With the summer heat approaching, did you know that the foods and beverages you consume can have an impact on the ability your body has to cool you down?
If you want to achieve optimal performance for any physical activity you undertake in warmer weather, consider basing your diet with these "cool" foods:
Eating as many raw foods as possible is the best way to go, especially during the summer. Raw fruits and veggies are easy to prepare and something many people crave more when the temperature goes up. One of my favorite meals is fresh spinach leaves tossed with berries and sprouts. Squeeze a little fresh lemon to top and you've got a delicious meal that will keep your digestive system moving smoothing and your energy levels up. Berries are full of anti-oxidants and are a wonderful sweet treat that will also help keep your sugar cravings at bay.
Although most dairy products have either warming or neutral thermal qualities, yogurt is cooling. Greek-style yogurt (plain, no sugar or additives) is one of the best foods to rev up your metabolism and keep you going. Try mixing it with fresh fruit for a natural sweet flavor.
While some grains are more warming and can slow you down, amaranth, barley, millet, and wheat are all good foods to help keep you full while avoiding stagnation in your digestive system.
When you think of spices, you might initially think of spicy foods as warming foods but fresh ginger, marjoram, cilantro, lemon balm, peppermint, and white peppercorn are actually cooling spices. They'll temporarily increase your body's internal warmth but ultimately serve to disperse the heat on the body's surface and help keep you cool.
Of course, lots of water is good for you anytime of the year. Water helps regulate your internal and external body temperature and aids in digestion. By staying hydrated your skin will naturally be clearer and more supple. If you don't enjoy the taste of plain water, try a few squirts of lemon and lime juice for flavor.
Herbal teas, vegetable broths, and fruit juices are also all cooling beverages. One of my favorite summer drinks is iced herbal tea made from Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Gardens or True Blueberry tea. Just follow the iced tea directions on the box, and you'll have both a healthy and delicious beverage that even kids will love.
K.C. Dermody has been an avid runner, hiker, and yoga enthusiast for twenty years, and as a trained yoga instructor she taught a variety of students from senior citizens to competitive athletes. She enjoys combining her passion for sports, emotional and physical well-being with her love of writing.
More from this contributor:
- Food & Cooking
- digestive system