Late Summer Eating : Food Choices & Herbs

Late summer is the time of year where the sweltering heat of full summer is coming to an end and is what most like to call an Indian summer, the time of unseasonably dry and humid weather. The food choices we make now will decide how healthy our bodies feel and perform into fall and even winter. That is why it’s essential to start eating right, now.

The food we choose to eat now will either nourish us for the season to come or leave us deficient which I previously posted about. During late summer as it is now we see the way we have been eating all summer and if it has been healthful nourishing foods for this past summer our immunities will have built up and we will be ready for the fall and winter months. Vitamin D is an important part of summer as we need to build up enough of this essential vitamin by getting enough sun every day during the summertime to last us through the winter months. There are foods we can eat to get this and supplements to take as well to get enough but getting a little sun every day is the easiest way and builds up our vitamin D supply the quickest. Supplements are not always easily absorbed and foods containing Vitamin D will not be able to build up as well and quickly as getting some sun every day for at least an hour.

Foods that should have been eaten during the summer months are lighter and easier to digest foods such as fruits, salads, grains, and legumes. Red meat should be kept to a minimum during summer as it is heavier.

Dampness is an ailment associated with this time of year. This can cause all or some of the following symptoms.:

  • diarrhea
  • fluid retention
  • lethargy
  • gas
  • bloatedness
  • cough
  • allergies
  • poor appetite
  • malnutrition
  • weight gain in late summer and mucus in the fall

Foods that will strengthen digestion and assimilation are complex carbohydrates and protein and vegetables as well.

While starting to include more of these foods into your diet you should, at the same time, also start cutting down on summer foods such as juices, salads, fruit and raw foods. These foods have a cooling effect on the body and is not something you want going into the cooler months of the year. This will block and stagnate Qi .

Herbs that will begin balancing the body as a whole and also protect and nourish the spleen and stomach are:

  • Ginseng
  • Codnopsis
  • Dioscorea
  • Fu Ling

Carminatives such as hawthorn, licorice, citrus peel, cardamom, and ginger are all good for this time of year as well.

Soon it will be Fall so preparing the body now through choosing the right seasonal foods and herbs will strengthen and prepare the body to deal with and battle the upcoming cold and flu season.

 

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