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Beat the heat: 16 amazing + cooling food choices for summer

Detox your body Gain energy
Nabil Besri photo
Nabil Besri

May 29, 2024
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to prepare for the blazing sun and soaring temperatures. As the days get hotter, keeping your body cool and hydrated becomes essential. Overheating and dehydration can sap your energy, leaving you feeling tired and drained. While having access to a cool space is crucial, the right cooling food choices for summer can help regulate your body temperature and provide the essential nutrients needed to stay energized and active all summer long. Let’s dive into the best cooling foods and tips to help you beat the summer heat effectively.

Understanding Body Heat Regulation

Our bodies have a remarkable ability to maintain a stable internal temperature, a process known as thermoregulation. This is achieved through sweating, blood flow adjustments, and metabolic changes. However, factors such as high temperatures, humidity, physical activity, and certain foods can increase body heat. Staying hydrated and consuming the right nutrients play a vital role in helping your body stay cool. Let’s discover together the essential cooling food choices for summer.

Cooling Foods for Summer: What and Why

1. Water

The ultimate hydrator, water helps regulate body temperature and maintain bodily functions. Adequate water intake ensures that your body’s cooling mechanisms, like sweating, function optimally. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps prevent dehydration, supports metabolic processes, and flushes out toxins. And of course, don’t wait to feel thirsty to drink!

2. Cucumber

Cucumbers are composed of about 95% water, making them an excellent food for hydration. They are also rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, which help protect the body from heat-related oxidative stress. Cucumbers have natural cooling properties and can be eaten raw in salads or infused in water for a refreshing drink. They certainly should be N1 on your list of cooling food choices for summer. There hasn’t been I think a day where I haven’t been eating a cucumber!

3. Watermelon

You recognise the photo? No it’s not me thought I’m sure my parents have a similar photo of me in this posture somewhere. Yes, I can’t wait for summer to kick-in and start enjoying watermelon! Watermelon is another king of hydrating food, with about 92% water content. It is packed with vitamins A and C, which are essential for skin health and immune function. Watermelon’s natural sugars provide a quick energy boost, while its cooling effect helps lower body temperature. Enjoy watermelon as a snack, in smoothies, or in a fruit salad. I personally love it in a feta cheese salad mixed with fresh green leaves.

4. Avocado

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and fiber, which help maintain energy levels and provide a cooling effect. The monounsaturated fats in avocados are heart-healthy and support skin health. Additionally, the fiber content aids digestion and prevents overheating by promoting efficient nutrient absorption. Who would have thought that avocado is part of the cooling food choices for summer? Now just add avocados to salads, smoothies and voila a whole delicious dish is made in minutes! Here is an easy, nutritious and tasty recipe for you to try: avocado salad spread or if you are feeling thirsty, why not try our melon and avocado smoothie?

5. Coconuts

Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich drink that helps replenish lost fluids. It contains potassium, magnesium, and sodium, which are essential for maintaining fluid balance and preventing dehydration. Coconut water is a great alternative to sugary sports drinks and can be consumed on its own or used as a base for smoothies.

6. Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium, which helps balance fluids and support hydration. They are also rich in vitamins B6 and C, which support energy production and immune function. The natural sugars in bananas provide a quick energy boost, making them an ideal snack during hot weather. Enjoy bananas on their own or in smoothies.

7. Beetroot

Roasted beetroot crumble for summer

Beetroot contains nitrates that improve blood flow and help keep the body cool. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which relaxes blood vessels and enhances circulation. This process helps regulate body temperature and improves exercise performance. Beetroot can be consumed raw, roasted, or juiced. I personally love them roasted and tend to always come back to this tasty yummy beetroot crumble, try it out, you will love it too.

8. Carrots

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and water content, aiding in hydration and skin health. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and vision. The high fiber content in carrots also supports digestion. Enjoy carrots raw, in salads, or as a snack with hummus.

9. Salads

Healthy fresh salad for summer

Fresh salads with leafy greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers are cooling and hydrating. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in water, vitamins, and minerals. Tomatoes provide lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from sun damage. Combining these ingredients in a salad makes for a refreshing and nutrient-dense meal.

10. Celery

Celery has high water content and electrolytes, making it excellent for hydration. It contains potassium and sodium, which help maintain fluid balance in the body. Celery’s crunchy texture makes it a satisfying snack that can be enjoyed on its own, with dips, or added to salads.

11. Onions

Onions are known for their cooling effect on the body and can be added to various dishes. They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and supports heart health. Onions can be eaten raw in salads, grilled, or used as a flavor enhancer in cooking.

12. Cauliflower

This cruciferous vegetable is hydrating and rich in vitamins C and K. Cauliflower helps support the immune system and promotes healthy skin. Its high fiber content aids digestion and prevents overheating. Cauliflower can be enjoyed raw, steamed, or roasted. Wait, did you try our Detox cauliflower couscous salad? Do me a favor, stop everything and do it now, your body will love you for it!

13. Citrus Fruits

Another hit that clearly should be part of your cooling food choices for summer: citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, mandarins, and limes are refreshing and packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps the body combat heat stress. Citrus fruits also have a high water content, making them hydrating and cooling. Enjoy them on their own, in salads, or as a zest in dishes.

14. Leafy Green Veggies

Spinach and kale are hydrating and nutrient-dense, providing essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help protect the body from oxidative stress. Leafy greens can be added to salads, smoothies, or sautéed as a side dish.

15. Mint

Refreshing mint infused water for summer

Mint is known for its cooling properties and can be added to drinks and salads. It contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on the body and helps relieve indigestion. Mint can be used to make refreshing herbal teas, infused in water, or added to salads for a burst of flavor.

16. Pineapple

This tropical fruit is hydrating and contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids digestion. Bromelain helps reduce inflammation and supports the immune system. Pineapple’s high water content and natural sweetness make it a perfect summer snack. Enjoy pineapple on its own, in fruit salads, or blended into smoothies.

Hydration Techniques

Staying hydrated is crucial during summer. Here are some strategies to ensure adequate fluid intake:

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Include Hydrating Foods: Incorporate water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits into your meals.
  • Herbal Teas: Enjoy iced herbal teas such as mint or chamomile for a refreshing and hydrating drink.
  • Infused Water: Add slices of fruits and herbs like lemon, cucumber, and mint to your water for a flavorful hydration boost.

Lifestyle and Dietary Adjustments

To enhance the cooling effects of your diet, consider these additional lifestyle modifications:

  • Timing of Meals: Eat smaller, more frequent meals to avoid generating excess body heat from digestion.
  • Types of Clothing: Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton to stay cool.
  • Physical Activities: Opt for early morning or late evening exercise to avoid the peak heat of the day.
  • Cool Showers: Take cool showers or baths to help lower body temperature.

Conclusion

Making informed food choices during the summer is crucial for maintaining health and comfort. Experiment with the cooling foods and hydration techniques mentioned to find what works best for you. By incorporating these foods and lifestyle adjustments, you can beat the heat and stay energized all summer long.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to staying cool and hydrated during the summer through dietary and lifestyle changes. It emphasizes the importance of making informed food choices based on scientific evidence and established naturopathic principles.

About the author

Nabil Besri photo

Meet Nabil, the co-founder and COO of MyAuthentikSpoon, an online plateform dedicated to helping people make better food choices for stronger wellbeing. If you’re ready to tackle wellness with a fresh perspective, schedule a complimentary private consultation with our expert naturopathic coach to receive personalised dietary insights and weight management strategies. This is your opportunity to have your questions answered and to learn how to incorporate the food choices into your lifestyle and achieve a better wellbeing.

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