When you’re dripping with sweat during a heatwave, all you can think about is how you can get to the nearest cool, air-conditioned zone. The hot weather actually makes some people bring their meals at the bottom of the priority list.
While it is true that the body does not require as many calories in hot weather as it does during cold seasons, there are still specific nutritional requirements that must be met in order for your body to function optimally.
Fun fact! Although eating ice cream and drinking ice-cold sodas may seem like rational choices, they are not, especially in terms of keeping your body cool.
The types of food you eat, rather than the quantity, can influence how your body regulates its temperature. This makes it critical to include more “cooling,” water-rich foods in your diet during the hotter months like the following:
1. Spinach. When there is a heatwave, large amounts of spinach should definitely find their way into your shopping cart. Spinach is not only high in water (about 92 percent water), but also high in minerals and nutrients. It has plenty of iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, making it beneficial to your skin, hair, and overall energy levels. Similar to spinach, other leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce, and collard greens make excellent choices for the summer.
2. Turmeric. It is alsa a good idea to eat some flavourful Indian or Thai food. Turmeric, a key ingredient in these dishes, has been shown to have exceptional anti-inflammatory properties and is also beneficial to blood and oxygen circulation. These effects are primarily due to turmeric’s high concentration of curcumin.
3. Chilli Peppers. Yes, a hot and spicy dish is a must-eat on a hot and spicy day. This may seem counterintuitive, but chillies are excellent for cooling your body down. Hot peppers contain capsaicin that causes the brain to send signals, indicating that your body is overheated and needs to be cooled down. While they temporarily raise your temperature, the subsequent sweating causes a cooling reaction.
4. Watermelons. Summer won’t be complete without munching on, or making fresh and cool watermelon smoothies. They are extremely water-rich, making them ideal for replenishing fluids lost to the sun. They also contain essential nutrients such as citrulline, which helps you feel relaxed and dilates your blood vessels, allowing you to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
5. Mint. Just the word itself already feels refreshing. Mint has a pleasant, cooling sensation that can help take the sting out of a hot day. Your body’s ability to digest suffers during a heatwave, and mint may be something to include in your dishes and drinks to assist your tummy.
6. Berries. These are berry good options for your summer diet. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, among others, are high in antioxidants and vitamins. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and can be beneficial to skin health. But while they have numerous advantages, they also contain a lot of natural sugars, which when consumed in excess, are not good for your body.
7. Water. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in hot weather, the body loses a lot more water. During a heatwave, it is critical to constantly replenish lost fluids in order to maintain your energy levels and health. It is advised that you consume 2.5-3 litres of water per day, or even more.
8. Juice and Tea. In addition to water, which can become boring, healthy alternatives include coconut water, green tea, lemon juice, and so on. Fruit juices can be a good substitute, but only in moderation because they are high in natural sugars, which can dehydrate you.
Consuming a lot of sugar, even natural sugar found in fruits, will not help your health, especially in hot weather. You should avoid cola, packaged drinks, and other sweetened beverages because they will leave you dehydrated and groggy.