If you pay close attention, you will notice that your body is always seeking equilibrium. If you are dehydrated, your body begs for water. If you are stressed, your body desires sugar or alcohol. And if you are fatigued, your body craves caffeine or other stimulants.
Seasons also instinctively alter your choices in foods and beverages. When the weather is cooler, you naturally reach for foods that warm you up, like soups, stews and warm beverages. And when the weather is warmer, you reach for foods that cool you down, like raw fruits and veggies, ice cream and cold beverages. With summer in the air and the sun on your skin, you undoubtedly want to be the cool kid in town, right? Try these cooling, nutrient-dense foods from around the world, and make everyone envy your equilibrium.
- United States: Cool as a cumber in the United States! There is a reason this phrase came about. Cucumbers are the best vegetable for the task of cooling you down. They are hydrating and full of nutrition. Add them to your water, salads and sandwiches. And don’t forget to eat the skin, too, as there are tons of minerals and fiber in the skin.
- India: Nimbu what? Nimbu-Pani! This is an Indian version of lemonade that will help you chill out during the heat of summer. Limes will help you jumpstart your metabolism and detox your digestive system. Replace sugar with honey to enhance nutritional benefits.
- Spain: Gazpacho, anyone? Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato soup that can fulfil your antioxidant needs. Can’t find gazpacho? Try tomatoes. Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and they contain lycopene, which makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage. There you go, a natural sunblock from the inside out. Pick from one of these delicious recipes.
- Israel: Tabbouleh (pronounced ta-boo-lee) is a classic Israeli dish made from cracked wheat (bulgur) and several flavors that burst in your mouth and cool off your body. Imagine mint, lemon, parsley, cucumber. If you’re not in the mood for preparing this dish, many markets or Mediterranean restaurants will have it pre-made.
- Thailand: With more potassium than four bananas, coconuts produce a super-hydrating, electrolyte-packed liquid that could quench a dragon’s thirst. For the sweetest flavor, try it straight from the source! They can be found at Asian markets and natural food markets. Here are a few recipes to try out.
- China: Ancient Chinese medicine believes strongly that foods have warming or cooling effects on your body. Odd as it may sound; hot green tea is a cooling summer food. According to Teavivre, ‘caffeine helps to transform fat in the body into energy, causing you to sweat, yet not feel hot.
This post is brought to you by Caryn Laviv. Caryn is a certified nutrition development coach and is the founder of Calorie Inc and CML Consulting. Her passions and business pursuits are in health and marketing.