In Chinese Medicine, Summer is a yang season, a time when the body undergoes vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes. It is a fire element. Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives. Top priority should be given to supporting the heart, mind, and spirit to stay healthy in summer. The main organs associated with Fire: Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine, and Triple Heater.
Emotionally, when the fire element is balanced, sensitivity and expression, true fulfillment and the equilibrium between heart and mind are our greatest rewards, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm, and sleep is sound.
Cardiovascular exercise serves you especially well during summer, because fire rules the heart and circulation of the blood. Fire also rules the small intestine, which in traditional Chinese medicine is intricately connected with the heart. The small intestine transforms the foods we eat into usable components, which go directly into the blood. The blood moves to the heart and is circulated through the rest of the system. If you feed your body toxic food, the small intestine is unable to pass on good nutrients.
Eating for summer
It is the perfect season to introduce some cool, yin foods into your diet, to clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids.
In general, cooling foods tend towards the green end of the spectrum – lettuce, cucumbers, and watercress are some of the coolest. Few vegetables are warming. Fish and seafood are also cooling, while most meats are warming.
• Bok choy
• Chinese cabbage
• White mushroom
• Snow peas
• Summer squash
• Mung means
If you are fire deficient: lack of activity
• eat cooling foods, such as cucumber, sprouts, watermelon, apples, lemons and limes, dandelion greens, almonds and scallions, and cooling foods like cucumber, sprouts, watermelon, apples, lemons and limes. Avoid heavy foods dairy, greasy, fried foods, meats, eggs and oils.
Remember simple, fresh and cooling foods are the key to eating well and feeling well this summer!
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