Health is multipronged and what you eat plays a HUGE part in your overall health and wellness. Let's dive into what you should eat, drink, and self-care tips for your Ayurvedic dosha this summertime!
Every one of us has an ayurvedic constitution and eating, doing, and balancing your dosha is important for optimal health. Summer is the season of Pitta dosha in Ayurveda as Pitta is associated with the fire element.
So, depending on where you live, summer heat can shift any dosha into - or out of - balance depending on your food intake and activities.
Luckily, if your primary dosha is Vata or Kapha, summertime Pitta disturbances are easier to get under control. However, if your primary dosha is Pitta, you may easily tend towards imbalance in the summertime and need a more pacifying approach to your diet.
The Vata Dosha is associated with air, space, and ether elements generally alluding to systemic coolness and dryness that cause digestive disturbances like gas and bloating.
If Vata is your primary dosha, cut down on dry and crunchy foods which absorb the little moisture that you already have. Instead, incorporate simple hydrating and warming foods.
Food Vatas Should Avoid
Dried fruits that offer no additional moisture to the body
Cruciferous vegetables that are hard on digestion
Granolas, oats, pastas
Black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans are hard on Vata digestion
Food Vatas Should Eat during Summer
Apricots, bananas, raspberries, root vegetables
Avocadoes, cucumbers, zucchini to cool off
Roasted or baked potatoes, squash, or dense, grounding food
Self-Care for Vatas during Summer
Self-massages and hydrating lotion/oil for the skin
Keep mealtimes regular and consistent
Begin your day with meditation to start with a cool, calm mind
The most important tastes to incorporate into a Vata pacifying meal are sweet in order to stabilize and build energy and salty in order to retain moisture and electrolyte balance. Think grounding, earthy, and hearty meals including root vegetables, nourishing grains, and soaked legumes. The summer heat of Pitta is decreasing Vata’s already low moisture levels, so it is very important to focus on hydrating foods and drinks. Aloe juice is a great option to soothe and hydrate a Vata disposition. It is also suggested to avoid raw foods, though they may be tempting in the summertime. Cooking your meals and sautéing in a little bit of oil will be more beneficial and hydrating to a Vata person and warm up the digestive fire.
It is also important that a Vata person plans to eat their meals and snacks at the same times every day. This provides Vata people with the stability they lack through their high air and ether qualities.
Pitta is associated with the fire element. Those who are primarily Pitta in their constitution tend to have a high digestive fire and a more “fiery” disposition.
In the summer months, Pitta can get out of balance due to this excessive heat. Pittas tend to experience emotional turmoil such as anger, or an overheated digestive system.
It is important to not allow the digestive fire to become too strong that it causes distress in other parts of your body. Pittas should focus on simple, cooling, and whole foods and avoid spicy (heat-inducing) and complicated foods. Think simple, cooling, and water-rich fruits and vegetables incorporated into lighter meals.
Food Pittas Should Avoid
Food with heating spices
Soups, stews, and heavy warming meals (like pasta or traditional "comfort" food)
Excessive alcohol intake
Food Pittas Should Eat during Summer
Favor cool meals over warm meals - especially fruits, vegetables (leafy greens!), and non-processed food
Nourishing light foods like salads or buddha bowls
Calming liquids like water, iced tea, and juices
Self-Care for Pittas during Summer
Reduce exposure to sun
Practice cooling poses and exercises like swimming and incorporate more yin into your practice versus heated yoga or long runs
Use Earthy, cooling essential oils like eucalyptus, sandalwood, cypress, or pine
Coconut water is the perfect drink to cool down an overheated Pitta person.
The tastes that pacify a Pitta person are astringent, bitter, and sweet. Astringent and bitter tastes cool down the hot qualities, while sweet tastes provide stable, slow-burning fuel.
It is also very important for a Pitta person to consume their meal more mindfully and peacefully. When one consumes their meal too quickly, the digestive system is easily overloaded. Learn how to have a Yogic Meal in this blog.
For a Pitta person, the fire will increase and can lead to symptoms like acid reflux and other burning sensations.
Kapha is associated with the earth and water elements. Kapha people tend to feel heavier in general and lack the airiness found in a Vata person. They tend to have slower digestive systems and retain water easily.
Kapha people tend to easily adjust to summer, as it relieves heavier qualities that tend to be stagnant during wintertime.
It is suggested that a Kapha person eats light and fresh meals in the summertime to assist with this idea of burning off the accumulation of winter.
Since a Kapha person has an inherently slow digestive system, eating light stimulates the digestive fire. Kapha people should focus on more pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Pungent provides the digestive spark needed to eliminate any excessive moisture in the system, while bitter and astringent draw the moisture down and out.
Food Kaphas Should Avoid
Dried fruits or heavy fruits like banana or cantaloupe
Avoid most dense root vegetables
Heavy grains like oats, rice, and pasta
Dairy due to its heavy nature and increased mucus production
Food Kaphas Should Eat during Summer
Sweet, sour, and juicy fruits
Enjoy a wide variety of spices, exotic or spicy - go for it!
Any light warming foods like vegetable-based soups or warm buddha bowls
Self-Care for Kaphas during Summer
Eat when you are hungry and avoid overeating
Include variety in your meals and your activities - mix it up! Kaphas tend to fall into inertia
Kaphas, in particular, can benefit from motivating and uplifting mindsets and affirmation. Check out some motivating and mindful quotes here
A great drink option for a Kapha person is a cool chrysanthemum tea for its light and reductive qualities.
Remember to eat your meals with intention and without distraction. Relax, offer your gratitude for the abundance in front of you, and acknowledge the different qualities within your food that support your unique body’s needs!
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