Summer has arrived! In Chinese Medicine, the summer season corresponds with the Fire element in Chinese Medicine. Fire is the most yang element, the most active and outward enegery. During this time, the temperature outside rises as does ours. But the heat does not mean you should stay inside! Instead, go out and get that Vitamin D! The solar energy is perfect to enjoy the outside sports we cannot during the colder months. So, go outside and take that hike or swim. Go exercise and live in nature.
This is the perfect time of year to eat more raw and cold foods. This does not mean eating salads and drinking ice cold water all the time. Everything in moderation! But it does mean that you can start eating more of these foods. Cucumbers, lettuce, fruits, these are all in season but just remember to keep a balanced diet. Foods have both a yin and yang quality to them, fruits being more cooling (yin) and meats are more heated (yang). Remember to eat lots of cooling foods when the temperature outside is warm and fewer dairy products and meats, especially the fried ones! Remember also, keep hydrated! Water is key to keeping the Fire element balanced this summer. Bitter is the flavor of the Fire element. But just by eating bitter foods will not balance your heart, in fact too much bitter foods will injure it. It is more about balancing the heating aspect of your body, because the bitter flavor drains the heat. But again, balance is key and if you eat all five flavors, your body will be well balanced.
Since summer is the season the Heart and Small Intestine in Chinese Medicine, it is important to keep an eye on your cholesterol and digestion health. For the Heart, I suggest you read Chris Kesser’s blog. He is also an acupuncturist who has written impressive articles on all things health. Go here to read his blogs on cholesterol.