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How to Incorporate Cooling Foods into Your Diet

Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: July 8, 2024

When the temperature rises, keeping cool becomes a priority. One effective way to manage your body heat and stay comfortable during the hot months is through your diet. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, suggests that certain foods can help balance the body’s heat, especially during summer.

These cooling foods can help reduce the internal heat, known as Pitta, in your body. Here’s how you can incorporate these foods into your diet, including some easy recipes to get you started.

What are Cooling Foods as per Ayurveda?

Cooling foods are typically those that are high in water content and can help hydrate and cool down the body. These foods are often light, moist, and refreshing. Fruits like watermelon, cucumber, and apples, as well as vegetables like leafy greens, are considered cooling. Dairy products, coconut, and herbs like mint and cilantro also have cooling properties.

Why Choose Cooling Foods? 

Including cooling foods into your diet, especially during hotter months, can significantly benefit your health and overall well-being. Here’s why choosing these foods can make a difference:

1. Reduce Body Heat

Cooling foods have properties that help lower your internal body temperature. This is particularly beneficial during the summer when the risk of overheating is higher.

Foods like cucumbers and watermelons, which are high in water content, naturally cool your body down, preventing discomfort and heat-related health issues.

2. Hydration

Many cooling foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain high levels of water. Regular consumption of these foods can help maintain optimal hydration levels. Staying hydrated is crucial as it enhances skin health, aids kidney function, and improves cognitive and physical performance. Foods like cucumbers, which are over 95% water, are an excellent way to boost your daily water intake without drinking water continuously.

3. Digestion

Cooling foods are generally easier on the stomach and can significantly improve digestive health. They facilitate smoother digestion and can help alleviate common digestive issues such as bloating, acid reflux, and irregular bowel movements. Ingredients like mint not only add a refreshing flavor to meals but also have properties that can soothe the stomach and promote better digestion.

Choosing cooling foods isn’t just about beating the heat; it’s about enhancing your hydration, supporting digestive health, and maintaining an overall comfortable body temperature. Incorporating these foods into your diet can lead to noticeable improvements in how you feel, especially during the warmer parts of the year.

Cooling Foods to Include in Your Diet

Integrating cooling foods into your diet can be an enjoyable and beneficial practice. Here are some specific foods that are known for their cooling properties:

  • Cucumbers: Known for their incredible hydration properties due to their high water content, cucumbers are a staple cooling food. They help maintain body temperature and skin hydration and can be added to salads or eaten alone for a refreshing snack.
  • Watermelon: This fruit is essential for summer hydration. Watermelon is not only refreshing and hydrating but also helps flush toxins from the body due to its high water and fiber content. It’s perfect as a snack, in juices, or as part of fruit salads.
  • Mint: Mint is a versatile herb that adds a refreshing burst of flavor to any dish or drink. Beyond its palate-pleasing taste, mint has cooling properties and aids in digestion, making it a great addition to teas, salads, and desserts.
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  • Coconut Water: A natural beverage that’s rich in electrolytes and minerals, coconut water is excellent for replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes, especially after physical activity or exposure to heat. It’s a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks and serves as a natural energy booster.
  • Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce are high in water content and packed with essential nutrients. They contribute to hydration and provide vitamins and minerals that support overall health. These greens can be used in salads, smoothies, or lightly sautéed as a side dish.
  • Berries: Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants and have a high water content, making them cooling and nourishing. They are perfect for breakfast bowls, smoothies, or as a natural dessert option.

Including these cooling foods into your diet can help you maintain a healthy body temperature, improve digestion, and enhance hydration, making them especially beneficial during the warmer months.

Simple Recipes with Cooling Foods

Here are some essential yet easy to cook recipes incorporating cooling foods into your diet:

1. Cucumber Mint Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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Directions:

  1. Combine the sliced cucumbers and chopped mint in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and mint. Toss well to coat.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.

This salad is perfect as a side dish on a hot day, offering both hydration and a refreshing taste.

2. Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine watermelon, ice, and yogurt in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint leaves.

This smoothie is an excellent way to start your day or refresh after outdoor activities.

3. Green Tea and Honeydew Cooler

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brewed green tea, cooled
  • 2 cups cubed honeydew melon
  • Ice cubes
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine the cooled green tea, honeydew melon, and sweetener.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve over ice cubes for an extra cooling effect.

This drink is not only hydrating but also packed with antioxidants from the green tea.


Tips for Incorporating Cooling Foods with Ayurvedic Products

When incorporating cooling foods into your diet, consider enhancing your overall wellness with complementary Ayurvedic products. Here are some important tips to integrate these cooling foods with specific Ayurvedic products:

1. Stay Hydrated and Nourished

As you focus on hydrating with cooling foods, consider using a product like UMA Ultimate Brightening Rose Toner. This toner not only hydrates the skin but also promotes a radiant complexion with its luxurious blend of frankincense, sandalwood, and rose. It’s perfect for maintaining balanced and hydrated skin after spending time in the sun.


2. Enhance Your Environment

While adjusting your diet, enhance the atmosphere of your home or workspace with calming scents. UMA Pure Bliss Wellness Oil, with its sweet aromatic blend of clary sage and ylang ylang, can be used in a diffuser to create a soothing environment that complements a diet rich in cooling foods. This helps harmonize your body and mind, making your space a sanctuary of tranquility.


3. Promote Relaxation

To deepen your relaxation and complement your cooling diet, incorporate UMA Pure Calm Wellness Incense into your routine. The soothing chamomile and lavender in the incense can help alleviate tension and envelop you in calm, perfectly accenting a peaceful mealtime experience with cooling foods.

These products not only support your physical health by complementing a cooling diet but also enhance your mental and emotional well-being, creating a holistic approach to managing heat during the summer.


The Bottom Line

Incorporating cooling foods into your diet is a natural and effective way to beat the heat. With the simple recipes provided, you can start enjoying the benefits of these foods right away. 

Whether it’s a refreshing salad, a hydrating smoothie, or a cooling drink, these foods can help maintain your body’s balance and comfort during the warmest months.

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