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Summer

Beneficial Food and Preparation

According to traditional Asian teachings, summer is a season of expansion, growth, lightness, outward activity, brightness, and creativity. In one word, summer is a yang season.

Summer time offers plenty of brightly colored fruits and vegetables perfect for creating and enjoying beautiful balanced meals. Cooking should be light with a bit of spicy and pungent flavor. When sautéing, use high heat for a very short time, and steam or simmer foods as quickly as possible. Use less salt and more water. Summer heat, combined with too much cold foods and drinks, weakens and stops the digestive system.

On the hottest summer days, try to create a cool environment (picnics, patio meals..) and serve more cooling fresh foods such as salads, sprouts (especially mung, soy and alfalfa), fruit, cucumber, tofu, flower and leaf teas (such as mint, chamomile and chrysanthemum). Common fruits that best cool the summer heat are apples, watermelon, lemons and limes. During hot summer days, hot-flavored spices are considered as your body’s own temperature regulator:

  • Red and green hot peppers
  • Cayenne red pepper
  • Ginger (fresh)
  • Horseradish
  • Black pepper

The heart and the small intestine are the most exposed organs during summer time. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine people with healthy hearts are genuinely friendly and humble. They seem to see effortlessly through problems and to find brilliant solutions.

Heart problems are the largest health problem in the US. A number of studies of nutrition indicate that heart and nervous system problems are related to the calcium metabolism. Common foods in a Standard American Diet that interfere with calcium absorption are:

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Refined salt
  • Sugar
  • Refined flour
  • Aluminum
  • Pesticides
  • Marijuana and other drugs
  • Excess protein

Nutritional suggestions for a healthy heart and a clear mind

The following foods and nutrients reduce nervousness, treat insomnia, and improve mental focus by balancing heart health:

  • Oyster shell (nutritional supplements)
  • Grain (whole wheat, brown rice and oats)
  • Mushrooms (Shitake, Maitake and Reishi)
  • Silicon foods (oat straw tea, cucumber, celery, lettuce)
  • Fruit (mulberries, lemons, schisandra berries)
  • Seeds (jujube seeds, chia seeds)
  • Spices (dill, basil)
  • Herbs (chamomile, catnip, valerian, skullcap, rose hip)
  • Animal products (quality cow and goat milk, clarified butter)


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