The best foods to keep you cool in the summer heat

Reducing your carbohydrates and protein intake are sure-fire ways to beat the baking summer temperatures

Gemma Francis
Monday 06 August 2018 17:10 BST
Chillies are among the foods recommended to help you keep cool
Chillies are among the foods recommended to help you keep cool (Getty Images)

Experts have revealed the foods you should be eating to keep cool during hot weather, including spinach, chilli – and soup.

As Britain experiences one of the hottest summers on record, productivity levels have slumped as the heat affects the nation’s diet, routine and sleep patterns.

Now 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.

According to O’Shaughnessy, despite traditionally being considered a winter dish, 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.”

He 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

Eat spinach

Have a bowl of soup

Opt for dishes with chilli

Eat watermelon

Up your turmeric intake

Reduce your carbohydrates

Cut down on meat

Eat onions

Consume dishes and drinks which contain mint

Look out for dishes made with coconut milk

To order a cooling takeaway, download the Just Eat app today through Google Play or the App Store.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in