Summer months in the Sacramento Valley and foothills bring day time temperatures from the upper 80’s to the low 100’s. Combine this with long hours, low humidity and increased activity, and you have the perfect recipe for dehydration, heat stroke, skin rashes, sunburn and other forms of inflammation.
Fortunately nature has gifted us with ways minimize overheating and dehydration.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat more raw foods.
- Eat foods that naturally aid in cooling and hydration.
Cucumbers and melons are among the top cooling fruits. They contain 90% water and are rich in minerals that the body tends to sweat out. Cucumbers have B vitamins that help reduce stress, vitamin C for healthy skin, and silica to help your joints remain flexible. Melons are high in beta carotene and vitamin C, and they are rich in phosphorous, folate, choline and natural sodium. Watermelon is particularly cooling, especially when you consume the rind. Cantaloupe and Honeydew can be put in a blender with fresh mint to make a wonderful cooling raw soup. Watermelon cubed with feta and mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar makes a great salad.
Anything that makes your mouth pucker is also said to be cooling. This includes all citrus but especially lemons, limes and grapefruit. Cranberries, grapes and bananas are part astringent (causes body tissues to tighten) and encourage one to stay hydrated and cool. Start your day with lemon and cucumber in water for a cooling and cleansing!
Lettuce and greens (NOT mustard greens) will also keep you cool. Romaine lettuce can replace bread and be used as wraps with fish, cheese, cold cuts, and avocado.
One surprising vegetable that cools your body is radishes. Although spicy, they are anti-inflammatory and can help lower cholesterol and dissolve kidney stones while keeping you cool.
Mint, especially peppermint is another way to keep your body cool. Cilantro and parsley are also good.
Finally, I’d recommend doing high quality salt, like Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt to stay balanced with electrolytes and to keep your trace minerals up. Avoid heating foods like poultry, garlic, cinnamon and other spices that are considered heating.
Eat more raw produce and stay cool this summer!