Why it is important to eat bitter foods in summer
In all ancient systems of medicine, the flavour of foods and herbs are used with a purpose. Flavours are so important in TICM because each taste nourishes a specific organ system. Based on the Five Element Framework, each taste is correlated with a colour, elemental property, season, a type of Yin or Yang energy, and a specific organ. The five tastes are bitter, salty, sweet, sour, and pungent. When summer arrives, it is Heart season. Bitter is the taste associated with the Heart. The more you choose to include these flavours into your daily diet, the more balanced your nutrition in body, mind and spirit will be.
The bitter flavour clears heat from the body, which would make sense to eat this flavour in the warmer months. It especially clears heat from the Heart and its partner organ, the Small Intestine. Bitter also stimulates their functioning. Heat symptoms often rise up towards the top of the body and manifest into a red face, Heart palpitations, anxiety, insomnia and ulcers in the mouth. You can feel emotional, have extreme thirst and crave cold drinks. Foods like kale, dandelion greens, parsley, endive, mustard greens, collard greens, burdock root, celery, burdock root, grapefruit, sesame seeds are all classified as bitter. Bitter melon is an amazing food to eat in the summer as well. Burdock root (Niu Bang Zi) has been used for its healing properties for many centuries. It may be the greatest Blood purifier available cleansing toxins and removing impurities from Blood.