Foods To Keep You Cool In The Summer Heat

Foods to Keep You Cool

fresh water splash on red watermelon

During the summer heat, we are constantly trying to find ways to cool our bodies down and stay comfortable. Chinese Medicine teaches us many ways to stay cool and expel heat from the body. Resting, drinking water, and taking it easy are all actions Chinese Medicine recommends. However, there is one action we can take that we would never suspect to have anything to do with Chinese Medicine and involves the local grocery store.  Fruits and vegetables are foods to keep you cool this summer.  That’s right!

In traditional Chinese Medicine, all foods have a temperature and energetic properties. The ancient Chinese regarded food as medicine, and often used it and its healing properties to build up the body’s deficiencies, cleanse the body of toxins, and release the body of excess. Because summer is the season of maximum yang, the focus is to keep the body cool and hydrated by consuming cool, yin foods that are moistening to balance the heat. These foods help cool the body’s internal temperature as well as reduce the impact of hot weather on the body. Their cooling properties clear heat and help to generate body fluids, as well as reduce toxins in the body.

According to Chinese Medicine, several of the foods that are great for regulating body temperature during the summer also grow abundantly during the season. Water-filled fruits and vegetables, like melons, celery, cucumbers, peaches, asparagus, berries, lettuce, as well as other food items, are plentiful during this time. Not only does this give us plenty to eat during the season, but a variety to choose. These light, cool foods help to moderate the heat and fire in the heart during the days leading up to the summer and throughout the summer season in its entirety. Though most vegetables and fruits are cooling, eating them raw is best to take advantage of their cooling properties. This means now is the perfect time to indulge in salads full of raw fruits and veggies. A very tasty, not to mention, very cooling and hydrating treat for the body!

Foods to Keep you Cool This Summer:

  • Apricot
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon
  • Peach
  • Cucumber
  • Orange
  • Asparagus
  • Sprouts
  • Bamboo
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • White mushroom
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Watercress
  • Seaweed
  • Mung beans
  • Cilantro
  • Bitter gourd
  • Mung beans
  • Wax gourd
  • Lotus root
  • Lotus seed
  • Job’s tears
  • Bean sprouts

Along with eating these items, you can also try eating seafood, which is also seen as cooling. Eating more foods with pungent flavors and reducing bitter flavors will help to strengthen the lungs, which will help to maintain a normal sweating mechanism during this heated season. Make sure to avoid red meats, overly cooked vegetables, and heavy carb-loaded meals during this season, as they are warming foods and produce a large amount of heat in the body. They are better eaten during the fall and winter, not summer.

RiverWest Acupuncture is not just a place that specializes in Portland acupuncture. Our practitioners are also trained and highly knowledgeable in the use of Chinese herbs and are familiar with most of the 1,800 herbs in the Chinese pharmacopeia. If you wish to learn more about Chinese Medicine and cooling foods, just talk to one of the RiverWest Acupuncture specialists. We are more than happy to talk Chinese Medicine with you, and might even be able to suggest certain herbs that can help you feel more comfortable this summer. Contact RiverWest Acupuncture in Portland, OR if you experience any ailments this summer, and of course, to schedule an acupuncture session; our focus is bringing health and balance to our clients.

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