Eating Well for the Summer Season
We strongly believe in using food as medicine. There are foods we should be eating in different seasons, and they tend to be what is ripe and fresh during that time of year. Here are some great foods to add to your summer plates.
Fresh cilantro pops up throughout my garden
Watermelon, or xi gua in Chinese medicine, is the perfect food for summerheat. With its high water content and some sugar, it can help replenish fluids lost on hot summer days. While it is best to start eating it before you overheat, it can be beneficial if you are struggling with heat exhaustion. It also has a high concentration of lycopene and eating it before sun exposure can help negate the effects of harmful UV rays.
Steeping a tea made from corn silk, or yu mi xu, can also help with summerheat. It helps with swelling and edema and some studies have shown benefits for cardiovascular and kidney health.
Job's Tears or Chinese Pearl Barley
Job's tears are a pearled barley that can be used in soups, side dishes or dessert. They are cooling and drain extra fluid. They can also be sipped on as a tea, often with mung beans.
Fresh basil ready for a caprese salad
Mint, dill, parsley, basil and cilantro are fresh and abundant this time of year. Using aromatic fresh herbs can actually stimulate digestion, which is often sluggish on hot humid summer days. They can support liver function if you are also indulging, so swap out a margarita for a mojito or mint julip.
Kale is easy to grow for most of the year, even in Michigan
Bitter Salad Greens
Summer is the (only) time to enjoy our fresh salads. The raw and cold can be hard on your digestion. Let the greens sit out for a little while so they are not so cold and add in warm chicken or warm meets to create some balance. The bitterness also helps balance the fire phase of summer.
Blackberries ripening at the end of summer
Garden Fresh Produce
Eating fresh squash, cucumbers, melons, and berries are perfect in the summer. Our digestive fire is strongest in summer so now is the time to eat what you can pick in your own backyard. Check out local farmers markets or you pick orchards and try some new foods, like fresh apricots or bitter melon.
We use zucchini as a side dish, in muffins/baked goods and in place of noodles