To attune yourself to the energy of summer, begin incorporating more spicy, pungent foods into your diet. Hot spices such as garlic, chiles, horseradish, and ginger can help bring your body’s energy to the surface, dispersing heat. Traditional cuisines of very hot and humid climates, such as Southeast Asia and parts of India and China, are spicy enough to induce sweating, thereby cooling the body. Iced foods and liquids are generally not eaten in traditional cultures as they are so often in North America. They are considered overcooling, making the body work harder to warm them up to body temperature, and thus encouraging overheating. Instead of reaching for iced foods, choose bitter foods, such as cucumbers with their peels, to gently cool the body.
As during the rest of the year, much of the summer diet should be comprised of naturally sweet foods that harmonize and provide energy in the form of carbohydrates.
Summer Shopping List
- Animal Products: beef, chicken, lamb, seasonal fish and seafood
- Beans: red lentils, red beans, tempeh and tofu, mung beans
- Grains: amaranth, corn, quinoa, rice
- Vegetables: arugula, sweet corn, green beans, basil, summer squash, garlic, okra, cucumbers, avocados, tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, chives, cilantro, snow peas, chard, sprouts, mushrooms, watercress, edible flowers
- Fruits: apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, melons, citrus
- Herbs, Spices, and Condiments: garlic, hot peppers, horseradish, ginger, fresh herbs such as tarragon, rosemary, oregano, marjoram