Getting Hot and Irritable? Five Natural Strategies to Keep You Cool

Summer heat brings us water sports, sandy beaches, grill-outs and pool parties.  What’s not to love, right?

For those who are more sensitive to hot weather, the heat can also cause some unpleasant side effects.  These folks typically feel great in the fall, winter and even spring seasons, but come summertime, they get inflamed, overheated and irritable.  If this is you, you may be unconsciously making things harder on yourself.  Explore these 5 simple steps to keep the body cool, calm, and collected.

  1. Drink water. Loads of it.  A combination of heat and dehydration can leave the body feeling exhausted, crabby and sluggish.
  2.  Eat local produce. When you visit your local Farmers Market, you supporting locally sourced foods and you are unwittingly helping re-balance the body.  Mother Nature provides the antidote to the season.  Summer’s harvest brings us an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables for a specific reason.  These foods can typically be eaten raw, which is naturally cooling for the body.  Summer’s bounty is also low in calories, which regulates body temperature reducing the need to crank up the internal thermostat to burn through high-calorie foods.  Last, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in carbohydrates.  This gives us plenty of energy to last through our longer and more active summer months.
  3. Avoid heating foods. Summer nostalgia can cause us to crave grilled BBQ Ribs, handfuls of chips or picnic brownies.  Moderation is key.  If you find yourself reaching for spicy, rich or creamy foods frequently in the summer and are wondering why you are having symptoms of overheating (heartburn, inflammation or irritability), it may be wise to lay off the warming foods.  In general it is wise to reduce the consumption of salt, oil and spices.
  4. Increase bitter foods. On the other end of the spectrum, there are foods that are naturally bitter and cooling that can be very beneficial during the hot summer months.  These include all leafy green vegetables, raw cacao, coffee (in moderation,) asparagus, artichokes, dandelions, and cucumbers among others.
  5. Go outside to make food choices. Sure a warm cup of tomato soup might sound good after spending hours in air-conditioning. But if you really want to get in touch with what your body really wants this summer, step outside for a while and ask yourself what actually sounds good.  Some people report being naturally turned off to meat-heavy or creamy dishes simple because it’s so hot outside.  The more you can re-connect with Nature, the easier it will be to determine what foods would be most nourishing for your body.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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