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Cool Foods to Help Beat the Heat

Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 09:38 AM


Think you can beat the summer heat by dishing up a cool bowl of ice cream or downing a tall glass of ice water? Guess again. New research has found the best foods to help keep you cool on hot summer days aren’t what you might expect.
The best bets: cucumbers, fruit, tea, beer and even sweat-inducing spicy foods like curry and pepper dishes.
The reason: Cold treats and drinks may be appealing during the dog days of summer, but they do nothing to reduce your core body temperature, said food scientists in a new report presented at meeting of the American Chemical Society this week.
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ACS researcher Sara Risch, a consultant for the food industry, said it’s important to consume foods that lower the body’s internal thermostat to help cope with the heat, avoid dehydration and retain key minerals and vitamins.
Among Risch’s recommendations:
• Fruits and vegetables with high water content are good choices in hot weather, including cucumbers, celery and melons.
• Whole grain foods contribute magnesium and calcium to the body, preventing cramps.
• Beer, tea and wine are fine because they contain body-cooling tannins, but drink them only in moderation and make sure they’re not too cold.
• Avoid very cold foods – including ice cream, ice water and chilled drinks – because they only cool the part of the body they touch, but can shock the body to shut down natural cooling systems. “Ice cream [may] actually stoke the body's metabolic furnace and make you feel even hotter,” the researchers noted. Even water should be consumed at room temperature rather than ice cold during the hottest days of the year.
• Avoid heavy proteins, sweets and fatty foods because they are harder for the body to digest.
• Spicy foods – including those made with curry and chili peppers – and hot drinks can actually reduce body temperature and promote perspiration.
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Scientists report the best foods to help keep you cool on hot summer days aren’t what you might expect.
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2012-38-23
Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 09:38 AM
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