Tuesday, October 26, 2021

8 Red Foods to Eat in Summer

Eating red foods in summer is very important. The summer heat tests your tolerance and temper, and you can get irritable and lose your head more easily. This can lead to a drop in your immunity, which can induce the onset of various diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is the idea of nourishing the heart during summer, yet it is not just for preventing cardiovascular disease. Nourishing the heart requires the eating of red foods. The health-preserving theory in TCM talks about “five colors connecting to five main organs.” Red affects the heart and blood. Consuming red foods can nourish the heart and promote blood circulation. Eating these red foods in summer will help you do just that!

Red foods benefit the heart and brain

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene can improve heart health and lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
According to TCM, tomatoes can clear internal heat, promote salivation to quench thirst, strengthen the stomach to promote digestion, prevent diarrhea, and get rid of body dampness. However, they should not be eaten on an empty stomach if they are raw because they can cause a stomachache and bloating.

2. Carrots

Carrots are viewed as being sweet and neutral in TCM. They can strengthen the spleen and are good for indigestion, chronic dysentery, and coughing. Potassium helps prevent vascular sclerosis. The various minerals in carrots serve different purposes. Quercetin can promote the blood flow of the coronary artery and lower blood lipids. Folic acid can lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

3. Beets

The nitrates in beets increase the density of nitric oxide in the blood to promote vasodilation, which lowers blood pressure. However, beets can make blood sugar rise quickly. People suffering from obesity or high blood sugar need to be aware of this.

4. Watermelon

Watermelon is a cool and juicy summer fruit. It can clear heat, quench thirst, promote urination, and protect the heart and blood vessels.
The summer heat makes you sweat, lose your appetite, and makes you more prone to canker sores. A few slices of watermelon are a tasty way to overcome these issues.

Watermelon is one of the good red foods for summer.
Watermelon is a cool and juicy summer fruit. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

5. Cherries

Cherries can promote salivation and quench thirst. The iron content helps to nourish the blood and the energy flow to the heart. People who suffer from constipation, sore throats, or hemorrhoids should avoid eating too many of them.

6. Goji berries

Goji berries are moist and neutral in TCM. They nourish the liver and lungs, and they clear the eyes. Studies have shown that the lycium barbarum in goji berries can lower blood pressure. For best results, limit the daily quantity to under 20 berries. They can be eaten raw or made into tea.

7. Red beans

Red beans clear heat and replenish the blood. The rich fiber they contain helps lower blood lipid levels and blood pressure as well as to improve heart functions.

8. Sweet potatoes

The flavonoids and anthocyanin that sweet potatoes contain are good for the brain and the cardiovascular system. Being sweet and neutral, sweet potatoes help to strengthen the spleen, eliminate edema, clear ulcer swelling and toxins, and relieve constipation due to dry intestinal conditions. They benefit the stomach, spleen, and kidneys tremendously.

Good habits for a better heart

Light aerobic exercise is a good way to keep your heart healthy (Image: Don DeBold via Flickr / CC BY 2.0 )
Light aerobic exercise is a good way to keep your heart healthy (Image: Don DeBold via Flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

In addition to diet, there are other things you can do to take care of your heart.

1. Exercise

Aerobic exercise, provided it is not too vigorous, can help prevent diseases. To avoid sweating, it is better to pick a time when the temperature is lower and the heat is not as intense. Sweating too much can deplete the heart and blood system, causing a lack of energy, palpitations, and feebleness.

2. Consume less cold food and drink

“The heart is the mother of the spleen.” The hot summer temperatures make cold foods and drinks a ready choice for most people to alleviate the heat. They may provide instant comfort to the senses, but they open the door for easy damage to the spleen and stomach. The impact of the cold deteriorates the functions of the two organs, which can affect the heart, making the body more prone to disease. When the functions of the spleen and stomach are affected, dampness in the body accumulates and it can block the meridians, inducing symptoms such as chest tightness and pain.

The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.

Translated by cc

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David Jirard
David was born in the Midwestern section of the U.S. during the turbulent sixties. At an early age he took an interest in music and during high school and college played lead guitar for various local bands. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, he left the local music scene to work on a road crew installing fiber optic cable on telephone poles in various cities. After having to climb up a rotted pole surrounded by fencing, he turned to the world of I.T. where he now shares laughter with his wife and tends to his beehives in between writing articles on Chinese culture and social issues.
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