Enduring Summer Heat

The summer brings a lot of enjoyment to most, but for some it brings the thought of I should just stay inside because it is too hot. The reason I am decided to write this, besides being asked by a friend, was to help people be able to handle and enjoy the summer this year and into the future.

I will start by telling you about food therapy as a way to help keep cool. The summer is known for being hot as well as damp. To be able to clear out heat from the body, bitter food is the best way. A lot of people will not like the taste of some of these, but you can build up a tolerance and even possibly start to like some. Bitter melon is one of the foods I acquired a taste for when I was in Chengdu during the summer. Chengdu is very hot and humid during the summer and is located in a valley, so it just lingers. One of our first meals there I was told that I should eat bitter melon to help. My first bite of it almost made me spit it back out. It really was bitter. I figured that I should at least try to get it down and actually after a couple of bites, I did not really mind the taste. I even started to notice that I was not feeling as hot a little while later. Another thing that I was told to do was drink barley tea. I did not really have much of a choice with drinking barley tea. Every place that you went served it instead of water. Asking for water was like pulling teeth. So, you just get used to drinking hot barley tea as your beverage. The tea did help to reduce the heat in my body.

Other bitter foods that will help to clear out heat are:

Unsweetened cocoa, coffee, South American mate, marmalade, beer, bitters, olives, citrus peels, dandelion greens, wild chicory, lemons, alfalfa, romaine lettuce, rye, scallions, turnip, white pepper, amaranth, asparagus, celery, lettuce, papaya, quinoa and vinegar.

Bitter foods also will help to increase your appetite. This is also good during the summer, considering that in the summer the appetite can be suppressed.

Do not over eat bitter food, because they can create nausea, vomiting or stomach discomfort.

Other foods to eat would be spicy and pungent. You are probably thinking why would I want to eat something hot when I am already hot. The reason is simple. This type of food will help to open up the sweat glands and then release the heat through these pores. You will sweat, but that is one of the purposes of sweating. Sweat comes out of the pores releasing heat and toxins, but also the fluid cools quickly and then in turns cools off the skin. Of course you do not want to over sweat, since that will create dehydration and can lead to other complications.

Some spices that are ideal to help disperse heat are:

Red and green peppers, cayenne red pepper, fresh ginger (not dried), horseradish and black pepper.

More foods that are great to eat that will help cool the body from the summer heat are:

Salads, sprouts, fruits, cucumber, flower and leaf teas and herbal infusions, mung bean soup.

Try not to eat too many heavy foods such as meat and eggs. It is important to still have them, but just not large amounts.

Acupuncture and herbal remedies can help as well. The body sometimes will be warmer than it should be. I used to be that way myself. I am originally from up north and it took me a very long time to get used to the temperature of Florida, especially in the summer. The air conditioning in my home was set at 68 degrees. Up north this is a normal temperature, but in Florida that is considered very cold. So, for about 16 years I lived this way and then found out that I could get my body temperature to regulate better and had both acupuncture and herbs. About two weeks later I had my home temperature set between 76 and 78 degrees. I felt better and save a lot of money on electricity.

I know there are many other aspects to keeping cool in the summer and plenty of web pages that can be searched to learn how to keep your home and car cooler. I hope that these will help you to keep you cooler.

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