Watermelon is made up of 98 percent water—something our body craves in the intense Summer heat. Often, we spend our days lounging by the pool or on the beach, soaking up the sun’s rays. After a few hours, our gut reaction may be to reach for an ice-cold drink. But our bodies are meant to harmonize with Summer’s heat. Going too far in the opposite direction can unbalance the digestive system. So instead of drinking and eating foods that are cold in temperature, try foods that have a “cool” essence.
Watermelon is one of the most well-known foods used to cool the body in Chinese medicine. Its ability to cool Summer fevers, soothe sunburns, heal inflammation and support Heart Qi is unparalleled.
It’s easy enough to enjoy a slice of juicy watermelon on its own. But, don’t stop there! This delicious fruit can be sautéed, pickled and even juiced. Sauté the red and white parts of the watermelon in a hot wok with olive oil. You’ll be amazed at the subtle flavor this gives to just about any dish. Or pickle the rind for a crunchy snack. Finally, try juicing everything—seeds, red fruit, white flesh, and green rind (if organic). Watermelon juice can be used to treat any type of heat condition. It can also be used topically. Splash it on sunburned skin for instant relief and to promote healing.
Nature is all about balance. It brings us Summer heat and cooling foods to help our bodies self-regulate. To further boost your Heart’s Qi in Summer, give these foods a try: apricots, berries, plum tomatoes, and bitter foods, such as broccoli rabe, broccoli, bitter melon, endive, arugula and escarole. In addition, cilantro and mint are cooling herbs that can be used to enliven any summer dish, sweet or savory.
Click here for some interesting watermelon recipes!