Have you ever heard that a certain food or beverage must be consumed in summer because it can help to regulate the body temperature? As the mercury rises in this season, so do the myths surrounding food and beverages.
Therefore, we spoke to Dr Biju KS, Senior Medical Officer, Vieroots Wellness Solutions, to debunk the myths and present the facts about food and beverages that help you regulate your body temperature in the summer.
We are not talking about just aerated drinks. Cold drinks here refer to chilled beverages, including smoothies, juices, iced tea and more. They make us feel better but do not affect the internal temperature of the body. However, in humid weather, they can help you feel less hot by reducing the rate of perspiration.
Hence, any drink or food that can lower the rate of perspiration must be consumed when humidity is at its peak. It will offer some respite and make you feel comfortable. These drinks are also essential to increase hydration.
Some people have the idea that drinking hot drinks in summer can make you feel better. However, it is not like ‘only iron can cut iron’. A cup of hot coffee or tea can make you feel hot because it can increase the rate of perspiration. Thus, it can make you feel hotter in the humid and hot weather. If the humidity is low, higher perspiration can help keep the body cool.
Dr KS agreed that fruits definitely help you feel better in summer. Fruits increase the hydration quotient and help the body create a defence against hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature) and its most dangerous form, heat stroke.
Fruits like watermelons, oranges, grapes, apples, peaches, mangoes, bananas, strawberries, etc. are good for your body. An assorted bowl of pulpy fruits will make you feel better and fulfil the essential requirements for vitamins and minerals.
Loaded with water, vegetables also help to increase the hydration level in the body. You should include spinach, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, sprouts, celery and cabbage among others in your diet.
These vegetables also provided the required essential macro and micronutrients, minerals and vitamins. Dr KS said apart from hydrating the body, there are no studies to substantiate that vegetables can regulate the temperature of the body.
It is a myth that spicy food in any way can regulate your body’s temperature. In fact, chillies are known to be inflammatory in nature. Hence, Dr KS suggested picking up healthier options and limiting the consumption of spicy food.
Since most sports drinks are loaded with caffeine, they can do more harm than just increase the hydration levels of your body. Dr KS said while many sports drinks have a nutritional value, they also have compounds that can be harmful in the long term.
Coconut Water & Herbs
One of the best options in the summer season is drinking coconut water. It is nourishing, hydrating and contains essential amino acids and nutrients. Buttermilk with a few herbs like mint or turmeric is also a good choice to beat the heat.
If you skip a meal, you can regulate your body temperature. When you don’t eat, you reduce the calorie intake, which can bring down the core temperature of the body. However, Dr KS said it is an unhealthy habit unless you make it a part of intermittent fasting.