Although winter storms and chills once had you thinking you'd never want anything but stews and comfort foods, this month's toasty weather will probably have you reaching for the frozen treats. And it's just going to get warmer. Rather than simply cranking up the AC or fleeing the country for cooler climates, here are some tips on what - and how - to eat to stay cool.
Water Things Down
There's a reason watermelon is a welcome sight at any BBQ or summer cookout. Its high water content keeps you hydrated. When you are sufficiently hydrated, your body more effectively releases heat. Cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, and tomatoes are also good candidates. For optimum benefits, cook the fruits or vegetables as little as possible (cooking will dry them out).
Add Some Spice
Spicy foods may not be the first on your list of foods to eat on a hot summer day, but they are actually quite capable of cooling. The spices induce sweat, which is your body's natural way of lowering its internal temperature. So unless you want to start panting like a dog, get to sweating like a human with the help of some seriously spicy food.
If a big, leafy, green salad is all you can manage to eat on a sluggish summer day, that's just fine. Greens are nature's blood thinners, and they can help you release body heat and cool down.
Make Room for the Mint
Alcohol is a warming food, which dilates blood vessels and leads to dehydration, thereby raising your internal temperature. If you must have a summer cocktail, make it a mojito. Menthol, one of mint's main components, triggers sensors in the body that cause you to feel cool. Mint also has some spicy qualities, which get that all-important sweat flowing. It is also known to have calming properties, so you can stay cool in more ways than one.
Grab Some Garlic
Garlic is as pungent inside the body as it is outside. It has anti-platelet effects, which reduce blood clotting. Alhough it may not be the best thing for someone to eat before heading into surgery, it can help those looking to decrease their body heat. By increasing blood circulation, garlic allows the body to sweat, which, when evaporated, helps the body cool down.