Pomegranate Coconut Water Pitta Pacifying Summer Drink is a low sugar herbal fruit beverage that is strongly Pitta pacifying and cooling to the body perfect for replacing electrolytes in Summer hot weather and hard exercise.
Coconut water is a very traditional hot weather drink in South Asia. Coconut water has two things going for it in summer. One, it is very cooling to the system. Its hard to describe in scientific terms what that means, but in common sense terms just think of the phrase “cool as a cucumber.” If you cut a slice of cucumber kept at room temperature and put it against your skin, even though it is not refrigerated, it actually feels cold. So does aloe vera. So does melon. Coconut water is considered the most cooling of all natural beverages
Cooling foods in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda are foods that make you feel less hot, and that are refreshing. Water is the most elegant of all cooling foods. Most cooling foods are either very full of liquid like cucumber and summer squash, or sweet, like fresh corn and watermelon, or high in fat, like whole cow’s milk, and at the same time sweet or bland, but not sour or spicy. Cold medicines, on the other hand, are typically bitter.
On the other hand if you slice a fresh green chile like jalapeño pepper, and rub it on your skin, it will feel hot. If you are freezing cold in winter and you drink cinnamon and clove tea, or eat roasted lamb, you feel warmed up quickly. Warming foods in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda are either spicy, or fleshy, like lamb or walnuts, or super concentrated, like whiskey. But even some flesh foods, like pork and turtle, are considered cooling.(Not advocating for pork or turtle, just describing a concept.)
An important key point about coconut water though is, that just as you don’t put on air conditioning in the winter, or run around in the snow without a shirt on, so also you don’t refrigerate your gut with cold foods like coconut water in winter.
Its true, coconut water is “good” for you because of its mineral content, but only in the right context.
In India or Sri Lanka 30 years ago you could not even buy coconut water in the rainy season. And if somehow you could, and someone saw you drinking it, they would assume you were suffering from some kind of severe mental illness. But from late spring to early autumn if you live in San Diego where early autumn can be the hottest time of year, coconut water is a great way to cool naturally.
The second reason coconut water is such a great summer beverage is that it is full of potassium and other electrolytes that are lost with sweating in the heat. And, if you are exercising hard in summer with lots of sweating, you also need to replace sodium. Gatorade for example, while full of artificial gunk, does what? Replaces potassium and sodium. That is why I like to combine coconut water with mineral water, because mineral water tends to be high in natural forms of sodium. Its why with if you do heavy aerobic exercise indoors in winter and need to replace electrolytes, you can replicate a healthy “gatorade” type product by dissolving a little sea salt in diluted grape juice and don’t need to rely on coconut water out of season.
There is another reason though why I like to mix my coconut water with mineral water. Its because coconut water is also very high in natural sugars. Natural or not, sugar is still sugar as far as diabetes and insulin resistance go. Most of us eat much more sugar that is healthy.
If you are running 10 miles, or doing hard physical work all day, you probably need not be concerned about this amount of natural sugar. But having a relatively sedentary job, even with daily exercise, you want to be careful. So I like to dilute my coconut water with carbonated mineral water and lime, which is really delicious. In Mexico they like adding lime to so many things, and lime, even though it is sour, is considered cooling in Ayurveda, so its a great addition.
Another great summer beverage is Pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate is astringent and sweet, and so an excellent Pitta pacifying food to use in summer when everyone’s Pitta elevates. It is also, like most red fruits, high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, as well as minerals like Potassium
But Pomegranate juice is also high in sugar, so again, I recommend 3 parts water to 1 part pomegranate juice. Pomegranate is such a strong flavor it really makes a great drink diluted. If desired, add a little Stevia in the Raw brand Stevia, which is the least bitter tasting brand.
Yet another great summer beverage is the Ayu-R-Ved brand “Pro-Pitta tea” I have blogged about elsewhere. Cooling, great tasting and sugar free, I like to use Ayu-R-Ved brand “Pro-Pitta” tea to make a delicious Pomegranate Coconut Water Pitta Pacifying Summer Drink that is lower in sugar because it is half herb tea and mineral water. Sometimes I really just add 1/4 parts coconut water and pomegranate juice so its even less sweet. I love to take this when hiking in Summer. Here is how.
Pomegranate Coconut Water Pitta Pacifying Summer Drink
- One Part R-U-Ved ProPitta tea
- One Part Coconut Water
- One Part Pomegranate Juice
- One Part Mineral Water
All you have to do is brew your Pitta tea in advance. Place 1 or 2 bags of Pitta tea in a quart of boiling water. Leave the bags in. (I cut off the string and paper tag). This will yield a strong brew. When cool, store in refrigerator.
When ready, fill your sports bottle with equal parts of each liquid, as above.
Every pomegranate juice tastes differently. So while I like equal parts of each, if its too astringent, then adjust ratios as you like. More coconut water is obviously sweeter. More Pitta tea is more herbal. More pomegranate is more astringent. More mineral water will have more sodium and fizz. If you are doing hard exercise in hot weather you may want to add a dash of salt.
copyright eyton shalom, l.ac. san diego, ca usa july 2016 all rights reserved use with permission