Cool Your Body Down Naturally

Is it just us, or has it been hot lately? We are all aware that our weather will be hotter and drier between May to July. It’s the time of year when we will sweat, pant, and feel extra tired. But did you know that there are ways to cool ourselves down? Such as specific foods we can eat to keep our bodies cool.

When the weather is hot, our body temperature will rise and this can affect us and our health in many ways. Let’s see what we can do to help us when things get a little too hot!

 

How Does Heat Affect Us?

 

The heat not only makes us sweaty and uncomfortable, it affects our health, mental wellbeing, and more. An article by Koh Wai Ting said, “Updated projections from the third National Climate Change Study, released on Friday (Jan 5), also predict more warm nights and more days with high heat stress.”

 

Dehydration

One of the most common effects of hot weather is dehydration. The hot weather causes our body temperature to rise and produce sweat. Prolonged sweating causes the fluids in our bodies to deplete. Hence, we feel thirsty a lot more than usual.

According to an article by Shabana Begum, “Dehydration could also narrow blood vessels and shrink tissues in the brain and elsewhere. As the brain shrinks and pulls away from the skull, it causes headaches.”

Another effect of dehydration is muscle cramps and body aches which can lead to us feeling unwell and lethargic.

 

Skin Health & Heat Rash

Warmer temperatures are usually coupled with intense Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.

Short-term exposure to UV rays can cause sunburns, but long-term exposure opens us up to the risk of skin cancer.

Aside from skin damage, constant or prolonged sweating can cause heat rash. Heat rash is caused by inflamed sweat ducts when they are blocked and trap sweat in the skin itself. 

People with skin conditions like eczema are even more vulnerable to heat rash. In fact, in the same article, Begum mentions, “Eczema flares up when excessive sweating further irritates the skin.”

 

Heatstroke & Other Health Issues

You may notice that your general health declines whenever the weather gets too hot. This is truer for younger children and senior citizens. 

Heatstroke is the most extreme of all heat-related health issues. Fever, cough, and fatigue are just some symptoms experienced with heatstroke.

It begins with minor symptoms like confusion, delirium, and slurred speech, and it gets progressively worse which eventually leads to multiple organ failures.

 

What Foods Can Cool Us Down?

 

Fortunately, many foods can help lower our body temperature when we are under the weather, and even more so when the weather is scorching!

 

High Water Content Fruits & Vegetables

Have you heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber”? Well, that’s true! Cucumbers have higher water content and it helps to eliminate heat from your body. 

According to an article by Divyata Raut, “The presence of refreshing cucumber in your gut douses the heat within your body and nurses your inflammation with its invigorating quality.”

Other than cucumbers, watermelons also contribute to cooling your body. These ruby-red and juicy fruits ensure the moisture in your body is maintained as you tend to sweat.

To chill out and enjoy these fruits and vegetables as a fresh, summer fruit salad, add a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar for that extra zing and depth of flavour!

Honeydews are also a great fruit to munch on in hot weather. These sweet and juicy fruits have cooling properties that help cool your body temperature.

 

Hot Tea

While it is natural for us to reach for cold ice cream or drinks, hot tea is more beneficial for you in hot weather. According to Raut, “Sipping on hot tea on a hot day is a smarter way to stay cool in this heat, so it’s best if you avoid any iced beverages.”

Adding a few slices of lemon or rosemary will also add some flavour and make the tea more refreshing to sip on.

You can also sweeten things up by using a low-GI sweetener like Coconut Nectar or boost your immune system with a spoonful of Coconut Cider.

 

Barley & Coconut Drink

As an alternative to plain water, a glass of barley or coconut water will freshen you up! These drinks are available at your favourite hawker centres whenever you’re eating out.

Or you could make these refreshing drinks at home! If you prefer something different than a plain coconut drink, try this recipe with Coconut Cider and Coconut Nectar.

Besides acting as excellent toxin flushers, these drinks are also great at clearing heat from your body.

 

Other Ways to Cool Down

 

While consuming foods and drinks to help you cool down is beneficial, there are other precautions and measures you can take while beating the heat.

 

Outdoor Activities Precautions

Stay out of the sun as much as possible and take regular breaks in the shade. If you have to be outside or your job requires you to be outdoors for long periods, do remember to put on sunscreen and take regular breaks in shaded and ventilated areas.

Where there are no shades to rest under, try wearing a cap or hat to keep the sun away. Also, a small portable fan comes in handy when the heat gets a little too much. Staying hydrated during hot weather is very important too!

 

Exercise

While exercising sounds extra unappealing while you’re already uncomfortably sweating from the heat, it plays an important role in helping you regulate your body temperature.

According to Begum, “Doing more aerobic exercises, such as running and cardio workouts, will improve the body’s thermal capacity.”

 

Keep Your Environment Cool

According to an article by Darrelle Ng, “The answer to reducing the impact of rising heat on public health may lie in how well the built environment and the population can adapt, said Professor Wong Nyuk Hien, of the NUS College of Design and Engineering Department of the Built Environment.”

Add some greens to your household. Plants have a cooling effect on our environment and even help us breathe better.

Another way to keep your environment cool is to keep the area well-ventilated. Switch on fans and open the windows to help the air circulate better.

 

Keeping it Cool

 

As the effects of the El Nino phenomenon linger and heat things, we should do all we can to ensure our health and safety are in check. Whether it’s through food, activities, or our environment, every aspect would help us get through these hot and dry days better.

Also, this is your chance to let loose and have a splashing good time with watersports and activities with your families. Days like these can be equally memorable as others if you know how to make them enjoyable!