Foods to Keep Cool During Summertime
Summer has shown its face these past couple of months. Strangely, this season feels like it is more humid and hotter than previous years. During times of muggy weather and feeling the sun's rays beating down can make it difficult to keep cool. However, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are ways to get around that, food being one.
In TCM, everything we consume has a particular temperature when digested. Some foods are more cooling or cold, whereas others can be more warming or hot. When digested, this affects our body constitution. For example, if someone tends to run a bit warmer or hot, spicy foods such as chili peppers or warming spices will add to the heat the person is already feeling internally. In order to cool down this internal heat, it would be best to consume foods with a cooler or colder temperature when digested. The temperature can also affect us when the weather is a bit more extreme, such as this lovely season, Summertime.
So when it feels like the air conditioner is being overworked and popsicles aren't cutting it, try a few of these foods to cool down.
Watermelon is such a great fruit to have during the summertime. It is actually one of the most popular fruits during the warmer months. In TCM, this melon helps to clear heat and acts as a diuretic, which assists in reducing swelling and it even keeps us calm by soothing our mood when we feel irritable. Mostly the rind or white part of the inner melon is used, which is the unpopular part of the fruit that tens to get discarded. So don't be afraid to give it a try since it actually has some pretty awesome cooling properties.
This is one of my go-tos when I'm feeling hot or want something a bit more refreshing. I love adding cucumber to my water, eating it with hummus or enjoying it by itself. Cucumber is refreshing and cooling. It helps to cool the heat we feel, remove toxins, hydrate, and assists with digestion. It even helps to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and is packed with antioxidants.
Oh my! This is my absolute favorite! I can eat this any time of the year! Great for the skin and hair but also helps to reduce heat internally, detox the body, great at providing moisture, and is good for digestion. This magical fruit helps to reduce inflammation and provides a number of vitamins and minerals. It is also considered a great source of fat that aids in the body's normal functions, including absorbing nutrients and water.
This may not be everyone's cup of "water". It can be a bit of an acquired taste. However, it is natural source of some vitamins and minerals to keep the body hydrated and cool during the hot season. Coconut water helps to provide potassium, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids, which are part of the electrolytes that are needed in order to keep our fluid balance in check but also several body systems functioning properly.
Apples are a great way to cool down during the summer. They are such a common fruit that their health benefits sometimes get overlooked. In TCM, consuming apples has a number of benefits to our health. One being using them to cool down internally and reduce inflammation. They
also help to eliminate toxins, improve digestion, and is great for the skin.
So the next time you're feeling a little warm and don't really want to reach for the ice cream or fan, try one of these cooling foods to keep your body temperature in line!