Staying Cool and Healthy in the Summer Heat

Summer heat can be challenging to ignore, and stepping outside is often unavoidable. To maintain a healthy body during the sweltering summer months, staying hydrated and including cooling foods and drinks in your diet is essential.

How the Body Regulates Temperature

The autonomous nervous system and hypothalamus play a crucial role in maintaining body temperature. However, there are situations when body heat rises, leading to heat stress. Extreme heat, certain foods, and other factors can contribute to this condition.

Common Reasons for Rising Body Temperature

  1. Inflammatory Illnesses: Infections can cause fever, signaling that something is amiss in the body, requiring immediate medical attention.

  2. Hyperthyroidism: This thyroid disorder results in excess thyroid hormone production, causing fever-like symptoms and necessitating a doctor's consultation.

  3. Prolonged Physical Activity: Spending long periods doing intense physical activities under the sun and in humid weather can lead to heat stress.

  4. Inappropriate Clothing: Wearing synthetic or tight-fitting clothes in summer traps moisture and restricts airflow, causing the body temperature to rise.

  5. Unhealthy Diet Choices: Consuming oily, fried, or spicy foods, high-protein foods, or alcohol with caffeine can lead to heat stress.

  6. Certain Medications: Drugs like opioids, antibiotics, or antihistamines can also increase body temperature.

  7. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water hampers the body's ability to sweat and cool down effectively.

Top 22 Body Cooling Foods and Drinks

  1. Coconut Water: Rich in vitamins and minerals, this refreshing drink helps cool down the body.

  2. Mint or Peppermint: These leaves have cooling properties and can be used in chutneys, dips, or drinks.

  3. Watermelon: With about 91.45% water content, watermelon helps keep the body hydrated and cool.

  4. Curd: A versatile cooling food used in smoothies, lassi, and raita, curd has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

  5. Bananas: They provide instant energy and help with water absorption, cooling the body from within.

  6. Avocado: Containing monounsaturated fats, avocados help remove toxins and excess heat from the blood.

  7. Cucumber: Known for its high water content and fiber, cucumber is excellent for keeping heat stress at bay.

  8. Fresh Vegetables: Vegetables like bottle gourd, ridge gourd, and lady's finger are easy to digest and high in water content.

  9. Green Leafy Vegetables: These are rich in water but should not be overcooked to retain their cooling properties.

  10. Onions: Onions have cooling properties and help protect against sunstroke. Red onions, in particular, contain quercetin, a natural anti-allergen.

  11. Citrus Fruits: Rich in Vitamin C, citrus fruits like lime, lemon, and oranges help break down fatty foods and provide a cooling effect.

  12. Lemon Drink: A glass of lime water with salt, sugar or honey, and cumin powder keeps you refreshed and hydrated.

  13. Celery: With approximately 95% water content, celery provides essential nutrients and keeps you energized.

  14. Aloe Vera: Consuming fresh aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties that help regulate body temperature.

  15. Sattu: This traditional cooling food made from roasted gram flour can be consumed as a drink or with jaggery, sugar, or honey.

  16. Tropical Fruits: Fruits like pineapple, which contain the enzyme bromelain, have anti-inflammatory properties that cool the body.

  17. Jaljeera: A popular North Indian drink made with spiced cumin powder, jaljeera helps with hydration and digestion.

  18. Aam Panna: Made from raw mangoes, this traditional drink protects against heat stress and heatstroke.

  19. Rose Drink: Mixing rose syrup in cold water or milk provides hydration and a cooling effect.

  20. Iced Tea: A refreshing alternative for tea lovers, iced tea with lemon and mint cools the body and keeps you hydrated.

  21. Bael Juice: This juice from Bengal quince instantly lowers body temperature and is especially effective against heat stress.

  22. Sugarcane Juice: Freshly crushed sugarcane juice mixed with mint, ginger, and lime keeps you energized and cool.

Cooling Fruits for Hydration

  • Berries: According to Chinese medicine, berries are alkaline and help cool the body.
  • Coconuts: Versatile and hydrating, coconuts are rich in natural electrolytes.
  • Melons: With 95% water content, melons are low in calories and help flush out body toxins.

Body Cooler Drinks

  • Khus Summer Drink: Made from poppy seeds, this drink is rich in Vitamin B6, manganese, and iron, providing a cooling effect.
  • Buttermilk: Known as chas in India, buttermilk regulates body temperature and offers relief from acid reflux.
  • Lassi: This traditional Punjabi drink made from curd can be flavored with mint, coriander, or rose syrup for a cooling effect.


While we cannot avoid the hustle and bustle of daily life, especially during summer, a proper diet can help maintain physical fitness and energy. The body releases more sweat and gets exhausted quickly in the heat, making it crucial to stay hydrated. Incorporating body cooling foods and drinks into your diet provides relief from the heat and aids digestion, helping to normalize conditions like acid reflux.