Tips for Summer Health

MICHELLE BRODIE

The Fire Element

In Chinese tradition summer is the season of the element Fire and it is the time of the extreme dry heat that we have been experiencing.  It is expansive and lifts our Qi upwards, which means that we can experience more energy and motivation to move and exercise.  When Summer Heat becomes too strong, however, it can begin to consume our Yin, or the cool aspect of our nature, then we become too hot internally.  If we have insufficient Yin, we can experience dry skin, sore tight muscles, and sleep difficulties, as we are too hot to sleep at night.

Late Summer

As the summer season moves on, we shift into the fifth season of the year, Late Summer.  In the Chinese tradition, Late Summer is the time when Summer Fire becomes Damp Heat, and we experience the damp humid heat that the summer storms bring.  This season relates to the Earth Element, and Dampness predominates.  Here we can experience a sensation of heaviness, bloating, poor energy, and brain fog.

To balance out the Dry Heat and then the Damp Heat of the external seasons, we use our food to generate Yin fluids, coolness and movement in our internal environment.

Summer is a good season to:

  • include Yin foods such as all the plant foods: vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and nuts
  • nourish the cool aspect of our internal environment, increase intake of vegetables, especially the dark green leafy vegetables
  • help the body to move dampness out,increase the intake of legumes, such as chickpeas, mung beans, and lentils.

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