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Nov 08, 2021

A hot meal or snack is probably the last thing you want to think about on a hot summer day. A delicious, healthy salad may be your first ‘go to’, but let’s be honest – there’s only so much salad you can eat before you’re tired of it. Hence, our recommendations for alternative foods that are known for their cooling, hydrating and replenishing properties…

Watermelon

Who doesn’t like a slice of juicy watermelon on a hot day? If you’ve ever felt the cooling effects of a watermelon, it’s because they’re full of water – about 92% water, in fact – so they’re super hydrating, which helps to quench your thirst and keep your body cool. As an added bonus, watermelons are low in calories.

Grapefruit

Another great fruit to help prevent dehydration and cool you down is grapefruit. It’s 91% water and helps with the digestion of fatty foods, hence their cooling effect. Grapefruit is also rich in potassium, which helps your body recover from fluid loss during sweating.

Berries

Fresh blackberries, blue berries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries are the perfect summer snack as they’re also high in water to help hydrate your body. They’re also full of great antioxidants.

Coconut

Rich in vitamins, minerals and natural electrolytes, coconut is not only cooling, but helps to re-energise you after exercising and/or an exhaustingly hot day. Eat fresh coconut or drink coconut water to feel refreshed.

Cucumber

Though this may be a familiar salad filler, cucumber is one of the best foods to help cool you down on a hot day. They’re super hydrating, with 96% water content. It’s been shown that if you eat cucumber after exercise, it will help to hydrate your body as effectively as a sports drink.

Cucumbers can even hydrate your skin from the outside, and soothe and reduce puffy eyes due to their ascorbic and caffeic acid content.

Onions

As pungent as they may be, raw onions are also hydrating and contain quercetin (especially red onions), which acts as an anti-histamine against heat rash. Onions may even help to protect you against sunstroke.

Celery

Celery should also help you to feel refreshed, as it contains 95% water content. It’s also a great source of fibre, folate, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Mint

Mint is high in menthol, which is known for its cooling properties. Add it to a cool drink, tea or even your salad for a quick ‘pick me up’.

When it’s more than just a heatwave…

It’s important to consult your healthcare provider if your body temperature is high and stays high due to an unknown reason. It may be that you have heatstroke, a fever due to infection, or another underlying medical condition.

Bestmed Medical Scheme has a countrywide network of over 4 400 family practitioners. Search for a family practitioner near you via the online member portal or via the Bestmed App.

 

References

Agarwal, S. 2021. 5 ways to use cucumber slices for the eyes. NDTV Food. Available [Online]: https://food.ndtv.com/beauty/cucumber-slices-for-the-eyes-5-ways-it-can-help-you-1679006. [Accessed: 8 November 2021].

Cronkleton, E. 2019. How to reduce body heat quickly and get relief. Healthline. Dr S. Sampson (ed.). Available [Online]: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-reduce-body-heat. [Accessed: 8 November 2021].

Kauvery Hospital. 2017. Summer foods that keep you cool. Available [Online]: https://kauveryhospital.com/blog/lifestyle/summer-foods-that-keep-you-cool/. [Accessed: 8 November 2021].

Love Food. 2017. 30 surprising foods and drinks to keep you cool in hot weather. Available [Online]: https://www.lovefood.com/gallerylist/52668/30-surprising-foods-and-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-hot-weather. [Accessed: 8 November 2021].

Martens, A. 2020. Food to keep you cool during summer. aSweatLife. Available [Online]: https://asweatlife.com/2020/07/foods-to-help-keep-you-cool/. [Accessed: 8 November 2021].

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