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Foods to quelch summer heat over Labor Day weekend

The celebration of American workers often involves parades, picnics, games, and other festivities. Food is often the center of the holiday.  This Labor Day weekend across the country we are experiencing unprecedented heat waves! It is way too hot to go outside away from the cool air conditioning. It even feels too hot to cook. Who wants to BBQ and stand by that grill? Not me!! Nor my husband!

Avoid suffering from summer heat an overexposure to the sun and hot weather conditions that can cause heatstroke. Symptoms may include high fever, profuse sweating, weakness, and thirst. This can be an emergency situation resulting in shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and even fainting.

Here are some ideas for easy to prepare cooling foods that will help keep you hydrated and refreshed.

Eat fresh foods like green lettuce salads, pasta salads, sprouts like mung bean, fruit, cucumber, and tofu. Naturally, we tend to have less of an appetite when we are hot. It is a good idea to eat less as a natural healthy practice.

  • The best fruits are apples, watermelon, lemons, berries, papaya, cantaloupe, pineapple, and limes.
  • Fresh vegetables that are best are zucchini, cucumber, summer squash.
  • Spice up your foods with red peppers, green peppers, cayenne, fresh ginger, horseradish and black pepper. These spices will disperse the body heat and stimulate sweating, which naturally cools your body. However, be sure not to overdo it with too much hot spicy foods as too much can weaken the body.
  • Drink teas made from mint, chrysanthemum and chamomile.
  • Avoid eating heavy foods that can cause sluggishness like meats, eggs, excess nuts, seeds, and grains.
  • Avoid bitter foods and herbs as they are too draining of body fluids.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are too cold or frozen such as ice cream because they interfere with digestion contracting the stomach. Contraction of the body withholds fluids and heat interfering with dispersion of heat and sweating.
  • A remedy for heatstroke is watermelon juice, radish juice, and bitter melon soup.
  • Cook with less salt, and more water.
  • The best cooking methods are quick sauteing on high heat, steaming, and simmering foods.

I posted a delicious watermelon salad recipe on my health channel. You can check it out here!

Watermelon Salad to Cool Summer heat!

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and stay safe!

Dr. Michele Arnold, Licensed acupuncturist.


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