When the seasons change we automatically adjust. We get out a different set of clothes, our activities change, we even change our clocks! It makes perfect sense then, that we should also change our diet. Below is a list of seasonally appropriate foods for us to consume in the summer time, according to ayurveda.
Dairy: Summer is a safe time to incorporate dairy into your diet. Milk, butter, soft cheese, and ghee are healthy choices. This can also be celebrated as "the occasional" milkshake season! Reduce yogurt, salty cheeses like parmesan, and sour cream because their sour quality increases our heat.
Sweeteners: All unrefined sweetners are good except for molasses and honey which have a heating effect on the body. Maple is a great way to sweeten anything- try it!
Oils: Sunflower and coconut oils are best. Olive oil is good in moderation,but beduce sesame, almond, and corn oil for the season. Grains: Wheat, white basmati rice, barley, and oats are good. Reduce heating grains like corn, rye, and brown rice in the hot months.
Fruits: Favor sweet ripe fruits like grapes, cherries, melons, avocados, mangos, and sweet fully-ripe pineapple and oranges. Be careful with sour fruit like grapefruit and unripe fruits. Apples and pears also have a cooling effect on the body. Vegetables: Favor asparagus, cucumber, potatoes, leafy greens, brocolli, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, green beans, and summer squashes. Avoid hot peppers, garlic, beets, carrots, and unripe tomatoes completely.
Spices: Cilantro, dill, mint, fennel, and cardamom are fine, but most spices, like cumin, ginger, black pepper, salt, and mustard seed, increase heat and should be take in moderation. Chili peppers and cayenne should be avoided completely.