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Summer Nutrition Tips:

Summer brings fun in the sun, but also a new set of nutrition and health needs. As the weather heats up, people head outdoors and you need to stay cool and hydrated to keep from getting ill. Change up your eating habits with a few simple tips, but remember during the summer make sure to drink plenty of water and exercise in a cool environment. Don’t let the heat get to your head!

Grilling may be a fun outdoor activity, but it is not the best cooking method. Any time a food is blackened or burnt, it can be very difficult on your digestive system and even potentially carcinogenic. Eating grilled food once in a while is not harmful to your health, but you should avoid eating anything black and burnt.

Summer is the season of tremendous growth and heat. Heat causes extreme expansion and promotes dehydration, which destabilizes the nervous system, lowers production of digestive juices, slows intestinal movement and can lead to food poisoning and dysentery. The best advice is early to rise and later to bed, rest during midday, prevent over-heating during physical activities, drink plenty of fluids, add pungent flavors to the diet, refrain from anger, and maintain equanimity in order to prevent summer ills.

Traditional Chinese medicine usually does not recommend raw food, as it is thought to put out the digestive fire and cause stomach issues. This is particularly true in the summer; the hot weather heats your body up, leaving you more at risk of inflammation and infection. Also, cooking produce and meat makes the nutrients in food easier to assimilate for your body.

Summer Vegetable Soup

This traditional Chinese recipe is specially designed to get you through the summer months in good health. The ingredients in this soup are summer seasonal veggies – and they are cooling in nature, in spite of the fact that you are eating them in warm soup. Collectively, the vitamin – and fiber-rich ingredients in this soup help to actually cool your system. This soup helps you easily hit the healthy target of seven serving of vegetables a day, helping lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch dice

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 handful green beans, trimmed and cut 
into 1/4 inch slices

1 cup fresh corn kernels

1 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon Cleansing Spice Blend

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and corn. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tomato sauce and cook until warmed through. Add the Cleansing Spice Blend 1 minute before turning off the heat. Season the soup with herb salt and tamari to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish the soup with cilantro and chives.

May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on The Ricki Lake Show, Dr. Oz, and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post.  Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey.  To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at contact@taoofwellness.com.

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