Top 5 Summer Foods according to Ayurveda

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The blazing summer heat has turned the city streets into ovens. It has almost become impossible to step outside without sweating through your clothes and feeling completely drained of energy. The intense heat has seemed to weigh us down, making those sun-tanned bodies and carefree summer days seem like a fantasy - which is out of reach.

Growing up, we truly enjoyed each season in my home.

Winters meant eating more dried fruits, soups, and sipping honey ginger drinks. 

Summers were all about cooling foods like cucumber salads, watermelon slices, and delicious gulkand ice cream.

But as life got busier, this practice of seasonal transition slowly faded away. My home was filled with takeout boxes instead of homemade dishes. As I got older, I realised my body wasn't as healthy as it used to be. So I decided to call my mom and ask her to help me recapture the essence of my golden childhood.

With extreme heat outside, and this being the hottest summer ever, Mom gave me a list of dos and don'ts. Here are 5 must-have summer foods for a calm and cool season, straight from Mom's wisdom.

1. Watermelon: The Ultimate Hydrator

Watermelon is a summer staple that Ayurveda highly recommends. This juicy fruit is made up of over 90% water, making it an excellent way to stay hydrated in the heat. According to the Charaka Samhita, food and drinks having sweet and cold qualities should be consumed.

Summer Foods

Watermelon is considered to have cooling properties that help pacify the Pitta dosha. Watermelon is not only refreshing but also packed with vitamins A and C, which help to boost your immune system.

Eating watermelon can feel like a burst of coolness in your mouth, much like jumping into a pool on a hot day. It's light, sweet, and incredibly satisfying. The best part? It’s super easy to prepare. Just slice it up and enjoy!

2. Aloe Vera: The Soothing Healer

Aloe Vera is renowned in Ayurveda for its cooling and healing properties. It’s not just for external use on sunburns; consuming aloe vera can also help cool the body from the inside. Aloe vera juice can soothe your digestive system, reduce inflammation, and even enhance your skin’s health.

Imagine aloe vera as a gentle, cool breeze on a scorching day. You can mix aloe vera gel into smoothies or juices for a refreshing and health-boosting drink.

3. Gulkand: The Sweet Saviour

Gulkand, a sweet preserve made from rose petals, is a hidden gem in Ayurvedic summer diets. It's known for its cooling effects and is often used to balance Pitta dosha. Gulkand not only cools the body but also aids in digestion and reduces acidity.

Think of gulkand as the perfect addition for your gut. You can enjoy it by adding a spoonful to milk, smoothies, or desserts. Its fragrant sweetness is a delightful way to stay cool and calm during the hot months.

4. Thandai: The Traditional Cooler

Thandai is a traditional Indian drink made with a blend of nuts, seeds, spices, and milk. It’s especially popular during the summer months for its cooling and energizing properties. Ingredients like fennel seeds, rose petals, and almonds help to balance the body’s heat. Thandai is cool and calming and is known for its ability to pacify Pitta.

Think of thandai as a festive celebration in a glass. It’s rich, flavorful, and incredibly refreshing. You can make thandai using Amrutam Thandai syrup at home by mixing it with milk, garnishing with dry fruits, and serving it chilled.

5. Basil (Tulsi): The Sacred Balancer

Basil, especially holy basil or tulsi, is revered in Ayurveda for its numerous health benefits. It has cooling properties that help balance the body’s heat. Tulsi tea is a popular way to consume this herb, providing a refreshing and health-boosting beverage. The Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita both highlight tulsi's ability to balance the doshas and promote overall well-being.

Imagine tulsi as a sacred healer that brings balance and coolness to your summer days. It’s an herb that not only refreshes but also protects and strengthens your body.

By incorporating these cooling, hydrating, and revitalising foods and drinks into your daily routine, you're not only quenching your physical thirst but also nourishing your mind, body, and soul. So, as you bask in the warmth of the summer sun, let these Ayurvedic treasures be your respite, your oasis, and your guiding light towards a more refreshing and rejuvenating season.


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