August is the hottest month in Cyprus, and at Prinos Farm&Deli that means stocking up on foods to keep you cool from our premium range of food products. In fact, with the temperatures so high, staying cool and comfortable is a top priority. Of course it is summer 2023, which means many people can just turn up the air conditioning for relief from the heat. But while electricity can provide temporary relief, adopting a holistic approach can be more efficient. And that includes incorporating cooling foods into your diet.

Yes you read it right – certain foods can actually help us to stay cool, refreshed and hydrated during the heat of the summer. Which is exactly what we are about to explore in this blog post. So, if you are looking for additional ways to keep you and your family as healthy, happy and hydrated this summer, read on.

What are Cooling Foods and How Do They Work to Reduce Body Temperature?

Cooling foods possess natural properties to cool the body and maintain a balanced internal temperature, especially in hot weather. Usually rich in water content, these foods help to reduce heat, keeping you comfortable and hydrated, while preventing overheating and heat-related health issues.

The cooling effect of these foods is attributed to their unique nutritional composition and the way they interact with the body’s systems. Firstly, cooling foods tend to be high in water content, which contributes to hydration and helps regulate body temperature. When you consume cooling foods, the water they contain is absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to a refreshing and hydrating effect on the body.

Secondly, many cooling foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which play essential roles in maintaining bodily functions and supporting overall health. These nutrients aid in reducing inflammation and promoting proper circulation, both of which contribute to the body’s cooling mechanism. Additionally, vitamins such as vitamin C, are often found in cooling fruits, in turn strengthening the immune system and helping the body cope with potential heat-induced stress.

Thirdly, cooling foods often have a lower caloric density, meaning they provide essential nutrients without significantly raising the body’s temperature through digestion. This makes them ideal for hot weather when the body is already expending energy to stay cool. By consuming these foods, the body can maintain its internal temperature without overworking its natural cooling mechanisms.

Lastly, cooling foods can have a soothing effect on the digestive system. In hot weather, heavy and greasy foods can burden the digestive tract, leading to discomfort and increased body heat. On the contrary, cooling foods are usually light and easily digestible, reducing the workload on the digestive system and allowing the body to allocate more resources to cooling itself.

What Foods are Cooling to the Body?

  1. Cucumber

Cucumbers are one of the most cooling foods out there. Nature’s ultimate hydrator, this tasty veggie comprises about 95% water. Which makes them incredibly effective at keeping you hydrated and bringing down the heat. These green gems also contain vitamins C and K, potassium, and magnesium, contributing to better skin health and reducing inflammation. Enjoy cucumber slices in your salads or infused in water for a refreshing and rejuvenating experience.

photo with Greek yogurt red onion cucumber salad

  1. Watermelon

Summer in Cyprus would be incomplete without the iconic green and pink watermelon. This delicious fruit not only tantalises the taste buds, it also provides impressive hydration benefits. Loaded with electrolytes and vitamins A, B6, and C, watermelon helps regulate body temperature and promotes healthy digestion. For a cooling twist, freeze watermelon cubes for a delightful summer snack. Other sweet and juicy fruits that are cooling include pears, mango and grapes.

  1. Mint

Mint is not only a natural breath freshener and delicious garnish. This herb also has cooling properties and a plethora of health benefits. Mint leaves aid digestion, without raising body heat, while making mint tea can encourage the body to sweat, which in turn reduces the body temperature. Make a refreshing pitcher of homemade mint lemonade with cooling lime or add some mint leaves to your iced tea for a soothing summer sip.

  1. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great cooling food for the summer months, not only thanks to its deliciously fresh and creamy taste, but also because it is a great source of probiotics. This basically means that yogurt – and it’s cousins such as kefir and airani – are all packed full of healthy bacteria that support gut health and boost the immune system. Try plain, unsweetened yogurt and add chopped up fresh fruits, or frozen mixed berries for extra taste and nutrition.

  1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale, as well as green herbs such as coriander, are not only packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also boast high water content. Incorporating these greens into your meals adds hydration, helps regulate body temperature and reduces inflammation. Create a refreshing summer salad with your favourite greens, topped with juicy fruits and a light vinaigrette dressing.

  1. Citrus Fruits

Summer citrus fruits such as lemons, and grapefruits are bursting with vitamin C and natural antioxidants. These fruits support your immune system and keep your skin glowing during the summer. Prepare a tangy fruit salad or squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your water for an invigorating summer beverage.

photo with colourful array of fresh fruit kebabs, featuring pineapple, water

  1. Chamomile Tea

Brewing herbal teas – especially chamomile, hibiscus, or peppermint – is a great way of cooling the body in the summer. These herbal infusions not only cool you down but also provide various health benefits, from reducing stress to promoting better sleep.

Chamomile in particular works to soothe the digestive system and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Let the tea to chill in the fridge for a delicious and refreshing summer drink.

Of course there are also foods that should be avoided when it is very hot outside. These include highly processed foods with lots of sugar and salt. Or foods that are very hard to digest such as very fatty products or heavy red meats. But now that you have a good list of options, you don’t have to let the heat get the best of you this summer.

And staying healthy, hydrated, and comfortable throughout the season couldn’t be easier at Prinos Farm&Deli. We offer a fantastic range of fresh seasonal fruit and veg, as well as other cooling food options. So, visit our e-shop for convenient delivery options, or stock up in store in Larnaca or Nicosia today.