Summer is synonymous with cold drinks, days near water and frozen desserts. It’s all about beating the heat!
Surprisingly enough, foods that seem like chill choices may actually have the opposite effect. According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are “warming foods” and “cooling foods”—and the definitions have nothing to do with their temperature.
“It is said that cooling foods help to clear heat and toxins from the body, whereas the warming foods increase circulation and raise ‘Qi,’ or vital energy,” Reach for the following eight foods this summer for some sweet, delicious and healthy relief.
Being “cool as a cucumber” might actually have some weight to it. Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating, and staying adequately hydrated during the hotter months is crucial. Snack on cucumber slices and hummus, or if you’re truly desperate for some heat relief, a green juice with lots of cucumber and lemon is a great way to stay hydrated and cool. Either way, you’ll reap the benefits.
No day at the beach is complete without some fresh slices of watermelon, and you’re actually doing your body a favour by keeping the tradition alive. “It’s so helpful to eat seasonally. In the summer, cooling foods like watermelon can act like internal air conditioning - and we're loving that right now!
Originally cultivated in China, peaches are another cool, seasonal pick. Not only are they delicious this time of year, but they also contain vitamins A and C, which promote healthy skin—and at 35-50 calories a pop, they make the perfect diet-friendly dessert.
Pair apples with peanut butter for the perfect snack that will cool you down and fill you up. Apples contain about 4g fibre for around 95 calories. They also contain a type of soluble fibre called pectin, which has been found to stop hunger in its tracks and aid in weight loss.
Along with banana, spinach, kale and cucumber, pineapple makes for a kick-ass green smoothie booster. In fact, all of these ingredients are considered to be cooling, so blend away. Pineapple is also the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which is credited for reducing inflammation in the body.
6. Leafy greens
Is there anything that leafy greens can’t do for your body? Spinach, kale, collard greens, and romaine take the nutritional cake (so to speak) for healing and helping your body. Since greens have a high water content, they’re easy to digest. This means your body doesn’t have to work as hard, which saves you energy and keeps you cool.
Citrus has a cooling effect on the body and promotes detoxification. Everyone knows how important it is plenty of water every day, but plain ol’ H2O can be boring. 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.
Zucchini is actually a type of summer squash that can range in colour from yellow to a dark green. In addition to containing vitamin C and important phytonutrients, zucchini is a great source of manganese. The mineral can help protect your body from free radicals (particularly of concern during the summer months when you’re more susceptible to sun damage) and also promotes collagen production and healthy bone tissue growth.