By Kris McIntyre & Rhian Phillips
Summer is the time of the year when we naturally want to celebrate, be social and enjoy the great outdoors. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the ‘fire element’ that is predominant in nature and the body during summer is associated with the qualities of abundance, creative expression, communication, power and strength. The fire element also governs the heart and vascular system in the body, so it’s also the perfect time of the year to deal with specific issues relating to the heart, blood pressure and circulation.
Eating locally grown, seasonal vegetables helps you adapt to your surroundings by subtly connecting you to the rhythm of the seasons. In Summer, the energy in nature is full, abundant and upward growing – so eating these kinds of foods that have a slightly bitter taste are best suited to this time of the year.
The abundant, leafy vegetables that grow in summer – such as lettuce, corn on the cob, green beans, cucumber and summer squash – have a high water content that enables them to thrive in the heat. We can stay cool by including these foods in our summer diet.
Tip: If you are not sure what grows naturally in your environment, visit your local farmers market
Summer cooking styles should be light, quick and simple – such as boiling, steaming, quick sautéing, stir-frying, grilling and barbequing. Lightly boiled, pressed and raw salads can also be enjoyed more regularly than at other times of the year.
Healing foods for summer
- Summer greens & veggies
- Dandelion tea/ coffee and chicory
- Bancha twig tea
- Grains – brown rice (long grain), red rice, quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet, red millet (Note: Roasting grains before cooking them is good in summer and healing for the heart)
- Corn and flour products
- Miso (lighter styles are best at this time of the year)
- Red lentils, black eye peas, lima beans
- Gomasio (see recipe on next page)
- Roasted nuts and seeds
- Seaweeds (to help strengthen the blood capillaries and arteries)
- Local summer fruits – stone fruit and berries (occasionally)
Try to avoid
- Burnt foods – they can create an imbalance in the fire element in the body, so be careful not to over-cook your BBQs!
- Caffeine (especially coffee)
- Excessive use of salt
- Overly chilled food & drinks – although it seems counter-intuitive during hot weather, cool or room temperature is better for you.
- Milk thistle – to support your liver
- Spirulina and chlorophyll – to flood your body with nutrients and antioxidants, while alkalising your gut
- Broad-spectrum probiotic – for restoring and balancing your gut.
- Ginseng – helps to energise and nourish the body.
- Gingko - encourages optimal circulation by helping to carry oxygen to every organ in the body.
Summer shopping list
- Love Organic Brown Rice
- Love Organic Tri-Coloured Quinoa
- Red rice
- Sesame seeds
- Love Organic Lentils (red)
- Ceres Organic Black Eyed Peas
- Lima Beans
- Seaweeds – kombu, hikiji, arame, dulse flakes, nori
- Spiral Miso
- Ceres Tamari
- Roasted nuts & seeds
HERBS, SPICES & CONDIMENTS (TO ENHANCE FOODS):
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown rice vinegar
- Parsley & other herbs
HEALING TEAS & BEVERAGES:
- Kintra Dandelion and Chicory Tea
- Bancha twig tea
- Pukka cleanse and detox tea
- Kintra Matcha Green Tea Powder
- Raw C Coconut water
- Mojo Kombucha
- Lifestream Aloe Vera Juice
FRUIT & VEGGIES:
- Summer veggies – zucchini, carrot, sweet potato, cucumber, corn on the cob, summer squash, leafy greens
- Bitter greens – carrot leaves, daikon tops / leaves, endive, chicory, lettuce, parsley
- Summer fruits – stone fruit, berries and melons (e.g. peaches, nectarines, cherries, watermelon)
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS:
- Synergy Chlorophyll and spirulina
- Broad spectrum probiotic
- Fusion Milk Thistle
- Amazonia Acai
- Fusion Energy
- Fusion Ginkgo