Ditch the sweet, creamy ice creams – cool yourself in healthy ways this hot season, writes Deepa Desa.
Summertime just seems to up its temperatures year-on-year. My advice. Just chill. Find ways to keep your mind and body cool and go through it like a breeze!(Well, at least try….)
Here are some‘keep- it- cool’ recommendations:
Spice On! (Just A Notch)
There’s a reason spicy food is so popular in places with hot climates. It turns out eating something hot is a great way to stay cool – Seriously.
Capsaicin, the substance in peppers that makes spicy food spicy, binds to the pain receptors in your mouth. In response, your brain interprets this as being hot, and makes you sweat, and the sweat on your skin subsequently cools you down. The brilliant part is that you can do all of this without actually raising your body temperature, making it a genius way to cool down when things get hot outside.
Pick A Sorbet
It might seem like there’s nothing better than a cooling ice cream cone on a hot summer day, but there is.
It turns out the high fat content in ice cream makes it difficult to digest(it causes bloating and indigestion). The extra energy your body uses to digest the ice cream can actually raise your body temperature a little bit.
So, if you want to cool down, try a fat-free frozen dessert like sorbet.
Up Your Vitamin C Intake
Being cooler in the summer could be as simple as taking your C supplement with meticulous devotion.
Researchers from the University of Alabama found that vitamin C increases your tolerance for heat by delaying sweat gland fatigue, which reduces the occurrence of heat exhaustion and prickly heat rash. And research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental, and Exercise Physiology, found that vitamin C also keeps your body temperature from rising during heat exposure with a dose as small as 250 milligrams.
Ifyou’re looking to increase your vitamin C intake naturally, you’ll find plenty of it in oranges, peppers and broccoli and many more green veggies.
Peppermint Is Super Cooling
A glass of peppermint tea is a great way to make your insides feel cool and tingly, thanks to menthol, a substance in the plant that works the opposite way capsaicin does, instead tricking your body into feeling cold; to provide both evaporative and mentholated cooling, so this beverage pulls double duty.
You can also spray mint tea on your skin (be careful to cover your eyes and people who are sensitive should not use peppermint, as it’s a strong aroma),
Increase Your Fruit and Veggie Intake
If you’re feeling the heat, you might want to pass up on the meat.
High-protein foods like red meat use up loads of your energy to digest and can raise your body temperature, making you feel even more uncomfortable than you already do on a hot summer day. Fruit and vegetables keep you light, hydrated and cool your systems.
Eat Smaller Meals
Because digesting a large, heavy meal requires more energy than digesting a small one, try small meals throughout the course of the day.
Nurture Your Green Fingers
The benefits of having houseplants are enormous. They give you oxygen, improve your moods and they can also make a room feel cooler.
Plants release moisture into the air, which helps regulate the relative humidity of a room and can make it feel more comfortable than it otherwise would.
When it comes to keeping cool, not all scents are created equal. Sandalwood is used in Ayurveda to lower body temperature, so for a summer scent, try some pure sandalwood oil or soap, to smell nice and feel cool.
A few natural fragrances that work well to keep you cool are orange, grapefruit, lemon, sweet basil, mint and bergamot. You can even add a few drops to your bath water—super invigorating!
Sit Under A Tree
If you really want to cool down when you’re out and about, find a nice tree to sit under. The shade from trees is actually cooler than shade from buildings and other man-made objects, thanks to a process called transpiration.
A tree maintains its temperature by circulating water around inside itself and releasing moisture into the atmosphere, to keep itself and the air around it cool. Buildings, on the other hand, trap heat and radiate it back into the surrounding environment.
Try, the Japanese technique of forest bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), it’s now available Kalika near Ranikhet, Uttrakhand. Tree hugging has a very positive impact on increasing the level of feel — good hormones in the body like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine — plus the pine trees secrete chemicals that help your body boost its immunity, not to mention how cool each cell will feel with the fresh rejuvenating forest air.
Many people report feeling cool during or just after meditation, meaning a little mindfulness practice might be enough to cool you down on a hot day. There are also specific cooling breathing exercises, (pranayama), practiced in yoga, which can make you feel cooler in no time if meditation isn’t doing the trick.
Bring Out the Summer Whites
Light colours reflect light, which means you’ll be cooler in white or pastels than you would be in dark clothes, which trap heat.
Opt for them on the baggy side: loose-fitting flowing clothes provide better air flow, which means you’ll feel cooler.
Cool Foot Baths and Cold Compresses
Pulse points are spots on your body where blood vessels are very close to the surface. Use a cold towel or cold compress on these pulse points when you want to cool down fast.
Feet are a commonly overlooked pulse point but soaking your feet in cool water will give you instant relief from the heat (add a few drops of peppermint and lemon essential oils) and can also be helpful if your feet swell in hot weather.
Jump into a pool
The coronavirus has put a temporary halt to our use of public pools. If you are lucky enough to have access to a pool – make the best of it. Or take a dip in the sea. Water is the body’s best friend in summer. It cools us down instantly!
Extra Special Care:Children and Animals – Keep them out of the sun and out of a parked car.Make sure they have access to water / fluids.
Tech – The Cool Answer
Science is working hard to help athletes deal with physical side -effects faster, which means we oldies benefit as well!
There are wristbands which use technology to pull heat out of your body quickly and cool down your inner core thus delaying fatigue.
Thanks to tech, you no longer have to carry around one of those little battery-powered fans to stay cool. Now you can buy a fan that plugs directly into your phone, which makes one less thing to lug around all summer long.
You can even protect yourself from the sun and keep cool with a 3-bladed cooling fan inside your umbrella!
That’s a wrap on tips to keep cool this summer. Don’t forget the most obvious ones— like keeping yourself hydrated with water and fluids, avoiding peak hours in the sun to avoid sunstroke, and lathering yourself with sunscreen before you go into direct sunlight. A protective hat, some cool shades, and you’re all set to take on the heat!