Ice cold fruit popsicles. Fresh summer salads. Cool cucumber water, dripping with condensation.
During the summer, we naturally gravitate to certain types of foods—we’re certainly not craving piping hot soups, heavy pastas with meat sauce, or even cream-based dishes. According to the the ancient Indian healing tradition of Ayurveda, there’s a reason for that. In Ayurveda, each season is associated with a dosha, or body type. Because summer is hot, fiery, and dry, it’s matched with the fire sign Pitta.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that every person has all three dosha aspects within their body—Pitta (fire), Vatta (air), and Kapha (earth). For ultimate health, all of these aspects should be in alignment and balance with each other … but when one of our doshas is out of whack due to stress or the weather or our dietary habits, we feel it physically and emotionally.
Because the summer exacerbates the Pitta dosha, it’s important to eat foods that are the opposite of fiery Pitta—think sweet, bitter, astringent, cold, and even a little oily. By chowing on these types of foods, you can keep your Pitta fire in balance. If Pitta is out of alignment, you’ll notice physical symptoms like acne, rashes, heartburn and acid reflux, low blood sugar, and insomnia. Emotionally, you’ll feel “hot under the collar.” You might be more sarcastic and impatient that normal, irritable, and more affected by heat.
To keep your Pitta in check (and your mood bright and cheery!) keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with these Pitta-balancing superfoods. Eat as many meals raw or lightly cooked as possible—raw foods are particularly hydrating in Ayurvedic medicine, and considered easier to digest that frozen foods. Room temperature juices, water, and coconut water are perfect for hydration; try to avoid ice cold drinks, as those could dampen your digestive fire and cause stomach and GI issues. Salads, gazpacho, blended drinks, and fruit and veggie crudites are perfect meals for a Pitta summer. It’s also recommended to avoid eating foods that are spicy, sour, salty, hot, and dry—stay away from things like hot coffee, salty chips, and spicy salsas.
Keep scrolling for the best foods to eat during the summer to maintain your Pitta fire.
- Pineapple (sweet)
- Plums (ripe)
- Pomegranates (sour)
- Cherries (ripe)
- Beet greens
- Bell Peppers
- Bitter Melon
- Radishes (moderation)
- Snow Peas
- Squash, Acorn
The best thing about adding these Ayurvedic superfoods into your diet? You can eat as many of them as you want!
What's your favorite Ayurvedic superfood? Share with us below!