There’s a concept called “Like Increases Like” in Ayurveda, an ancient form of holistic medicine. As a health science that follows nature, it’s quite logical, really. Everything in the universe–the foods we eat, the things we do and the environment we live in have a heating or cooling effect on us. And for starters, each of us has a certain amount of natural heat (or fire) in our body, too. Some of us more, some of us less. The sun rays and temperature in the summer are heating. When we do or eat too many heating things for an extended period of time (especially in hot weather), we may overheat ourselves. Naturally, our bodies have built-in cooling mechanisms to keep us from overheating. One example is that in the summer, we tend to look for cooling things, such as a watermelon or a coconut, and put cucumber slices in the water we drink. Even though, nature has come up smart ways to keep us in balance, we need to listen to these cues. Here are 5 simple things you can do to help with the balancing process this summer:
1. Avoid exercising and doing vigorous activities in the middle of the day
Especially running outside. Opt for the cooler parts of the day; the morning is perfect.
2. Limit the intake of hot, spicy foods
I know you’re probably not thrilled about this but as you can imagine, hot, spicy foods further increase the heat in your body so beware of how much you eat of it, especially when it’s scorching hot outside. Unless you have a special health condition that calls for pungent tastes, savor these foods in moderation.
3. Go easy on salty and sour foods
Yup, you’ve guessed it! They too increase the heat in your body.
4. Drink plenty of water
This is a no brainer – whether it’s water or watermelon, just get lots of it to avoid dehydration (and remember to eat watermelon by itself!). One little trivia for you: you need to stay hydrated even when you’re swimming. Amongst other things, dehydration, even by levels as low as 17 oz (just over 2 glasses) increases cortisol levels (stress hormones) in your body so nip it in the bud. Cool your water with cooling ingredients, such as cucumber slices, rather than ice.
5. Give blood
The end of the season is a great time to give blood if you’re healthy and able to donate. Please consult your physician before considering giving blood.
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