It’s the time of year again that every Phoenix resident dreads, Summer Heat. Too much heat can not only be uncomfortable but it considered a pathogen in Chinese medicine. If it’s heat from the sweltering city sun, or from eating lots of fried, hot, greasy foods, the heat pathogen can cause symptoms such as profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, agitation, headaches and heart palpitations.
So how can we mitigate this excess heat and still enjoy our summer activities. Luckily for us just as food can be energetically hot it can be cooling as well.
Some of the best foods to keep you cool are lemons, apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, musk-melon, mung beans (in soup), summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, radish juice, bitter melon soup, seaweed, kelp, peppermint (not spearmint) and watermelon juice. If you’re having trouble cooling off then avoid or lessen Red or green peppers, black or white pepper, ginger, cinnamon, alcohol, coffee, garlic, mustard greens, arugula, and spicy foods.
Try these recipes to help chill off that summer heat
Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash
- 3 total zucchini and/or summer squash (looks like yellow zucchini)
sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
(tip: the refined coconut oil doesn’t taste like coconut)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the grill to med/high. Place the zucchini and squash onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Place dabs of the butter or coconut oil on the zucchini. Season with the salt and pepper. You can also add other flavors like garlic, onion, thyme, etc. Have fun with it! Once you’ve added everything to the zucchini and squash, seal the foil and place on the grill. Cook 15-20 minutes until tender.
There’s also a great recipe for grilling zucchini spears here: thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/08/grilled-zucchini-with-yummy-lemon-salt
Fresh Watermelon Juice
- 1/2lb watermelon peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
- Mint leaves
- Ice cubes
To prepare – blend the watermelon, ginger and lemon until smooth. Mix in pitcher with fresh mint and ice cubes to serve.
Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, Masters of Science in Integrative Medicine Research