Are Spicy Foods and Hot Drinks the Key to Staying Cool in the Summer Heat?

Temperatures are increasing across the continent, and some areas have already experienced mid-summer heat. If you’ve got heart disease, it could put you at a higher risk of stroke. But do you know the best ways to cool down?

Warm temperatures put stress on everybody’s heart. When temperatures climb, the heart has to beat faster and work harder to keep you cool. For people with heart disease, higher temperatures can boost the risk of a significant cardiovascular event.

But what do you usually do to cool down? Have an ice cream or cold drink? Believe it or not, these methods are not the best and can actually end up increasing your temperature.

When you eat ice cream, for example, the cooldown is fleeting. Its high-fat content means your body must work hard to digest it, ultimately boosting body temperature in the long term.

Instead, eating spicy food and reaching for a hot drink can help you maintain cooler temperatures. How? Spicy foods make you sweat without raising body temperature. Sweat is your body’s natural cooling system.

There is also research showing that spicy pepper consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Hot drinks like coffee and tea can also help you cool down in the heat by inducing sweat, leading to a cooling effect that outweighs and outlasts cold beverages.

When you’re out and about and looking for some respite from the hot sun, seek the shade of trees instead of buildings or umbrellas. Due to a process called transpiration, leaves give off water vapor that offers a cooling effect. You don’t get that from buildings.

There is also evidence to suggest vitamin C can have an effect on heat acclimatization and may help prevent heat exhaustion.

Those are a few ways of staying cool in the summer you may not have thought of. Give them a try and remember to wear more light colors than dark, loose clothing, drink plenty of water, and try to avoid direct sunlight during peak hours.

Keeping your temperature cool can help reduce the stress on your heart and potentially lower the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events this summer.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.

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