TIPS TO FIGHTING SUMMER HEAT
For a lot of people, summer heat can bring joy and some cheer. However, as the heat wave moves over us, there are those who would try their best to avoid the burning heat that Summer brings. To get ourselves ready for these few summer months, here are some tips to cool you down without having to fly somewhere else! Check it out!
Traditionally, foods such as fennel and cucumber have been used to reduce body heat. Astringent food is the best to cool you. Oatmeal, lentils, beans, grapes and bananas contain tannin, which gives astringent foods their dryness. When you consume these, your tissues require more water to relax, so water absorption increases and your body stays cool for longer.
Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat and that sticky feeling (examples include Coolmax and Nano-Tex); they’re not just for athletes anymore. If you prefer cotton, make it thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. “The best thing is to have sweat evaporate directly from skin to air,” says Larry Kenney, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park. “The next best thing is for the sweat to move quickly from your skin to clothing and then evaporate. Loose, billowy clothes allow air movement next to the skin and help with evaporation.”
There’s a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They’re easier to digest than, say, a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler), says Robert Kenefick, a physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, in Natick, Massachusetts, which studies the effects of extreme climates on soldiers’ bodies.
To replace the moisture that you lose as you perspire, be sure to drink. As you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. “Also opt for hydrating foods,” says Deena Kastor, a marathon runner and an Olympic bronze medalist. “Try a smoothie for lunch, and add more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Watermelon has the greatest water content of any food out there.”
Make a “cold compress.”
Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it’s dense and starchysays Jim Hill, Ph.D., an associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis.
SPICE IT UP
As people who live in scorching climates, such as those of Mexico and India, know well, eating hot stuff can cool you down. “Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that helps us to perspire more readily,” says Rick Bayless, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Frontera Grill, in Chicago. When this sweat evaporates, you experience brief relief.
There you go, the seven easy tips that can help you survive this summer! Can you guess which one is our favorite? Check out our recipe for this month and you’ll know for sure how Thai people celebrate the heat!