Summer guidelines according to Ayurveda
Learn to stay balanced and cool this summer
The shining sun is beaming its summer rays upon us, warming the earth and bearing fruit unto the plants. These days are the longest of the year, when the atmosphere is receiving the nourishing life-force energy from the sunlight.
Foods which grow natively during this season have a high amount of solar energy. This same energy which grows the plants to their maturity, fills and sustains us in these days. During the summer, our bodies require less quantity of food, and our digestive power is not as hearty. As the temperature of our environment increases, we become less hungry. We are naturally inclined to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and other cooling and light foods. The body inclines to less heavy foods such as potatoes, meat, yoghurt, etc.
When we eat fresh, organic produce grown locally to us, we’re sustained by not only the physical components and nutrients of these plants; we’re also nourished by the high ‘prana’ in these foods, which comes from the high amount of sunlight these plants are exposed to in this season. This means that we need less quantity of food, to feel energized and full, ready to be active during these long, bright days.
When the days get longer, we tend to need less food and less rest. It tends to be easier during this time of year to stay awake later, yet wake up earlier in the morning, refreshed and ready to take on the day. We’ve shifted from the state we were in during the winter, wherein we needed much more dense food to keep ourselves warm, and more rest. During the summer, the whole atmosphere becomes more active, lively and energized.
When we are consciously tuned into the requirements of the body during the different seasons, we optimize our ability to maintain our best health.
When we disregard the natural inclinations of the body, such as continuing to eat heavy, clogging foods throughout the year, such as excessive use of dairy products, meat, processed foods, nuts, thick oils and too many root vegetables--this leads to an increase of metabolic toxins, due to the weaker digestive capacity of the body in the heat of summertime. Eating these types of heavy foods during the summer places excessive burden on the digestive processes, leading to the accumulation of toxins, which in the long-term contributes to the manifestation of disease.
During this time of year, we should lean towards light foods, vegetarian diet, more beans and light grains, fresh, organic and local produce. We should also try to be active, get out into the sun, enjoy the fresh air and get into nature to truly reap the benefits of the summer season.