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Are you in the Southern Hemisphere? See the January Guide here.
Welcome to July!
Summer is here! Let’s take advantage of what it has to offer.
Nature’s super cooling foods are harvested during summer to move excess heat out of the body.
This gift of extra fruits and veggies is nature’s antidote to hot and dry weather.
You may notice an abundance of fruits and vegetables on the grocery shelves or at your local farmer’s markets—these are naturally cooling, cleansing, and supportive to the blood, skin, and liver. Emphasize greens as they abound in early summer, as do berries and cherries. The super sweet fruits tend to ripen at the end of summer as part of nature’s end-of-summer cool-and-prepare-for-winter plan.
Remember that starchy foods likes grains, pasta, beets, carrots, and potatoes won’t be fully in-season until late summer, so for now, hit the non-starchy veggies.
July Seasonal Eating Tips
Eat more asparagus, lettuces, chards, parsley, baby kale, cilantro, leafy greens, and herbs like mint.
To stay satiated, eat fatty foods like avocados, seeds, nuts (like coconut, pumpkin, and sunflower), eggs, raw cheeses (in moderation), and fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
Staying cool, calm, and hydrated is key. Sip cool or room temperate water with cucumber slices, make coriander tea, drink coconut water, and eat early summer ripe fruits.
Other cooling summer teas: chicory, dandelion, mint.
My Favorite Early Summer Food: Cherries
During late spring and early summer, berries and cherries are harvested.
Both are loaded with powerful antioxidants best known in Ayurveda as lymph movers.
Cherries are the last chance of the season to capitalize on these potent lymph-moving antioxidants.
While the benefits of sweet cherries are noteworthy, it’s tart cherries that are truly the lymph’s best friend this time of year. You can find them at your local farmers market or in the frozen section of your grocery store. Organic is best, of course!
Tart cherries are loaded with phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, and other nutrients in much greater quantities than sweet cherries.
Compelling research supports the benefits of cherries. Studies suggest that, due to their superior phenolic and anthocyanin content, tart cherries may help reduce the risk of joint, muscular, cardiovascular, weight, and blood sugar concerns, as well as issues relating to memory and cognitive function.
Ayurveda says fruit should be eaten alone for optimal digestion and health.
During the summer, digestion is a little lighter, allowing you to enjoy fruit as a full meal. Experiment with this by having fruits (alone) for breakfast and see how long it will last you.
During the summer, care for both inner and outer skin is critical. Here are a couple of my favorite herbs to take during hot, dry months:
Neem is Ayurveda’s most powerful support for healthy inner and outer skin. Cooling for pitta, neem is harvested in spring and eaten all the way through October.
Neem is a boon for skin from several angles. Internally, neem cleanses protective skin of the gut wall and works to restore balance to the microbe populations living on both the inner and outer skin.
Neem oil also acts as a natural bug repellent, but always mix it will a carrier oil such as coconut. Do not use on broken skin.
Via its cooling and rejuvenating properties, brahmi supports energy and mental clarity while simultaneously encouraging deep, restful sleep.
Famous as a tonic for nerve and brain cells, cerebral circulation, memory, intestinal health, and sleep, brahmi is revered as one of the most powerful and spiritual herbs in Ayurveda.
Amalaki, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is a small fruit from the amla tree. Although the amla fruit ripens in the winter and spring and not much in the summer, it is still an effective early summer berry that can deliver many benefits for the summer months, such as delivering needed vitamin C, supporting healthy intestinal lining, and protecting the body’s good fats from oxidative damage.
Amalaki may be most well-known for its support of antioxidant activity and healthy skin via the encouragement of collagen and elastin production.
In this way, amalaki supports not only health of outer skin, but also inner skin that lines the gut, respiratory tract, and mucous membranes.
3 Summer Tastes
Eat more foods that are Sweet, Bitter, Astringent / Cold, Heavy, Oily, such as salads, steamed vegetables, fruit, and coconut oil.
Eat less foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Sour, Salty / Hot, Light, Dry, such as coffee, chips and salsa, and spicy foods.
Please print out our free Summer Grocery List. It’s simple: just circle the foods on that list that you like and give yourself permission to eat more of them.
All foods marked with an asterisk on the Summer Grocery List are summer superfoods. Eat even more of them!
Reduce or avoid the following if you have a strong pitta constitution:
- Spicy foods
- Red meat
- Yogurt or cheese
- Fermented foods (i.e. pickles, sauerkraut, soy)
It’s important to be mindful that our digestive fire is weaker in the summer, and thus we will have a harder time digesting heavy, fatty, and rich foods. Think twice before indulging in barbecued ribs, milkshakes, breads, and cheeses, as these winter foods are a challenge to digest.
Nature is cooking fruits and veggies on the vine all summer long, so the need to turn on a big furnace of digestive acid to cook foods is unnecessary.
Do your best to get:
- 50% veggies
- 25% protein
- 25% starch
For brain, gut, and fat-burning benefits, have one teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee with each meal. Olive oil is beneficial to add to your vegetables and salads and is okay to cook with if you are certain your extra virgin olive oil is pure.
Add very small amounts of ferments to each meal. Fermented foods are heating, so just a couple of olives will do the trick in summer. (Avoid if you have a strong pitta constitution.)
Avoid exercise in the midday sun. Read up on nose-breathing exercise to keep cool.
In your diet and exercise regimen, you might notice some aggravated pitta, which will manifest as lethargy, extra acid production, irritability, impatience, heartburn, stomach irritation, sensitivity to heat, emotional or irrational behavior, anger, skin irritation, and even blood sugar highs and lows.
By Emma Frisch
- Basil, Mango + Coconut Lassi
- Zucchini Soufflé + Watercress Salad
- Tomato, Peach + Basil Salad
- Rhubarb + Watermelon Fruit Salad
By Divya Alter
Prebiotics that Balance Pitta
Apples | Harvested Fall: Balances Pitta
Pectin, an active prebiotic, accounts for approximately 50% of an apple’s total fiber content. Pectin increases butyrate, the short-chain fatty acid that feeds the beneficial gut bacteria and decreases the population of harmful bacteria. It also supports a healthy lining of the intestinal wall.6
Apples are high in polyphenol antioxidants that support healthy fat metabolism and LDL cholesterol levels.7
Asparagus | Harvested Summer: Balances Pitta
Asparagus is rich in inulin, one of the more potent prebiotics. Asparagus, due to its high inulin levels and natural antioxidants, has been shown to promote friendly bacteria in the gut and support a healthy epithelial lining of the gut.8
Jicama Root | Harvested Fall: Balances Pitta (tropical)
Jicama root is low in calories and high in fiber, including the prebiotic fiber inulin. Jicama root helps improve digestive health, blood sugar, and immunity, due to its high vitamin C content.5
To see all prebiotic recommendations, read Nourish Your Microbiome: Seasonal Prebiotics for Your Ayurvedic Body Type.
- Travel Tips: Stay Healthy, Calm + Energized This Summer
- Benefits of Cilantro + Coriander in Summer
- Amalaki: The Best Vitamin C Berry
- 3 Ayurvedic Superfoods for Summer, Fall + Pitta Balancing
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