5 spices that must be consumed in moderation during summer | Health

While spices prevent inflammation in the body and help boost immunity, not all of them are suitable for summer season. There are certain spices that can affect optimum functioning of gut in some people. However, there are certain summer-friendly spices that must be incorporated in the diet for improving digestion, flavour of the food and absorption of nutrients. For instance, ginger has a warming effect on the body and also helps prevent constipation in winter, but in summer the intake of this spice must be moderated for preventing heating illnesses. Similarly, chillies in summer for many individuals may not be the best choice as it can lead to heartburn, acidity and other gut-related issues. Garlic consumption must be restricted too due to its warming nature. (Also read | Ancient Wisdom Part 23: 5 ancient spices for weight loss; how to add them to your diet)

Ayurveda doctor Dr Zeel Gandhi in an interview with HT Digital shares a list of spices that must be consumed with caution during summer months:(Freepik)


Ayurveda doctor Dr Zeel Gandhi in an interview with HT Digital shares a list of spices that must be consumed with caution during summer months:

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1. Ginger: It is called ‘Mahoushadh’ (great medicine) in Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. Yet when used in excess this spice can heat up the body system in the summer. Avoid fresh ginger in excess and switch to the dry variant (sonth), if you suffer from problems of blood and Pitta (heat).

2. Asafoetida: Hing is a common ingredient in the Indian way of cooking. This spice/condiment is excellent to rev up the metabolism. However, individuals who are Pitta (fire) dosha dominants or suffer from inflammations of blood should use this with caution in the warmer months.

3. Chilies (nightshade): Chilies have been adopted into Indian cuisine in recent times. All varieties of chilies including thin, long, green, red, and bell pepper/capsicum should be used sparingly in summer. The capsaicin present in this nightshade group causes burning and irritation. Avoid if you suffer from an irritated bowel, heartburn, or other gut-related issues frequently.

4. Clove: The essential oil constituent of clove (eugenol) is extremely hot. Cloves should be used with extreme caution during the hot climates. People who suffer from bleeding problems (Haemorrhoids, menorrhagia, epistaxis, etc.) or have a dominant Pitta (hot) body should avoid this during the hot summer months and autumn.

5. Garlic: Garlic is renowned for its intense heat, both in flavour and in its effects on the mind. This heat (Rajas-guna) is so potent that individuals seeking spiritual advancement often steer clear of garlic due to the mental challenges it can pose. Garlic is a contraindication during hot months, for Pitta Prakriti individuals and sufferers of blood imbalances.

Spices for summer

Spices are an important part of the food science. They improve digestibility and help balance the doshic-imbalances. Spices are even proven to improve the bioavailability of the nutrients present in food. Most importantly they make food tasty and hence are indispensable.

Dr Zeel shares a list of spices that can increase metabolism without heating up the body too much during summer.

Cumin, mint, dill, carom, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, fennel, coriander, chives, black pepper (in moderation), etc.

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