Nutritionist-approved unlikely foods to eat to beat the heat

One nutritionist believes eating chilli and soup could be the key to cooling down this summer [Photo: Pexels]

The foods you should be eating to keep cool this summer may surprise you. But according to one expert, spinach, chilli and soup should be at the top of your summer meal rotation.

With the heatwave returning this summer, one expert is trying to help Brits get their pep back in the scorching temps. With the summer heat affecting the food you eat, your routine and sleep patterns, one nutritionist has teamed up with a food delivery service to advise on how to eat to preserve energy.

Nutritionist Daniel O’Shaughnessy worked alongside Just Eat to compile a list of what to eat – and avoid – in the summer months. And one of his recommendations may surprise you – soup.

It will make you perspire more, but as the sweat evaporates, the energy is absorbed into the air, therefore cooling the body,” he said. 

According to O’Shaughnessy, reducing carbohydrates, and incorporating turmeric and watermelon into your diet will help you cool down on those humid summer days.

With this summer being one of the UK’s hottest, the nutritionist recommends a meal of spicy chilli in the evenings – due to the capsaicin sending a signal to your body that it is overheated.

The active ingredient, curcumin, promotes circulation which will speed up blood flow and lower your body temperature. Initially, your body will sweat more – but it’ll also cool down considerably.

Turmeric has a similar affect on the body meaning just because it’s summer, curry doesn’t have to be off the menu. Even better news? The coconut milk found in most curries has the nutrients needed to support hydration, prevent exhaustion and muscle aches in high temperatures.

When it comes to mint and spinach, the two can provide a cooling sensation while also maintaining blood pressure – another way to keep you cool. According to the nutritionist, the following foods should top your summer meal plans:

  • Spinach
  • Soup
  • Chilli
  • Watermelon
  • Turmeric
  • Onions
  • Coconut milk
  • Mint

But just because there’s a plethora of cooling options doesn’t mean all foods are in the green. If you want to stay as cool as possible, you should be avoiding carbs and protein.

When it comes to heatwave dining, O’Shaughnessy recommends sticking to plant-based meals.

“It may be harder to digest a high protein food in a heat wave. Meat is quite hard to digest and the digestion process creates heat (thermogenesis) and can make you feel hotter in yourself,” he said.

“Opting for plant-based dishes can be a good choice as less energy is needed to break vegetarian dishes down compared to meat.”

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