How to Stay Cool This Summer with Food As Medicine!
HOW TO STAY COOL THIS SUMMER WITH FOOD AS MEDICINE
Summer is synonymous with cold beers, days by the pool, and frozen desserts. It’s all about beating the heat. However, foods that seem like chill choices may have the opposite effect. As things heat up this summer, Houstonians especially are looking for ways to cool down.
What are “warming” and “cooling” foods?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is said that the cooling foods help to clear heat and toxins from the body, whereas the warming foods increase circulation and raise qi or vital energy. Below are foods that aid in hydration, fight against inflammation, support detoxification, and promote metabolic boost with sweating which in turn cools the body down.
Foods like ice cream, beer, and party fair can lead to feelings of heat or intolerance to the hot weather
Excessive sugar can lead to vasoconstriction which leads to increased body heat and feeling of fatigue. Also, inflammatory foods can lead to low-grade fever and feeling of digestive discomfort or joint pain.
How can you cool down with food-as-medicine?
At least 1/2 your body weight in fl oz of water to maintain optimal hydration. Consider infusions to improve the ability of your body to full absorb the fluid for cellular function and maintain electrolyte balance.
Try Water Infusions!
Flavors to try:
Cucumber and Mint
Rosemary and Orange Peel Ice Cubes in your water
Lemon and Lime
Grapefruit and Ginger
Strawberry and Mint
*Use a BPA-free bottle that is stainless steel or glass!
*Plastic compounds can be estrogenic or work as estrogen in the body and disrupt hormonal balance leading to insulin resistance and infertility.
Heat up to Stay Cool!
Focus on foods rich in capsasin with its anti-inflammatory compounds to aid in the body’s ability to detoxify, boost caloric burn, and ultimately cool down.
Add Spice to your life to cool down with Spicy peppers, jalepeno protein bar, or salsa
Melon and watery fruits to rehydrate!
Cantaloupe and honeydew melons are both very low in calories and high in potassium. Although not a rich source of other nutrients, their low protein, fat and carbohydrates ratio makes them ideal for weight loss, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. Melons are also considered to be a diuretic, which may help rid our bodies of unwanted toxins.
Melon salad: Combine honeydew melon, almonds, aged balsamic, olive oil, mint, goat cheese, and sea salt
Citrus and vitamin C to cool off!
Citrus fruits are grown to peak in cool spells and have the ability to improve hydration. Time and time again experts recommend adding lemon to your water not only for its skin and immune-boosting benefits, but because it actually encourages you to drink more water overall. Citrus has an incredible cooling effect on the body and also promotes detoxification. Citrus is considered a superfood for healthy skin due to its wide array of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants, including flavanones, anthocyanins, polyphenols and vitamin C. Citrus is also considered to be especially important in digestion as it helps aid in the breakdown of rich and fatty foods.
Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating, and staying adequately hydrated during the hotter months is crucial. It has a diuretic property (especially helpful in the dry summer months), which acts to flush toxins out of the body and maintain healthy tissue and skin. Cucumber is extremely low in calories and has minimal amounts of sugar, carbohydrates and fats. It contains significant amounts of vitamin B, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and other minerals.
Snack on a cucumber cup: filled with olive tapenade or a cucumber slice with a piece of wild cold salmon and cream cheese or a yogurt herbed spread.