Weird Ways to Stay as Cool as a Cucumber This Summer
Pretty soon, summer will be upon us in Australia. This means loads of socialising in the sun drinking beer and eating ice-cream. Did you know that what you consume affects how you moderate your body temperature. What's really surprising is that foods that you would expect to cool you down, are actually doing the opposite. Here's some unusual ways to keep cool this summer, and keep warm in winter, without even switching on a heating and cooling unit.
Food and Drinks to Avoid
Not to rain on your parade, but two of the most delectable guilty pleasures of the beach, ice-cream and beer will actually make you hotter on a scorching day!
It turns out that ice-cream, rather than cool you down in hot weather, actually makes you hotter!
According to professor and food scientist Barry Swanson from Washington State University, there's a physiological explanation for this. ''Foods that contain more fat, protein, and carbohydrates often heat the body up a little bit while digesting food.'' Swanston says. ''The sheer temperature difference gives a cooling sensation, but when your body starts to digest, you feel warm because your body has to provide energy to digest that food product. Fat is notorious for moving slowly through the digestive system, so it takes more energy to digest that fat. Any time you are putting more energy through the system, whether it be digestion or weight lifting, your body has a tendency to heat up.''
Drinking a refreshing beer after a long hard day at work, is a time-honoured Aussie tradition that is cooling on the body, right? Wrong. Alcohol, in particular beer, is the culprit for heating people up and dehydrating them. The body vasodilates, which basically means that the blood vessels widen, causing the skin to release heat. We experience this by a flushing of the face and being warm to touch. Maybe it's better to swap that bevvy on the beach for a water.
Food and Drinks to Cool You Down
Foods that are high in water content such as succulent fruit and vegetables, are the most hydrating and cooling. Therefore it's no surprise, that foods like cucumber and watermelon are summer super foods with the most cooling potential. Cucumber is the king of all cooling foods. Slice some up and put it on your closed and tired eyes for an instant revitalising boost to tired skin. Or eat some raw to hydrate and cool down your body. The saying 'as cool as a cucumber' originated from somewhere!
Chill Out by Eating Chilli
This one is completely unexpected and out of left field! Did you know that chilli actually cools you down? It's true we promise! The cooling compound contained in chilli is called capsaican. This causes a strong physiological reaction in the body. You would know this from your reaction to a super hot curry. The effects include sweating profusely, flushing and having a runny nose. This all occurs without actually raising the body temperature. So the moisture evaporates from the skin and cools you down. So don't avoid curries in the summer time, just beware of the potential fallout in the bathroom afterwards.
In the sweltering country of Morocco in North Africa, they battle the midday heat by sipping on sweetened mint tea. Mint has naturally cooling properties that make it fresh and cooling on the the nasal passages. They have been drinking mint tea in the desert for thousands of years, so it makes sense to give it a burl.
More Weird Cooling Techniques
Take a Yogic Breath
There's no real scientific backing for this one. Just anecdotal evidence that it feels good, calms you down and chills you out. There's plenty of ways to consciously take a breath, but one of the most practical and soothing ways is called sheetali pranayama.
This is a Yogic practice that seems unusual, but is profoundly comforting. It involves sticking your tongue out by not straining it and then inhaling through the mouth, allowing the air to draw through the mouth. The air naturally gets cooler as it passes over the tongue. Don't try this in an airport departure lounge, train or anywhere else in public for that matter – it looks a bit weird! People may think you're bonkers.
There's several reasons why this has a cooling effect on the body during the hot weather. The body is in a stationary position. This means there's less energy burned by movement. Also the practice of mindfulness or being focused on the breath, has the potential to calm and sooth the mind, while the inactivity cools down the body.
Evoheat Means Less Mumbo-Jumbo, More Real Solutions
After record high temperatures across Australia in recent years, it's always a good idea to know about simple ways to cool down. These methods of food selection, yogic breath and meditation are all well and good, but they won't help you to sleep on a 40 degree night in Alice Springs.
Evoheat have real solutions to the yearly scorchers for both businesses and homes across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world! Speak with Evoheat today on 1300 85 99 33.