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 since our bodies are meant to harmonize with summer’s heat, going too far in the opposite direction can unbalance the digestive system. Instead of drinking and eating foods that are cold in temperature, try foods that have a “cool” essence.
One of the best cooling foods is watermelon juice. Otherwise known as xi gua, this superfood-as-medicine has been included in Chinese herbal textbooks for centuries. Its ability to cool summer fevers, soothe sunburns, and heal inflammation in the body is unparalleled.
Of course, you could enjoy a slice of watermelon on its own. But one of the best ways to savor this healing fruit is by juicing everything—seeds, red fruit, white flesh, and green rind (if organic)! Watermelon juice is cooling in many aspects—splash it on sunburned skin for instant relief and to promote healing, and drink a glass or two to treat any kind of heat condition. And don’t just stop at raw watermelon. The white flesh can be pickled and eaten as a crunchy snack. Or try sautéing 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 anything from leftover pasta to soup to an omelette!
Nature is all about balance. It brings us the summer heat and cooling foods to help our bodies self-regulate. When you’re looking for other cooling summer foods, think about what grows naturally in your area. For example, fruits like apricots, peaches, berries, oranges, cucumbers and avocados. And vegetables like eggplant, asparagus, bean sprouts, bamboo, bok choy, spinach and watercress. In addition, cilantro and mint are two cooling herbs that can be used to enliven and cool any summer dish, sweet or savory.
Click here for some interesting watermelon recipes!