What to eat and drink during heatwaves to cool down

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Both cold foods and hot (spicy not temperature) can cool you down. They just work in different ways in your body. There are also cold foods and drinks that will turn on the heat.

Foods and drinks that will cool you down

During a heatwave, sip on a cooling drink or nibble on a snack that will help to keep your body temperature from soaring.

Melons

Cooling melons of all kinds are abundant in summer. They have a high water content which helps to keep you hydrated in hot weather. The higher the water content in a food, the more likely it will keep your temperature down. Watermelon is full of water which slows down digestion taking less energy from the body. Try this refreshing salad with ice-cold watermelon, crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh mint or basil leaves, dressed with olive oil and lime juice.

Cucumber

A refreshing glass of cold water with fresh mint leaves and cucumber with ice cubes

Cool as a cucumber – it’s true. The water content in cucumber helps to hydrate the body. Ice-cold cucumber water will not only bring your temperature down but ensure a healthy complexion as well. Staying hydrated with cucumber water will help your body to flush out toxins. Use re-usable straws.

Chilli

Odd as this may sound – chilies actually cool us down through evaporative cooling by enhancing circulation and causing us to perspire. How about some Mexican salsa made with finely chopped tomatoes mixed with chopped garlic, onion, chili and fresh coriander, sprinkled with lime juice and some good salt.

Lemon

Lemon has many health benefits, but it is widely consumed in summer because it keeps the body cool. Make some salted lemonade with ice-cold water and fresh lemon juice adding sugar and Himalayan rock salt to taste. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens are composed of 80 to 95 percent water which makes them easy to digest creating a cooling sensation in the body. This simple salad of leafy greens, radishes and goats’ cheese is delicious, healthy and refreshing. Dress with olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper.

Berries

Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are all very alkaline, in fruits. They generate a cold energy in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

Water

It might seem obvious, but water really is your best friend when the temperature rises, so do make sure that you drink a lot of it to make up for fluids lost through extra perspiration. Drink filtered water from a glass instead of a plastic bottle to avoid more plastic pollution.

Ice cream and ice-cold beer won’t cool you down

In spite of you craving that ice cream or ice-cold beer, they will actually make you feel hotter.

Foods that contain more fat, protein and complex carbohydrates heat the body up while digesting that food. The temperature difference of cold foods have an initial cooling effect, but when your body starts digesting the food or drink, your body temperature rises as your body produces energy to digest what you have eaten or drunk.

Alcohol causes dehydration and flushing which is caused by the widening of blood vessels. This can make you feel hot.