Here’s how to cool down and chill out during summer pitta season
Summertime is Pitta season which impacts our metabolisms, digestion, mind and body.
Wait - what is Pitta you ask?
Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda for short) is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems. It has three governing agents, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Known as doshas, that are the basis of everything in the universe, and every aspect of nature is a combination of these three, including the seasons.
When Pitta becomes heightened and overheated we are thrown out of balance which in turn, effects our emotions (think anger and impatience) and our bodies (itchy or overly sensitive skin).
Here are some cool tips for keeping you chilled:
whip a nuut
Whipped coffee cream is the hottest trending drink right now. It’s deliciously addictive, but healthy? Not so. Here is our version – a healthy coffee cream pimped with nuut that we think is even yummier than the original. Whip it, sip it and let us know what you think….
Avoid foods that heat you up
When the body is already hot the last thing you need is to rev it up with spicy food. Go easy on the curries, chillis, hot peppers and salsas. Sour foods like yoghurt, cheese and sour cream all add too much heat in Pitta season.
Also limit excessively salty foods – they will leave you dehydrated and aggravate your skin. Small amounts of ginger, black pepper and cumin are ok but say no to cayenne. Go easy with tomatoes, garlic, onion, beets and spinach when you can. Alcohol has a heating effect on the body as well.
Eat cooling foods
Sweet, bitter, astringent foods are the ones to go for. Good examples are milk (heat it first and drink it warm), butter and ghee. Olive, sunflower and coconut oils are great for balancing Pitta.
Sweet, ripe fruits like avocados, cherries, plums, grapes, pineapples, peaches and mangoes are perfect. Coriander and mint are excellent and a little cinnamon is fine. Asparagus, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, courgettes and green beans are all good.
Eat at the right time
An important part of balancing Pitta and keeping cool is to eat your main meal in the middle of the day when your digestive fire is strongest. Skipping meals is also a sure-fire way (excuse the pun) to upset Pitta – notice how cranky you feel when you miss lunch.
Exercise with a splash
If you’re working out, do it at the time of the day when nature is most cool. Early morning is best. Second best is early evening. Going for a run in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest is going to aggravate Pitta. Light exercise is recommended such as yoga, tai chi, walking and best of all, swimming.
Make time to play
Balance the intensity of the heat with less intensity in your work. Build in time for play. When Pitta is out of balance we tend to be driven, demanding, impatient and we overdo it. That in turn creates more imbalance. So ease back and make some time for fun.
Turn down the temperature of the mind
As is the mind, so is the body. The most powerful way to calm down the mind and body is to build in some regular time for meditation each day. And there are many other ways to turn down the dial on that busy, frazzled mind. Listen to some beautiful music, take a walk in nature or practise some conscious breathing to soothe your soul.