According to Ayurveda, summer is the last season of northern solstice (Uttarayana) hence the intensity of heat and dryness is at its peak which causes natural loss of strength of body. This is also the season in which Vata dosha starts to accumulate in body and the digestion also becomes poor.
Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. Vata is considered the leader of the three ayurvedic principles in the body, the other two being Pitta and Kapha. Therefore, it is very important to keep vata in good balance. Here are 6 basic tips you must follow to keep vata in balance an to ensure safe and healthy summers:
1 . Fluids
-Since the heat and dryness in higher, it results in excessive loss of water from body.
-It is advisable to stay away from ice cold water before or after meals as it impairs digestion.
-Ayurvedic experts suggest storing water in a matka (earthen pot) to get more beneficial effects.
-It is recommended to take traditional drinks made from lemon and water, kokam, raw mango juice mixed with sugar and water, amla, sugarcane juice, coconut water, buttermilk
-It is advisable to cut down intake of coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, since they are acidic in nature and they trigger dehydration
2 . Fruits And Vegetables
-Experts suggest consuming generous amounts of watermelon, muskmelon, grapes, mango, as they are rich in water content and nutrients that fight dehydration.
-Dry fruits that are recommended include piyal seeds, figs, water chestnuts, as the have cooling effects. Avoid almonds and cashews as they can cause body heat.
-In vegetables, it is advised to include turee (ridge gourd), chichinda (snake gourd), laukee (bottle gourd) raw kashiphal (ash gourd) , suran or jimikand (yam elephant foot), sweet potato and cabbage on a regular basis.
-Add leafy vegetables like bathua leaves, amaranth leaves, rajgira leaves, gogu and spinach
-Have plenty of cucumbers, turnips and carrots in your salad as they have cooling properties.
3 . Pulses and Grains
-Experts recommend having wheat, rice, jowar and ragi during summer months as they are easy to digest, gentle on stomach and do not cause any body heat.
-In pulses prefer green gram as other dals are dry in nature and may cause indigestion. You can also have mixed dals.
-Stay away from under cooked, over-processed, deep fried and spicy food.
5 . Sun Safety
-Avoid strenuous exercise in the sun.
-Avoid stepping out in the sun during afternoon. If necessary, apply sunscreen with SPF above 30 and wear a hat/sunglasses.
-Wear thin and light colored cotton clothes.
6 . Daytime Nap
-If you are used to day time napping, avoid doing so immediately after lunch as it can cause digestive problems .
-Atleast keep a time gap of 1 or 2 hour between lunch and nap.
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