No energy in the midst of the heat wave? You might be dehydrated. To counter the hazardous impacts of the summer sun, forget about cholesterol express meals. Temperature-reducing water-laden fruit and vegetables are your best when the sun is hitting hard. Here are a few cooling foods that you should definitely add to your diet to beat the heat:
Peppermint or ice-mint sends shivers down your spine if you just chew a couple of leaves. Alcohol is a no-no when the thermometer is high, but virgin mojitos will lower your body heat. As will mint chutney and raita.
Watermelon gets your temperature down. As an added bonus, it also contains a fabulous amino-acid – citrulline. This little marvel helps you relax and dilates your poor climate struck blood vessels. In other words, more blood circulates around your body and cools you down. Melon, bursting with wonderful minerals: potassium, calcium and magnesium, and amazing anti-oxidants, does the same. Red fruit and citrus fruit, with lemon as number one, are top heat-beaters.
All green salads especially bitter ones such as arugula, chicory, endive help you cool down as well as detox your digestive system.
Cucumber, probably THE champion as far as water contents go, is cooling, light and low in calories. Tomatoes are great at doing the same job. So why not throw them together in your beautiful blender to concoct an amazing gazpacho, totally refreshing and 200% healthy? Use organic vegetables to make the most of all the benefits hidden in their skins.
Slice 4 large plump ripe ravishing red tomatoes and blitz them in your blender. Chop a charming cucumber, deseed and chop 1 chubby red pepper, peel and chop 1 spring onion, green included, and 1 clove of garlic. Add the lot to the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar, salt, pepper and mix furiously.
Feeling adventurous? Add a handful of fresh basil leaves and some lemon juice.
If you’d rather stick to the traditional Andalusian recipe, soak 100 g sliced stale bread in warm water, squeeze it and mix it with the rest.
Stick in the fridge for a couple of hours at least and serve with diced black olives, small pieces of cucumber and peppers, hard-boiled egg, cubes of Spanish ham, toasts or whatever takes your fancy. Grab your castanets, throw your head back and shout ¡Ole!