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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Summer - here comes the sun

The hot weather is well and truly here, so it's time to take care of our pitta. Even if your constitution is not predominately pitta you can still suffer from imbalances during the summer. Overheating, heartburn, anger, any form of inflammation are some of the signs that you have too much fire in your system. If this is the case the best thing to do is to keep cool. Go to the beach, swim in the ocean or pool, stay out of the sun and have cool baths and showers. These are all great ways to stop over heating. But don't stop there. Think about your diet. What we eat has such a major affect on our body and emotions and changing our diet is a great way to take control of our life.

At this time of the year it is best to follow a pitta reducing diet. This means you favour cooling foods, such as mint, coconut, coriander and sweet fruits.  The tastes play a pivotal role in the delicate balance of the elements that every one of us are made up of. For balancing fire sweet astringent and bitter are great. If you want to know more about how the tastes influence our mind and bodies please read the six tastes.

OK so that covers what to eat to cool down but what about foods that are heating? What will add fire to your mind, body and spirit during the hot months of summer? Well unfortunately alcohol is very heating and not good at any time for pitta and will add heat to most people during the summer. Have you ever noticed how hot you get when you sleep after a few drinks? So, sad but true, as enjoyable as that cold beer is on a hot summers day once it is in your system it will start to heat you up. Maybe that is why so many fights occur when people have had a few drinks. Other heating foods are of course, garlic, chilli, and a lot of different spices, print out a copy of the pitta reducing diet to find out more. And the tastes? Which will heat you up? Sour, salty and pungent. Have them sparingly. Again if you are not sure what foods have what tastes read my post on the six tastes.

The good thing is Ayurveda is all about balance and with that moderation. If you have very high pitta or are suffering from excess fire in your life then you should be very careful with your diet in summer, but if you are more of a watery or earthy type then you can still indulge. Limited indulgence that is. And as I always say listen to your body.  Sometimes the consequences of overindulging aren't apparent right away, it might take a few days to show up, so if you do feel some shift have a think about what you have been eating over the last few days. It might not be just one thing it could be an accululation of several. It's all about moderation, blance and awareness.