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Foods that COOL you down in summer

Published 2 years ago at 29 Aug 2019 by Alexandra Soare

You are probably wondering what is the best way to feel more like yourself when the heat is strong. There are two strategies that you can use. I am a nutritionist and based on data, I can give you scientifically accurate ways to fight the heat.

The first one is called diet-induced thermogenesis while the second one has to do with that skill that helped us survive during prehistory.


Production of heat through diet: 

(DIT = dietary-induced thermogenesis)

Have you ever wondered why there is the commune saying: burn down calories?

That is because when our digestive system breaks down the nutrients, it releases energy under the form of heat. Some macronutrients produce more “heat” than others. 

Graphic with the increase in temperature after meals


In this graphic, you can see how after every meal the heat in our body increases. Each arrow represents a mealtime and the dots are the temperature measured every 30 mins.

The exact scientific term for it is: DIT (dietary-induced thermogenesis) 


“Eating requires energy for the ingestion and digestion of food. This metabolic process increases heat production and oxygen consumption, and it is known as dietary-induced thermogenesis“



What to do: 

Some specific foods produce more “heat” than others. 

The scientists noticed that certain macronutrients release more heat than others. More precisely:

  •  5 to 10%  for carbohydrate
  •  10 to 30%  for alcohol
  •  20 to 30%  for protein


The best option for you to feel good in summer is:

to reduce alcohol and protein

and eat more carbs (especially complex ones).


Need ideas? Look at the picture below to get inspiration of foods full of complex carbs ;) 

But before that, let´s look at our second strategy.


Strategy #2: Sweating in the savanna

During the hot days in prehistory, our ancestors advanced an ability that allowed them to survive in the hot weather and therefore has an advantage an evolutionary scale.

In this time, our genes developed the ability to sweat, which I know, it doesn´t sound very appealing… but it became essential because it helped us cool down. Some predators (even dogs) don´t possess this ability, making summer more difficult to endure and forcing them to hunt at night.

Because of the sweat ability, the pre-humans could search for food during the time of the day when other predators had to sleep in the shadow.

If we want to take advantage of the same strategy (not the hunting in the savanna, but the sweating part) then the easier solution for this is to eat foods that have a high amount of water.


The evaporation of sweat from the skin surface has a freshen effect due to a process called evaporative cooling process.


What to do: 

Even if you hear it very often, the best is to remain well hydrated by eating fruits and vegetables with a high amount of water. Commune knowledge is not commune practice.


Have recreating one of these recipes!


Recipes that cool you down in summer


Because the aim is to have accurate information, here are the references to the article:

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