When it’s hot outside, I feel it. To be perfectly honest, I love the heat but the heat doesn’t always love me. I feel myself getting more irritated faster when I’m sweating at my desk, or listless after a day outside on my bike running errands. I might be more quick to yell at other drivers in my car, even though they never hear me and it never makes me feel better when I do it.
Fear not, I don’t plan to get ornery with you now or ever. Over the years I’ve done a lot of research on how to cool myself down (body and mind) in summer when the heat is on.
There are two ways to cool the body down with spices. One way is to use spices that naturally soothe the body from the inside out. The other is to ingest hot, spicy foods that induce gustatory sweating (yes, like chili peppers that make you sweat). By sweating, your internal body temperature drops as it pushes heat out of the body as you perspire. Think of the hottest regions in the world, like the south of India, Mexico, and the southern coast of Thailand – all cultures embrace some of the spiciest foods in the world to help keep cool in any weather.
Spices to make you sweat: add chili flakes to a cucumber salad, cayenne pepper to your coleslaw and cumin to your sautéed zucchini.
Spices that cool your body (no sweating needed): add fennel seeds to a salad dressing, coriander to brown rice, and don’t forget my favorite herbs: cilantro and lemon balm.
Cooling Foods: These are foods to lean on all summer long, if you (like me) tend to get overheated quickly and are feeling irritable when you get sweaty on a daily basis from the heat.
Enjoy these to cool your body and mind: cucumber, lettuce, radish, mung beans, sprouts, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, watermelon, tomato, apple, and celery.
Here’s to a happy summer of summer heat and delicious, cooling foods!