Summer is officially underway. According to Chinese Medicine this very Yang season is ruled by the ‘fire’ element which controls the heart, small intestine, mind, and spirit. I always recommend increasing antioxidants during the summer months to protect you from summer sun and nourish the heart.
During the summer months Chinese wisdom recommends waking early, going to bed late, and resting in the midday. Avoid excess fats in your diet in preference for fruits and vegetables. Chinese medicine routinely uses food for its medicinal properties.
The ideal drinks for summer are: chrysanthemum tea, and mung bean tea. You can find chrysanthemum tea in any Chinese grocery store. Mung beans, tiny green beans, have a special cooling quality. You can make a drink from mung beans by boiling washed beans. The resulting green-colored liquid can be cooled and refrigerated. It is best to avoid excess ice -though it is appealing as a quick cool down. Too much ice can weaken your digestion and cause diarrhea particularly common in summer months.
Great food combinations for the small intestine are brown rice, lentils, and sunflower seeds. These can be mixed together in equal parts with one and a half times the amount of water and simmered slowly for about 45 minutes. The resulting concoction makes a great meal. Other great foods for the summer are green leafy vegetables, especially endive, watercress, and escarole. Cucumbers, citrus, avocado, and melon are also especially good. Cut back on meat, fats, and fried foods during summer months.