Stay Cool as a Cucumber!
With the summer solstice around the corner, it’s the perfect time to plan for how to stay hydrated and cooled down during the hot months ahead. An easy way to start is with cooling Cucumber Water.
According to Ayurveda, cucumbers are one of the most cooling foods. Of course, you might be one of the many people (especially those with vata problems) who have difficulty digesting cucumbers. In that case, the best approach is to sip cucumber water rather than eat the full vegetable—a way to get cucumber’s benefits without the burps! You may want to scrape out the seeds, which some say is the problem. You might also peel the cucumber—sometimes grocers wax their skins, which makes them even harder to digest.
Cucumbers are mostly water and fiber, but they do have some other nutritional benefits. They are filled with antioxidants and are even said to help keep prostate cancer at bay.
Sometimes I add a few slices of lime to my pitcher of cucumber water. There must be thousands of blogs about the value of using lime and lemon to help regulate the body’s pH factor. I feel I should add that some medical experts dismiss this idea. I’m no expert in nutritional science, but I know that occasionally I love the taste of that lime.
According to Ayurveda, lemon and lime are both acidic, making them heating and problematic for people with pitta problems. All sour foods increase pitta, which means they will actually make you hotter in the summer! However, because lime has a sweet aftertaste— what Ayurveda classifies as a food’s vipak—it is less heating than lemon. When taken in moderation, lime juice has great benefits. It helps ignite digestion, and it supports the liver in releasing toxins. So, adding a slice of lime to a Cucumber Water you’ll drink a half-hour before a meal is an ideal way to use lime. Or just add a spritz of lime on your soup, salad, or vegetables. Drinking water with lime all day may give you a touch of acid indigestion, as it has me at times!
Enjoy this easy Cucumber Water instead of sodas and other sugary liquids this summer. You may even lose some weight while keeping cool!
P.S. For more ideas on staying cool, check out Seven Ways to Stay Cool This Summer.