August is on average the second hottest month of the year (behind July) in Kentucky. Here are five foods to help you cool down when it’s hot outside:
- Watermelon. There’s a reason watermelon is a staple at picnics and cookouts. It’s sweet and refreshing! But it’s also made up of about 91 percent water and is a source of vitamins A and C and contains lycopene, fiber and potassium. Slice it into cubes or chunks and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Having it ready to eat makes it easy to pack watermelon to take to work for lunch or a snack.
- Cucumber. Whoever said the words “cool as a cucumber” was right. Cucumber’s especially high water content, coupled with its fresh and crunchy taste, make it a perfect summer veggie. It is a fantastic source of Vitamin K, an anti-inflammatory compound and many antioxidants. Cut one up and add it to smoothies, salads, sandwiches or wraps.
- Frozen yogurt. For a healthier alternative to ice cream, choose frozen yogurt. It’s just as cooling and refreshing, but with less sugar and easier to digest. Pair it with some fresh, cold fruit for a double dose of cool.
- Chili Peppers. In hot-climate countries such as India and Thailand, spicy foods are a mainstay. Why? Because one of the chemicals found in chili peppers, capsaicin, triggers a reaction in your body that makes you sweat. And sweating helps you lower your body temperature. Marinate chicken, fish or lean meats in fiery marinades. Add chopped chili peppers to burgers and salads, or nibble on veggies dunked in spicy salsa.
- Mint. It makes sense that mint helps you cool down, after all most mint flavored gum boasts the icy affect it has. Add a few crushed or torn mint leaves to your water bottle and keep it handy for a refreshing break any time of day. Drink mint tea to ease stomach pain, nausea and indigestion. Mint also helps with respiratory conditions, such as asthma.