Top Plant-Based Foods To Help Cool You Down

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When the summer heat hits, there are more ways to cool down than taking a cold shower or sitting in front of a fan.

In fact, what you eat can do more for your body temperature than you might realise. And while ice cream and cold drinks definitely feel soothing on a warm day, they’re not actually your best defence against the heat.

In fact, these sweet treats could be causing your body to generate even more heat. The real secret to cooling down lies in a selection of plant-based foods that thrive in hot climates that mother nature specifically provides to help cool us down.

These top 'cooling' foods also help reduce internal heat caused by digestive issues and inflammation, so that your body can easily regulate its temperature from the inside out.

1. Cucumber

Cucumbers have a very mild, refreshing taste, and that’s partly because they are made mostly of water. This property makes them a great cooling food since the vegetable actually hydrates you as you eat it.

Plus, cucumbers are high in potassium, which your body needs to replenish when you perspire and lose electrolytes.

Chill your cucumbers ahead of time for extra cooling, and throw them in a smoothie, drink celery juice, or try a chilled cucumber soup or even in a sandwich for a light lunch.

Learn more: 6 Top Reasons to Make Your Own Fresh Juice at Home.

2. Watermelon

There’s nothing like watermelon when it comes to enjoying a refreshing, hydrating fruit. Just like cucumber, watermelon is almost completely water and soothes and cools as you digest.

In fact, watermelon is so powerful at cooling that it’s been known to help with heat stroke because of its ability to replenish fluids and electrolytes quickly and effectively. Plus, it’s delicious and feels like a sweet treat while actually being quite healthy. Try freezing watermelon slices for a healthy popsicle on a warm day.

Learn more: Why You Should Try 3 Days On Watermelon Juice

3. Coriander (Cilantro)

There’s a reason you find cilantro among these top plant-based foods: it’s incredibly cooling and balancing. Cilantro helps detoxify the system, soothe indigestion, heartburn and other digestive issues, while also promoting a healthy fluid balance in your body for optimal hydration.

If you’re feeling uncomfortably full, nauseous, overheated or generally unwell, try chewing on some cilantro for immediate relief.

4. Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are one of the top plant-based foods based on their impressive nutrient profile, but they can also help cool you down from the inside.

Dark leafy greens help reduce inflammation, which often generates quite a bit of heat, while also improving hydration levels and helping to move waste through your system, clearing away built-up toxins. They move very quickly through the system, giving you relief of internal build-up and waste.

Opt for kale, Swiss chard, rapini, bok choy, collard greens, and arugula; when you’re feeling internal heat, make a great salad out of a combination of these potent dark leafy greens and top it with the other top plant-based foods on this list for extra cooling action.

Learn more: 5 Signs You Have Inflammation in Your Body.

5. Bananas

You might not associate bananas with cooling, but they’re one of the top plant-based foods to soothe internal heat. Bananas are very effective at clearing toxins from the system, which can remove internal “heat” while also restoring balance and relieving discomfort.

If you’re feeling nauseous or sick, there’s a reason bananas are often a staple in your get-well routine: they release the toxins from your body and are quite gentle on the system. While they’re not typically a cold food, internal heat can often be soothed by completely neutral temperature foods and bananas are one of them.

6. Coconut Water

Coconut water has become quite trendy in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. Coconuts are health powerhouses, but coconut water is incredibly hydrating and refreshing—even more so than water. It’s packed with nutrients, can be very gentle on your digestive system, can lower your blood pressure, and replaces crucial minerals in the body after intense exercise or outdoor activity.

Learn more: The Healing Powers of Coconuts.

7. Chilli Peppers

This might sound completely counterintuitive, but spicy foods like peppers can actually cool you rather than heat you up.

When you eat something icy cold, your body goes to work to counteract that and warm you back up. When you eat something spicy, your body does the opposite and works to cool you down by sweating to release the heat. After all, there’s a reason some of the spiciest foods come from the warmest regions.

Adding spice to your foods will definitely work, but eating peppers does double duty thanks to the refreshing crunch of pepper skin and the burst of hydration.

8. Mango

It’s not just a fruit for tropical vacations, but one of the top plant-based foods you can use to keep your body temperature in check. It’s jam-packed with nutrients, in particular, powerful antioxidants like vitamins C and A. Not only do they help boost immunity to prevent sickness and, in turn, heat, but they also keep your cells hydrated so that they can better regulate your internal temperature.

The best part is, mango is incredible on its own or in a variety of dishes from kefir to oatmeal to salads and more.

Learn more: Beat the Winter Blues: Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu

9. Pineapple

Another tropical fruit that works wonders for internal cooling, the pineapple should come as no surprise on this list. It’s juicy, tart, and so satisfying on a hot day; there’s a reason hot climates go hand-in-hand with tropical fruits.

The pineapple, while mostly made of water, is also a great source of bromelain, which helps ease digestion to keep your internal temperature stable. Pineapple also helps improve your blood circulation, which moves blood away from your core to help moderate your internal temperature even more.

Eat pineapple on its own for a sweet treat, or throw it onto a smoothie for a refreshing drink on a hot day.

10. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds might seem like a random addition after a medley of fruits and vegetables, but they’ve been known for their cooling properties for centuries. They’ve long been used as a digestive aid to ease bloating and gas, and by chewing on them after a meal, you can boost your digestive and soothe internal heat while freshening your breath to boot!

Keep a little bag of seeds on hand to chew on whenever you’re out and might be feeling uncomfortable after a meal.

Learn more in Top 7 Reasons to Embrace a Plant-Based Diet & How to Do It

The Takeaway

Your body is a well-oiled machine, but sometimes it needs a little help. Regulating your temperature can be tough, especially when there’s strong external factors or internal issues. Everything from indigestion to humidity can cause your temperature to rise uncomfortably, but luckily some of the top plant-based foods can help you bring it down quickly and naturally. Plus, you’re experiencing a whole host of other health benefits by consuming them, making it a win-win. What can’t a plant-based diet do?

Learn more: Why You Should Eat More "Hydrating" Fruits & Drink Their Juices

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