As beautiful as the summer is, the head and body are now suffering equally from the persistent heat. But if you’re clever in tropical temperatures, you can provide the necessary refreshment from within with the right food.
How does it work? The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM ) assigns foods to different groups based on their thermal properties: cold, cool, warm, hot and neutral. When which food is good for you is derived from the Yin and Yang principle. Yin forms the cold and Yang the warm part. For your body to function properly, both sides must be in balance.
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Due to the heat, yang predominates, which has a negative effect on both physical and mental performance. The consequences: Heavy legs, lack of concentration and the motivation to move goes to zero. Consequently, your Yin needs support.
You should therefore reach for these cooling foods in summer:
1. peppermint cools thanks to menthol
If you need a little cooling off in between, you should pimp your food with fresh mint, pour the green leaves as tea or prepare a sugar- and alcohol-free lemonade with it. The menthol it contains dissolves hot flushes in the air and cools your body down.
A delicious lemonade with mint is the ideal summer drink © Fascinadora / Shutterstock.com
Peppermint also stimulates the taste buds and at the same time inhibits the desire for sweets. So you kill two birds with one stone. Sugar not only has many calories, it also warms your body even more.
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2. watermelon: the low-calorie refreshment
In summer, watermelon is a regular part of your menu. It is the perfect snack for in-between and provides cool refreshment, as it has a lot of Yin energy and helps against too much Yang. According to TCM it brings relief especially to the throat, stomach and intestinal area, fights sweating and hot flushes. It also provides your body with fluid at the same time and is extremely low in calories, with 38 calories per 100 grams.
Melon is not only delicious, but also low in calories and refreshing © Diana Taliun / Shutterstock.com
3. cucumbers are the perfect summer vegetable
Cucumbers are at the top of the list of cooling foods in traditional Chinese medicine. For good reason, because they cool from the inside and, according to Ayurveda, also have a calming effect. Since a cucumber consists of 95 percent water, it also boosts the body’s fluid balance. And especially in summer your need for water is increased anyway.
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4. chill tomatoes – warm and cold
It is not only the cooling properties that make tomatoes the perfect summer snack, because you also feed the water almost immediately. They also provide a lot of antioxidants that protect your cells from harmful influences.
A warning tomato soup cools you down – crazy, right? © nadianb / Shutterstock.com
By the way, tomatoes not only have a cooling effect when raw, but also in the form of warm soup. Although their thermal properties change slightly, they are still in the cool range.
5. feeding leaf salads provides refreshment
When it is warm outside, most people intuitively choose light food. If you feel the same way, you’re probably already doing everything right anyway. A colourful salad plate for lunch would be just the thing for you in any case. Because green salad is also one of those foods that cool from the inside.
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Cucumbers, tomatoes and a dash of lemon juice in the dressing add even more colour (and cooling). You can use olive oil for the dressing with a clear conscience, as even the TCM is assigned to the cooling foods.
A salad is the perfect meal at high temperatures © Eric Urquhart / Shutterstock.com
6. acidified milk products inhibit hot flushes
Acidified milk products act like medicine at temperatures above 30 degrees. Yoghurt, quark, buttermilk or kefir will help to relieve your inner heat. No wonder that people in southeastern countries swear by yoghurt drinks like Lassis.
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7. pineapple refreshes from within
We can’t get enough of sweet fruits in summer anyway. It’s a good thing that pineapples also cool down your inner fire. The tropical fruit is easy to snack between meals, but it also gives hearty dishes a very special touch. And if that’s not enough: pineapple is also rich in vitamins and minerals and helps keep fat burning on the go.
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8. spinach has a cooling effect thanks to bitter substances
Curtain up for our little surprise guest in this round: spinach owes its cooling effect to the bitter substances it contains. They provide an optimal thermal balance and thus have a refreshing effect in summer heat. This makes steamed leaf spinach or a light spinach soup the perfect meal in summer. If you prefer it cold, simply conjure up a healthy smoothie from the green leaves.
A green smoothie with spinach provides cooling © Alena-Haurylik / Shutterstock.com
Hands off these foods in summer
Most fruits and vegetables have according to TCM cooling properties. Nevertheless, there are some representatives that fall out of this pattern: Of onions, red cabbage, fennel and leeks as well as peaches, cherries and raspberries are best left alone in hot temperatures. Fish, meat, sheep’s and goat’s milk will also heat you up from the inside, as will chilli, cinnamon and black pepper. Alcohol and coffee should also be enjoyed in moderation.
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Cold drinks at warm temperatures? Please do not!
You think you can cool down your body with cold drinks in hot weather? Unfortunately not, because drinking a glass of ice-cold water has exactly the opposite effect. The water in the body must first be “heated” to body temperature to compensate for the difference in temperature. This process consumes a lot of energy, which in turn generates heat and makes your body sweat even more. It is therefore better to drink (lukewarm) drinks, such as peppermint or sage tea.
No matter how high the temperatures on the thermometer still climb: with these foods you are perfectly equipped against the heat.