As summer approaches, we think of ice cream and beach parties. Coffee in cozy blankets is replaced by slushes in air conditioned cafes. The heat brings with itself some harmful effects too. Too much heat externally and internally can not only tan your skin but can cause mental stress and damage your overall body physiology. However these effects can be neutralized if you adjust your lifestyle as per the need of the hour.
Our traditional medicine suggests that there are ‘cold foods’ and ‘warm foods’. We all have heard of these terms, but what are they really? Cooling foods help in releasing the body toxins and lowering the blood pressure. Warming foods on the other hand do the opposite.
They release high amount of energy and produce heat. Although warm foods are extremely beneficial for the system, sometimes too much of heat can cause the body to feel hot, increase sweating, increase thirst, constipation, odourous gases and stools, red eyes and red face.
It can also increase psychological problems like anxiety, and headaches caused by high emotions. It can affect your heart, by increase your pulse, give you heart burn and excrete dark or yellow urine due to dehydration.
Here are some foods to consume cool your body down:
Add cucumber to your daily diet. It moistens and cleans your intestines, and even helps in killing tape worms that are very common in summer. Vitamin E in cucumbers help remove free radicles from your body. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system. If the area where you live is hot and dry, then you are in luck because cucumber helps in moisturizing the lungs surface.
Add it in your salad, or even better, have it as a snack, it might sound boring but you will do yourself a favor by replacing a packet of chips with cucumber with a dash of salt. You can also add cucumber slices in your glass of water and keep it for a few hours, then drink it.
I agree, watermelon isn’t the sweetest fruit around, but a slice of this fruit after a long hot day feels like heaven on earth. You can cut watermelon and eat it, or blend it and it will instantly form a slush like texture. By adding half a tea spoon of honey in it, you can have your own home-made healthy slush.
Peaches were originally cultivated in China, and are another cool pick to beat the heat. They contain more fibre and stop you from over eating, which hence results in lesser calories. Peaches contain only 30-35 calories which makes it amazing for weight loss. In summer people often have urine related diseases, for such cases peaches are great as they are amazing diuretics! You can have peach with yogurt in form of a smoothie and have a nice summer beverage.
Green tea might sound (and feel) like a hot beverage. However it helps in removing radionuclide from your body that can cause heat. Besides that, in summer we lose a lot of water by sweating, so green tea helps in restoring those fluids. According to a research in Journal of Nutrition, women who drank 4 cups of green tea for 12 weeks had a 25% lower chance of developing a sun tan. According to the 2011 study, powerful antioxidants in green tea called catechins absorb UV light, protecting the skin.
Corn is a readily available staple. It contains two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—that act like a natural sun screen, helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays.
Points to remember: Avoid drinks that are ICE cold. YES! When you have ice cold drinks, your body burns calories to bring it down to normal body temperature. This ‘burning calories’ causes production of heat in the body. Also, eat food with lesser fats.