Traditional Chinese medicine, dating back several millennia, has developed a large knowledge base around seasonal diets. What should we eat in the summer to be in tune with the summer energy and the needs of our body? Follow us.


Eating watermelon – Source: spm

Eat seasonal foods

Each season brings a particular Energy to which it is necessary to adapt, which makes it possible to prevent a large number of diseases. Choosing seasonal foods requires some effort, because today you can find everything on the supermarket shelves. The food industry has allowed us to go beyond the concept of season, but this is not necessarily relevant for our food.

Each his constitution Before giving the food recommendations for the summer season, it is useful to remember that traditional Chinese medicine has developed a very detailed grid to understand the world, the energies which cross it and in particular those which cross the human body.

Thus, we are all different, everyone should understand their own energy constitution to adopt a particular diet, according to their constitution. Hot or Cold, Yin or Yang, Emptiness or Fullness, are the description of a particular type of energy that works in a certain way. Each of us has our own constitution. There are also the five elements that influence the energy constitution of each: Fire, Wood, Water, Metal and Earth. These are particular movements that energy, or Qi, can take.

It is difficult to summarize this in a few sentences, at the risk of oversimplifying. It is really useful to take the time to get informed, to understand your own energy constitution, thus choosing an appropriate diet and avoiding chronic fatigue. This is often generated by an unsuitable diet, which drains the person of his energy.

There are, moreover, general recommendations on the food to adopt according to the seasons.

In summer, it is hot and the days are longer, the Yang is at its peak. Holidays, heat, movement and restlessness are symbolized by the element Fire. The digestive functions are often weaker because the Energy is located more outside than inside. It would therefore be necessary to eat a lighter and more digestible diet, to prefer seasonal fruits and vegetables, to avoid excessive lukewarm, hot and/or drying foods, and to avoid greasy, too rich, overcooked foods, which are more suitable in winter. And of course you should make sure you drink enough water.

Fresh foods can be eaten but in moderation so as not to weaken the digestive fire. People who are more Yin should avoid excessive raw vegetables, cold meals or frozen products. Although it is hot, it is not prudent to consume cold meals which can produce a Cold attack in the abdomen.

Seasonal fruits with an acidic and sweet flavor are particularly indicated in summer for their richness in water, they make it possible to renew the organic liquids. The “tightening” side of the acid flavor also fights in a certain way against perspiration. These recommendations are taken from the excellent book The Keys to Chinese Dietetics by Richard Zagorski and Anne Tran (eds. Terre Vivante); a very educational book which makes it possible to popularize the most important concepts of Chinese dietetics and which also contains recipes for each type of energy constitution.

drink water

Drink water – Source: spm

Should you drink a lot of water?

Should we force ourselves to drink 1.5 liters a day? Chinese dietetics takes a common sense position.

To estimate our need for drink, several natural indicators must guide us, starting with our thirst and our need to urinate. If you want to urinate immediately after drinking, if your urine is clear and if, of course, you are rarely thirsty, it is useless and even harmful to force yourself to drink.

An excess of liquids, especially cold ones, is a “load” which will tire the body and risk weakening, in the long term, the functions of the Spleen and the Kidneys. Apart from certain diseases and special cases, Chinese dietetics advises us to listen to our thirst, to avoid drinking at the table and to drink rather outside meals, in small quantities and hot if possible.

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