If you are feeling the burn from the hot dog days of summer, altering your diet can help to keep you cool. Registered dietician Keri Glassman has tips for how you can beat the heat with what you eat.
In the heat of the summer people prefer cold food and drinks like ice cream, iced coffee, or a cold beer. But Glassman says that when it comes to these foods, you should avoid the big chill.
"You actually should not go for that iced coffee, because the caffeine in the coffee is what produces more serotonin which actually makes us hotter," Glassman explains. "Although it actually might feel good when you are holding that nice cold coffee, it is actually not great for your body."
That cold beer will have the same effect. The alcohol will dehydrate you and the cold drink will actually increase your body temperature and make you feel more uncomfortable in the heat.
And sadly, Glassman says, the same goes for the most famous of summertime treats: the ice cream cone. Along with the classic summertime barbeque fare of hamburgers and hot dogs, which are high sodium proteins, ice cream is high in fat and is harder for your body to digest.
"When your body is working so hard at digesting, your body’s temperature is rising," she says.
But don’t dismay, you don’t have to spend your summer sweltering AND hungry. There are foods that Glassman recommends that will keep you cool, hydrated and healthy.
Steering your fork toward fruits and vegetables are your best bet in the summer months, their high level of water, magnesium and calcium can compliment your water intake in keeping you hydrated.
And when it comes to the eight recommended glasses of water each day, Glassman says to skip the ice. Sticking to room temperature water will help maintain your body temperature and prevent unnecessary spikes.
One surprising way to keep you cool is to spice up your meals.
"Traditional spicy foods are actually good foods to cool you down in the summertime," Glassman says. "They actually produce a little bit of sweat when we eat those foods, and that sweating process is cooling us down."
The answer to cooling down in the August heat may not be exclusively hidden in a curry dish or a watermelon but these tips can help you leave the security blanket of your air conditioner behind and get out and enjoy some summer fun.
- Food & Cooking