Foods that COOL the BODY in HOT summer!
Posted on: June 19, 2019.


With the air temperature soaring—this week it’s mercilessly high!—summer getting unbearably hotter, choosing and consuming the right foods that cool us down, takes top priority.

Cooling down our rooms, at home and office, with air-conditioning units, and opting for chilled food and drinks—chilled water, frozen ice-cream or chilled watermelon slices/juice—might seem like the most obvious thing to beat the heat, but technically, they only provide temporary relief.

Actually, cold food and drinks have quite the opposite effect within the body i.e., it generates heat. We must gradually cultivate the habit of considering spicy food during summer, over chilled ones. It may sound a bit strange or even weird reading this, but it is the fact, which this article speaks about.

Onion and garlic have a fiery effect on the body and can heat it up. They are very hot, very fiery foods that one can feel right away, immediately after consuming it. In general, foods that are acidic and pungent are the ones that stimulate heat within the body, a chain of sensations that one can “taste within”. “Heating foods” are typically very spicy or hot or sour. Accordingly, consider the level of spiciness that goes with your body, without causing unfavorable, undesired consequences.

Prefer foods that contain high amounts of water.

Cucumber, zucchini, greens, berries, coconut, and watermelon are a few foods that contain water of significant amounts. Keep the body hydrated is the key to cooling the body down from the inside, naturally and biologically. The more fluid you take in, the better your cells function, and the less stressed they are.

Body temperature stays regulated only if cells function better and are thus less likely to generate excess energy or heat. On the other hand, dehydration actually causes you to sweat less, and sweating is important for cooling the body down. Hydrating fruits that contain water and minerals of sufficient amounts, which you can take during the summer, includes watermelon, and vegetables like celery.

As per Ayurveda, the idea of cooling is actually about the metabolic effect different foods can have on the body and doesn’t directly refer to only temperature. A person experiences metabolic heating or cooling sensations only after food passes through the stomach to the intestine. One would have felt one’s body feeling a bit warm and fiery especially after having had a spicy curry.

Prefer foods that have a high electrolyte content.

Sweating that helps cool down the body is possible only if there is enough water in the body. Electrolytic loss in the body is a typical symptom of harsh summers which literally suck up the body’s water reserves. Subsequently, the body’s electrolytes need to be replenished. High electrolytic content is found in fruits and vegetables like coconut water, bananas, green leafy vegetables, and lime—all of which, as per Ayurveda, are cooling foods.

Prefer food and drinks which are at room temperature

The idea that ice-cold food and drinks will cool down the body, is an absolute myth. Functionally, it only undermines the digestive system by sending cold shocks through the channels in the digestive tract. Ice cubes can be put on the skin, but not in drinks. Cold water or other iced drinks only cools down the part of the body it comes in contact with, like the mouth and esophagus. In response to this temperature change, the body works loyally to restore heat to the cold parts thereby working even harder, eventually increasing body temperature. Consumables are best when taken at slightly cool or room temperature.

The body has its demands during hot weather, and it’s always helpful to pay attention to your body’s needs.



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