We’re heading into the dog days of summer, so it’s important to try to stay as cool as possible—and there are some foods that can help. You’ll want to choose foods that are light, easily digested, hydrating and can have a cooling effect on your body. Some to consider this summer include:
Coconuts and coconut water: The lauric acid in coconuts is a type of fat that’s easily absorbed and turned into energy almost instantaneously—important during hot days when you feel that your energy is sapped. Likewise, the coconut water is terrific for staying hydrated and keeping the water and mineral levels balanced in the body. Coconut water is also packed with potassium, which can help you stay hydrated and can ward off heat stroke.
Citrus fruits: You may feel exceptionally “cool” when you enjoy citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes, which are among some of the most cooling of all citrus fruits. An added bonus of these cooling citrus fruits is that they’re packed with phytonutrients that act as antioxidants, including vitamin C, anthocyanins and polyphenols. What’s more is that citrus fruits also assist with digestion, helping with digesting rich and fatty foods.
Cucumbers: Want to stay “cool as a cucumber?” Then eat cucumbers! They have high water content, so they can help you stay hydrated. They’re also full of important vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, B6, folate and thiamine. Likewise, they contain calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, zinc and potassium. And calories? Minimal. So, enjoy them guilt free!
Peaches: Next up is one “peachy” way to stay cool—peaches! Known as the “cooling fruit” in China, peaches can help cool the body’s core temperature. They’re also high in fiber and vitamins, while containing calcium and iron as well—two important minerals which are rarely found in fruits.
Watermelon: The key for staying cool with watermelon is found in the first part of its name—water. Its high water content helps to keep you hydrated. No wonder you see watermelon at so many summer meals.
Greens: Greens such as spinach, arugula, collard greens and others are perfect for summer eating and keeping you cool. They’re great as the basis for salads or adding a handful to smoothies for an extra boost!
Chilies: This one’s a hot way to cool down—chilies. It seems counterintuitive, but chilies can actually help you cool off. Chilies increase circulation and can make you sweat, which is nature’s way of regulating your body temp to cool you off. An added bonus is that chilies contain capsaicin that release endorphins to the brain, making you feel content.
Garlic: Believe it or not, garlic also can decrease your body heat by increasing blood circulation, which boosts the body’s ability to sweat—nature’s way of cooling you down.
Cilantro: Used in many dishes worldwide, cilantro is an excellent way to cool the body’s core temperature. It’s also high in iron and magnesium, while supporting healthy digestion, healthy inflammation levels and more. Add cilantro to salads, salsas and more.
Mint: No doubt about it—it’s minty fresh—but mint can also help you to feel cool through its menthol, one of mint’s main components. Mint also has some calming properties, which can make you feel cool at a different level. Likewise, mint has a bit of a spicy kick to it so that it can encourage sweating to cool you off.
Those are just a few of the light and cool foods you can enjoy during the dog days of summer. Stay cool!