Summer foods to keep you cool
Ah, that summer heat. Ever feel super lethargic on a hot summer day? Many people find their bodies feeling more sluggish and slow when the temperature rises. This is due to our body having to compensate so that our internal body temperature doesn’t also rise with those outside temps. Normally a balanced amount of blood flows between the skin and muscle. But when it’s super hot outside our blood flows more towards the skin to help disperse body heat.
With warmer temperatures found around the globe right now our bodies naturally seek ways to cool down. Therefore, drinking plenty of hydrating fluids and eating cooling foods helps hydrate your muscles and skin. Which helps to maintain a safe internal body temperature. Since mother nature makes no mistakes, it’s no wonder that at this time of year the summer seasonal fruits + veggies would do exactly just that- help us stay naturally cool. Yet another reason to eat with the seasons!
So let’s dive right into it. What fruits + veggies are best this time of year to help us keep cool?
CUCUMBER Cucumbers have a fountain-of-youth effect, hydrating us at the deepest cellular level. There’s a reason there is the saying “cool as a cucumber.” These magical veggies have an incredibly cooling effect on the liver, glands and organs. Making them an especially fantastic summer cooling veggie. Ever tried a cucumber noodle? They’re delish!
MANGO The “king of fruits” according to ayurvedic tradition. A mango can handle the heat like no other fruit. Even though the sun might beat down on a mango, mangoes know how to shield themselves. When we eat a mango we internalize their inner cool. An ayurvedic mango lassi is an incredibly refreshing and cooling summer drink.
CORIANDER/CILANTRO Coriander is the seed and cilantro is the plant, both which are herbs that promotes cooling. Ayurvedic medicine considers coriander to be one of the most cooling spices. Including both coriander and cilantro in your diet during the hot summer months is one of the best ways to cool your body down.
PEACHES Stone fruits are plentiful during the hot summer months. Peaches are juicy and flavorful making them a thirst-quenching fruit to gravitate towards.
BITTER GREENS The bitter flavor in Chinese medicine is considered one of the most cooling flavors. It is said that bitterness contracts our energy, drawing it inward. So bitter greens, think kale, collards, mustard greens, are very cooling. These hearty and bitter greens are the antidote for a hot climate. For ultimate hydration consume them raw.
WATERMELON This juicy fruit is incredibly hydrating due to its high water content. Watermelon is about 91% water! When eating watermelon, you not only hydrate but you also get a healthy dose of lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.
ZUCCHINI Ever grow zucchini? It grows like weeds! These prolific veggies are such a summer staple. Zucchinis, like cucumbers, are hydrating, refreshing, light and energizing. Also makes a wonderful zoodle.
PINEAPPLE this tropical fruit just screams summer. And for good reason too. Pineapple can help relieve heat stroke. Pineapple improves blood circulation, which remember we need to help disperse the heat in our body so it doesn’t raise our internal body temp too high.
FENNEL SEEDS Another very cooling spice to be used during the summer months. An added benefit, fennel seeds stimulate proper digestion and can reduce acid reflux. Try chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds before or after your next meal.
Hope you are stocking up on your cooling fruits + veggies to combat this hot, sticky summer weather!
From the Blog of Melissa Patruno (Integrative Nutrition Health Coach )