As much as we love to rev up the AC on a hot day, we’re turning towards food to find natural and environmentally friendly ways to cool down this summer.
Before we dive into specifics, let’s bust some myths! As tempting as it is to reach for ice water or ice cream on a hot day, hyper cold foods actually force your body to bring itself back up to temperature, in turn wasting energy.
Now, the foods you’ve been waiting for:
A near magical hydrator in all its forms (oil, water, pulp). The vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in coconut rehydrate a body under heat stress. We love a cool cup of coco water or pineapple slices with fresh shaved coconut (double hydration!).
Cucumbers are 90% water and loaded with electrolyte-balancing minerals potassium and magnesium. This means they hydrate from the inside out and are the closest thing to a quick-fix for the summer heat (second to a dip in the pool of course!)
Full of properties which have a cooling effect on the body, berries are alkaline, high in vitamin C, full of antioxidants, and packed with fiber. We love how light they are on the system. Start your day with a bowl of berries or grabbing them later as a snack.
Citrus is high in vitamin C, and once digested, it’s alkalinity lowers the body’s base temperature. It’s also astringent, meaning it shrinks body tissue making it easier for water to penetrate where it’s needed.
Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are all about 90% water. But don’t discount the other 10%. They’re packed with vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium, and function much like cucumbers to hydrate the body from the inside out.
Loaded with powerful chemical compounds that help regulate body temperature, poppy seeds indirectly cool the body and increase metabolic efficiency. Munch on some poppy seed infused crackers or sneak them into your next salad dressing.
There’s a reason some of the spiciest cuisines around the world are found near the equator. Spicy foods trigger a nerve receptor on your tongue that registers heat. Your body responds by turning on its natural cooling mechanism - sweating! Chili isn’t a hydrating food by any means, but its indirect effect is super powerful.
The menthol content in mint activates a different nerve receptor in your body, triggering an illusion of chill. Don’t sleep on it, illusions are a powerful thing for the body. Enjoy in a cocktail or on top of a summer salad.
It might not make you “feel” cool the way that mint can, but pineapple contains the super powerful anti-inflammatory property, bromelain, which helps your body combat the effects of heat and inflammation. When your body is inflamed, it creates and traps heat. Reducing this inflammation allows heat to exit your body.
Bananas aid the absorption of water in the body, at the same time introducing loads of energy. They are astringent, like citrus, and a great thing to keep on hand for a cool down snack. Extra hydrating when enjoyed in smoothies.
Avocados are incredibly easy to digest, meaning they require very little energy from the body and therefore create no heat in the system. They are also high in fatty acids, which are necessary for temperature regulation.
Stay cool the natural way this summer - your body and your AC bills will thank you!