Experts have revealed the foods you should be eating to keep cool during hot weather, including spinach, chilli – and SOUP.
Productivity levels have slumped as the heat affects the nation’s diet, routine and sleep patterns as Britain experiences one of the hottest summers on record.
Nutritionist Daniel O’Shaughnessy has teamed up with Just Eat, a leading global marketplace for online food delivery, to compile a list of the best foods to eat – and avoid – in order to cool down.
Tucking into watermelon, turmeric and reducing the carbohydrates and protein in your diet are all sure-fire ways to beat the heat.
Traditionally seen as a winter dish, O’Shaughnessy says having a bowl of soup in the evening as temperatures start to drop can actually help you stay cool.
He said: “It will make you perspire more, but as the sweat evaporates, the energy is absorbed into the air, therefore cooling the body.”
O’Shaughnessy also believes a spicy chilli is an excellent choice in hot weather explaining that the capsaicin found in the food sends a signal to your brain that your body is overheated.
As a result, you will sweat more to cool your body down.
The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric also make a takeaway tikka masala curry a good option in hot weather.
Curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the spice, helps promote good circulation, helping to speed up your blood flow and cool your body down.
Graham Corfield, of Just Eat, said: “With the forecast showing no signs of cooling down, we’re all trying different ways to combat the heat – from having a cool shower as soon as you walk through the door, to avoiding standing in a hot kitchen.
“What people may not realise is that some of your favourite dishes might just help make these temperatures more bearable.
“From a simple bowl of soup to spicy Thai green curry, there are over 100 different types of cuisines available to order on the Just Eat app, meaning your choice of temperature-reducing meal can be delivered straight to your door.”
O’Shaughnessy also named onions, found in the likes of burritos and curries, as a top pick, with the vegetable being used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional form of Indian medicine which is more than 3,000 years old, to treat heat stroke.
Other hot weather choices recommended by O’Shaughnessy include mint, thanks to its cooling sensation, as well as spinach, which contains the vitamins and minerals needed to help keep your blood pressure under control, in turn keeping you cool.
He also added that coconut milk, found in dishes like a Thai Green curry, holds important nutrients to support hydration, prevent exhaustion and muscle aches in hot weather.
And watermelon, which is high in water content, also contains citrulline, an amino acid which relaxes you and helps to dilate the blood vessels, meaning more blood can circulate around your body and cool you down.
But there are some foods to avoid, with O’Shaughnessy advising Brits to cut down on carbohydrate-rich foods, such as rice and wholegrains, and foods high in protein like meat.
He said: “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.
“Opting for plant-based dishes can be a good choice as less energy is needed to break vegetarian dishes down compared to meat”.
10 food hacks to cool you down
Have a bowl of soup
Opt for dishes with chilli
Up your turmeric intake
Reduce your carbohydrates
Cut down on meat
Consume dishes and drinks which contain mint
Look out for dishes made with coconut milk