Eat Cool to Beat the Heat

It's hot out!  No matter what part of the country you are in, you can feel the rise in temperatures.  To help you stay cool this summer, make sure you are eating plenty of body-cooling foods.  Perhaps you are thinking this is a no-brainer and it makes perfect sense, but did you know that Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine actually have this down to a science? 

Eastern medicine takes into consideration the tangible effect that food has on our bodies and allocates them to either a neutral, hot or cool attribute to better serve the body systems.  Hence, you want to eat cooling foods when it is warm out and vice versa.  Many of the cooling foods are obvious summer favorites like melon, lettuces and cucumber.  Some less obvious cooling foods to add to your summer diet are asparagus, bamboo shoots, kelp, mung beans, millet, barley, kiwi and banana.  Also, seaweed and raw fish - Sushi anyone?  Most cooling foods possess certain characteristics and are all fairly low calorie.  They are watery, can have a somewhat sour component and are often cool colors (think greens).  Adding these foods to your hot weather menu not only help to hydrate you because they have a higher water content but are calming and cooling to your system.