Keeping Your Cool in Summer

June 24, 2022

Eva Kupcikova BSc (Hons) Lic. Ac. BAF, Chinese Medicine practitioner writes with tips about how to cope with summer heat:

According to 5 Element Theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fire element rules the summer season. Fire energy goes UP, bounces and easily spreads….like laughter, a sign of joy- emotion connected with our hearts.

We are enjoying long summer days – feeling active, full of strength and charged by the sun’s rays (hopefully!). Long days and short, late nights are easier to bear. We are meeting friends, discovering new places, flavours, enjoying travelling. harvesting juicy fruit and vegetables, conserving them and storing them for the rest of the year. Neither ice cream, nor icy water will extinguish summer fire!

It’s bitter taste that tempers the fire of summer. In Traditional Chinese Medicine bitter taste invigorates and supports our physical energies:

Basic bitter food: lettuce, chicory, lucerne (alfalfa, purple medic), rye
Bitter and spicy food: lemon peel, white pepper, leaves of radishes, shallot
Bitter and sweet food: amaranth, quinoa, asparagus, celery, turnip
Bitter and sour: vinegars

In Traditional Chinese Medicine bitter taste invigorates and supports our physical energies. It’s recommended to add food that will support body fluids such as cucumber and tomato, preventing blood from drying and subsequently clogging. It’s beneficial to add mildly spicy flavours that will cool us down through sweat and balance with the cool nature of the foods below:

Cereals – quinoa, bulgur wheat, long grain rice, couscous
Legumes – tofu, mung bean, lentils (red, green)
Vegetable – cucumber, tomato, salads, pak choi, radishes, melons, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, all that grows in the summer season
Fruit – all of it
Sprouts – garden cress, lucerne, mung bean
Fermented food
Seaweed
Herbs – mint, oregano, basil, rucola, parsley, dandelion
Mushrooms – maitake, lion’s mane, oyster
Drinks – mint water, green and fruit teas, chrysanthemum tea, nettle, Pu-erh and Pilsner beer

10 top dietary tips for summer:

Summer food is simple, spend as little time around the cooker as possible
 Adding mung beans to salads or making soup will cool us down
 Eat what summer has given us – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, currants, apples
 Enjoy green sprouts – grow your own and watch them unfurl
 Fermented food is a must so add where you can
 Experiment with bitter food which can cool the summer heat down
 Balance roasted, grilled and BBQ food with bitter salads
 Blanch vegetables or eat them raw
 Appreciate staying up late watching the summer sky
 Be joyful, hang out with family and friends, love the summer vibe.

Wishing you all an amazing summer.

Eva holds sessions at the Elysian Centre every Wednesday afternoon, from 2.30pm. Booking details in her biography page, link at the top.