The sun is very powerful. It draws the energy and moistness out of the earth and the human body. During summer it’s wise to take good care of yourself and your loved ones to ensure you’re properly hydrated.
Excessive sweating causes electrolyte imbalance and dehydration which if not addressed, can create serious health problems. Chronic dehydration can lead to liver problems, muscle damage, cholesterol issues and more. If you think you’re dehydrated check with your doctor immediately.
Ayurveda being the science of life has explained the seasonal regimen for summer in detail. It’s designed to keep you healthy and happy in these trying, hot months. Here’s a quick overview plus some beverage ideas to help you stay hydrated. For more cooling diet tips check out the Pitta pacifying diet.
Learn Ayurveda: Summer is known as Grishma rtu in Ayurveda. This is Sanskrit for ‘the hot season’.
Sweating + Your Body Type
Pitta prakruti or Pitta body types tend to sweat a lot due to the their body heat. They are also very intolerant of a hot climate and feel most comfortable with a cold atmosphere and foods.
Kapha prakruti persons (Kapha body types) include those who are or tend towards obesity. They also sweat a lot but they are not prone to dehydration.
Vata prakruti individuals (Vata body types) generally sweat less but due to their low stamina and energy levels, a little bit of dehydration can also cause a great loss of energy.
Special attention should be given to newborns, toddlers and the elderly, as well as those with diabetes and kidney disease in summer.
1. Drink lots of water
Not drinking enough water can make you dehydrated. Drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day in summer and especially if you are active. This water should be drunk in small quantities throughout the day at room temperature.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water is like nectar on earth. It possesses Vata and Pitta reducing qualities and cleanses urinary bladder properties reducing symptoms of urinary tract infection. Coconut water increases the appetite, is easy to digest and quenches thirst.
According to Ayurveda it also possesses aphrodisiac qualities and promotes weight loss.
Buttermilk reduces Kapha and Vata dosha. It is easy to digest and is good for belly problems, piles and constipation. It is also useful for dysurea which is very common in summer. It has a potential role in anaemia.
Buttermilk increases the fluid content in the body. Add coriander leaves or cilantro to it and you will increase its cooling nature making it ideal for summer.
Quick Cooling Yogurt Drink
Take one cup of yogurt and blend with 4 cups of water, a handful of coriander leaves and a small piece of ginger. Churned in a blender with the fat removed will be an ideal low fat drink.
4. Cucumber And Lemon Juice
Cucumber is a good diuretic according to Ayurveda. Make a refreshing drink with cucumber juice, lemon juice, mint leaves and a pinch of salt. This drink will help replace lost electrolytes.
5. Milk With Cardamom
Cardamom and milk are both cold in potency. Boil three cardamom pods in milk, add organic sugar and drink when cool.
More Ayurvedic Summer Health Tips…
- The pungent taste seems to gain strength during summer and excessive intake of it should be avoided.
- Ideal fruits are sweet grapes, Indian gooseberry or amla, watermelon, musk melon, pomegranate, berries and kiwi.
- Ideal vegetables include bottle gourd, snake gourd, white and yellow pumpkins, carrots and beetroots.
- Goat meat can be used in place of lamb, poultry and seafood which are heating.
- Green gram is considered the best among the pulses.
- Wheat is cold in potency and reduces Vata and Pitta.
- Avoid tea and coffee as they tend to act as diuretics causing dehydration. Carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages also contribute to dehydration. Spicy, oily food should also be avoided.
- Preference should be given to easy to digest vegetarian food. Intake of fresh fruits and fruit juices is advised.
- Smoothies, milkshakes and ice creams should be avoided as they are usually made with incompatible foods which provoke Vata dosha.