, leafy greens...
  • Legumes: mung beans, most lentils, kidney beans
  • Grains: rice, barley
  • Nuts: Coconut, Almonds (without skin)
  • Oils: Olive, Coconut
  • Sweetners: maple syrup, coconut syrup, rice syrup
  • Herbs & Spices: mint, coriander (leaf & seeds), dill, fennel seeds, cardamon, cumin, saffron 
  • Favour flavours that are: sweet, bitter, astringent
*note: for a more extensive list visit: http://lifespa.com/summer-grocery-list-pitta-reducing-diet/

Try incorporating these tips to REDUCE summer HEAT:

-Avoid ice cold drinks (drink room temperature, or slightly chilled)
-Ensure adequate water intake and electrolytes
-Avoid intense exercise or being in full sun during the hotest part of the day
-Limit excessive salty, sour or pungent (spicy) foods: dry ginger, mustard seeds, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper 
-Avoid deep fried & heavy foods
-Start the day with a cold shower
-Yoghurt is actually heating for the body so best to make lassi (diluted yogourt which is cooling)
-Wear clothing that is loose, comfortable, and made of natural fibre

Try one of these COOLING RECIPES, and let us know how you feel !

Watermelon Mint "Aid"

  • 1/2 small watermelon
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 key lime
  • Maple syrup to taste
  • Pinch of salt if desired
Blend together briefly in a blender and add water to dilute it.  Pass through a strainer and enjoy!
This is a refreshing natural electrolyte drink sure to please all !

Sweet Rose Lassi

Watermelon-Mint Smoothie
  • 2-3 cups diced seeded watermelon
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
Blend the watermelon and mint leaves to a smooth purée and serve cool, garnished with the sprig of fresh mint.
- See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/ayurvedic-diet/beat-the-heat-with-an-ayurvedic-diet.html#gsc.tab=0
  • 1/3 cup yogourt
  • 1 cup water
  • Add a pinch of ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Rose water
Stir together until well blended and enjoy. This is a cooling and exotic tasting drink that is delicious !

Please remember that everyone's constitution is different.  Some individuals will need to reduce heat more than others.  If you are interested in learning more about your constitution and what diet is best for you, schedule an appointment with us ! 




















  • 1 part cold yogurt
  • 3 parts water
  • Pinches of cardamom, sugar and Organic Rose Water
  • - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-recipes/beverages/lassi.html#gsc.tab=0
    Watermelon-Mint Smoothie
    • 2-3 cups diced seeded watermelon
    • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, washed
    • 1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
    Blend the watermelon and mint leaves to a smooth purée and serve cool, garnished with the sprig of fresh mint.
    - See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/ayurvedic-diet/beat-the-heat-with-an-ayurvedic-diet.html#gsc.tab=0

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