Wouldn’t it be great to have a weather channel…for your body?

How often do you use the weather channel to guide your day? You learn the pollen count is going to be high so you pop a pre-emptive antihistamine. T-storms predicted for the afternoon so you grab your raincoat and umbrella. Higher temps than you would expect for this time of year? Better take an extra bottle of water and sun hats for the kids.

Having an early warning of what you’ll face when you head outside is invaluable for helping you protect your body from the elements.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had an early warning system for the temperature conditions inside your body too?

Well, you already do! But because it’s not something we talk about much, very few of us know how to read it right.

A not-so-sparkly summer.

We tend to view summer as a time of vitality, energy and great health. But how many of you find that as the season progresses you get hit with bouts of acid reflux and indigestion, diarrhea or stomach flu, phlegm, heat stroke, or fever? Or maybe you just feel a bit wiped out and can’t figure out why.

Sure, some of these ailments will be caused by passing germs but often these symptoms are actually your body’s weather channel warning you that things inside your body — particularly your lungs, large intestine, and spleen — are out of whack.

You’ve been hit with a case of damp heat.

Late summer time is prime damp heat season, partly due to the external damp heat that we’re stepping into every day and then exacerbated by the food we typically eat at this time of year. 

When it’s hot out, nothing beats a meat-loaded barbeque, followed by ice cream, and accompanied by plenty of cold beers or margaritas. Your taste buds are in heaven — your insides not so much. It’s likely the stomach problems you put down to an undercooked burger actually have more to do with the summer time overload of meat, dairy, and sugar.

How to “dry out” damp heat.

Just as there are certain foods that make the symptoms of damp heat worse, there are those that help to dry out conditions in the body. You can still fire up the grill, but instead of going meat-heavy, try grilling some asparagus, avocado, or banana. Other seasonal fruits and vegetables like strawberries, melon, cucumber, string beans, and kiwi are good too, as are oats, brown rice, and quinoa. They’re all completely delicious and will help counteract the not-so-healthy summer foods we all love to eat.

Step away from the ice…

It’s not just about what we eat though; it’s also about how we eat it. As counterintuitive as it sounds, loading your drink with ice and eating loads of cooling salads brimming with raw veggies also make damp heat symptoms worse. As can eating your food deep-fried. So step away from the ice dispenser and try lightly sautéing your salad veggies for a warm summer salad.

Other damp-reducing tricks.

While sorting out your diet is the best way to tackle damp heat, there are other things you can try to help you find your summer sparkle again. Avoid the temptation to ramp up the A/C (easier said than done, I know!), build some gentle exercise into your day (lack of physical activity helps damp conditions thrive), and you could even try a trip to a sauna — the combination of the dry heat and sweating can help reduce internal dampness.

If your summer has been more sick bed than beach, don’t worry. Now you know what your internal weather channel is trying to tell you, you can take the precautions you need to protect your body from the worst of the damp summer heat. You’ll find your summer sparkle well before the first leaves fall from the trees.