7 Foods to Keep you Cool as a Cucumber This Summer
(and yes, a cucumber is one of them)
As summer continues to heat up, folks are doing just about all they can to keep cool.
From visiting local water parks to playing backyard water games, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat. But one thing is for certain: Staying hydrated right now is key.
While consuming lots of fluids throughout the day is a no-brainer, you might be surprised that 20% of your body’s essential water comes from the foods you eat. It’s true, food plays a significant role in staying cool and hydrated, especially during the hottest months of July and August.
From coconuts to Georgia peaches, we’ve outlined 7 foods you’ll want to have in your refrigerator this summer. Here goes:
Keep it cool with coconut water
Coconut water not only quenches your thirst, but it also keeps you incredibly well-hydrated. In fact, it’s so effective at nourishing the body that it’s been scientifically cited as the best natural post-workout drink,
Whether you’ve been out for a run when the sun is high in the sky or simply grilling on a hot summer day, coconut water will replenish your system with crucial electrolytes. Even better, coconut water contains antioxidant properties that can fight off the free radicals and boost your immune system. For this very reason, coconut water is also known as a remedy for hangovers after drinking one too many spiked beverages at the backyard barbecue.
Pro-tip: These coconut fruit bars will keep the whole family cool and hydrated this summer
Chill your body with chili
It might sound counterintuitive to chow down chili while you’re baking in the sun…but spicy foods are highly effective coolants for your body. You see, spicy foods, like chili and salsa, make you sweat. And as we all know, when sweat hits the air, it evaporates off your skin, lowering your temperature. So, eating spicy foods like chili is a sure-fire way to kickstart your body’s natural cooling system.
And if you’d like to nerd out about it…
There’s an active component in spicy chilis called capsaicin. It’s technically a chemical irritant in humans and produces the sensation of burning in your bodily tissues. This sends a message to your brain that your body is overheated and needs to cool down by sweating!
Pro-tip: Add fresh cilantro and crunchy celery for a refreshing taste. Sprinkle in some turmeric to inject antioxidants into your meal.
A melon a day keeps your body temps at bay
Melons—especially watermelon—are beloved summer fruits. In fact, watermelons are 92 %, making it a delicious way to rehydrate and stay cool all summer long. You can take a bite of hydration or make watermelon lemonade.
Going beyond its hydration properties, watermelon is a vibrant source of Vitamin C and A. It also contains lycopene, a potent antioxidant with many heart health benefits. Studies have shown an association between lycopene and a reduced risk of illnesses, including cancer, as well as decreased inflammation throughout the body.
Pro-tip: If you have little ones, you can cut watermelon into sticks or ‘fingers.’ Feeling especially adventurous? We love this recipe for watermelon pizza.
Be cool as a cucumber
It’s in the title of this article, so you know we’ve got to at least mention cucumbers and their renowned cooling benefits. Cucumbers are crunchily refreshing and contain 96% water, making them even more hydrating than watermelons.
In addition to keeping you hydrated, cucumbers also help flush out toxins and cleanse your gut, especially when paired with mint. Feeling ‘meh’ after a day of eating burgers and sipping sugary cocktails? A glass of cucumber-infused water with mint might be just what you need to feel normal again.
Pro-tip: To enjoy the full extent of health benefits that cucumbers boast—including fibre, vitamins, and minerals— it’s best to eat cucumbers unpeeled.
Greek salads for days this summer
Refreshingly crispy and light, Greek salads are perfect for a summertime lunch. Packed with leafy goodness and raw vegetables, they offer amazing health benefits, while keeping you nice and cool. Key ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, and feta all help quench the body’s thirst on sultry summer days.
Pro-tip: Make sure the cucumber is chilled for maximum refreshment and crunchiness.
Eat a peach to beat the heat
There are few things more satisfying than sinking your teeth into a perfectly ripe peach on a hot day. Peaches have often been called summer’s best fruit, and for good reason. For one thing, they are fresh, crisp, and sweet -- but they’re also loaded with nutrition. Filled with water and Vitamin C, peaches are a go-to snack on a hot day.
Pro-tip: From salads to fish tacos, sliced peaches can add flavor and nutrition to your favorite summer dishes.
Have a berry delicious and refreshing summer
Berries—especially blueberries and raspberries—unleash a burst of cold energy within the body. These fruits are extremely low in calories but dense in water and nutrients. The so-called king of antioxidant foods, blueberries lower blood pressure, help prevent heart disease, and taste amazing on a balmy day.
Pro-tip: Add blueberries or strawberries to your yogurt, salads, or oatmeal for an extra kick of nutrients.