Staying cool when temperatures reach record highs isn't just about comfort. Dangerously high temperatures could result in heat-related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke (hyperthermia). Hyperthermia is an abnormally high body temperature caused by a failure of the heat regulating mechanisms of the body to deal with the heat coming from the environment.
How to Keep Body Cool with Dietary Tips
Eat Right Foods
Food choices can make a big difference in keeping your body cool.
Sweet, ripe fruits like peaches, pineapples, cherries, plums, mangoes, and avocados, are perfect.
Bitter foods, such as green leafy vegetables, celery, kale, broccoli, sprouts, cucumbers, and asparagus are good hot weather choices.
Astringent foods like dried beans, lentils, grape skins, green apples, pomegranates, cauliflower, and tea also work well.
Below are some specific foods and why they're helpful:
Aside from being water-rich, this vegetable has an antioxidant that lowers body heat, and is a rich source of vitamin C. Radishes are also effective for fighting off heat stress, because it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
The water in coconut is rich in vitamins and minerals and drinking coconut water helps reduce the effects of body heat and avoid dehydration.
This water-rich melon is very effective in reducing body heat. Have a slice in the middle of the day to get some fiber, extra water, and a good dose of vitamins A and C.
Either have slices of the melon, or combine it with some milk and sugar to make a refreshing mid-day drink. It is also rich in potassium along with being a low calorie fruit.
Eat a handful of poppy seeds with water before going to sleep. Poppy seeds regulate body temperature, and help to induce sleep.
Or soak fennel seeds in water overnight. Strain and have the water in the morning to regulate body heat.
Avoid Foods That Heat You Up
If you want to know how to keep body cool, knowing which food to avoid is equally important as food to eat. When the body is already hot, the last thing you need is to heat it even more with spicy food.
Try to avoid chilies, hot peppers and salsa. Small amounts of black pepper, ginger, and cumin are fine, but avoid cayenne.
Sour foods like sour cream, yogurt, and cheese all add to body heat during the summer.
Also limit very salty foods; they will leave you dehydrated and prone to overheating.
Skip the onion, tomatoes, garlic, beets and spinach whenever possible.
Avoid Ice Cold Drinks
Surprisingly, room temperature beverages might be a good way to keep you cool. While we need to keep our bodies cool, it is even more important to keep our digestion strong. Your digestive system produces heat for converting food into energy. However, when you drink ice cold drinks, you are effectively cooling down the digestive metabolism that is necessary to keep our bodies functioning correctly.
How to Keep Body Cool with Lifestyle Tips
There are several ways for dressing, or undressing, to beat the heat, for example:
Wear as little as possible. Wear only your underwear in the privacy of your home, or put on a swimsuit.
Wear natural fibers. Wear natural loosely woven fabrics such as silk, linen, and cotton, instead of artificial fibers like rayon, or polyester.
Wear lighter colors. Wear lighter colored or white clothing that reflects the heat as opposed to darker colored clothing that absorbs the sun's heat.
Cover up. If the humidity is low, covering up may actually keep you cooler. By covering your skin from the heat of the sun, you'll also protect your skin from sunburn.
When it comes to how to keep body cool, the way you rest matters a lot. Cool down and relax at the same time with these tips:
Sit still. Physical activity in hot and humid conditions is not a good idea. Try to limit your activities until the cool of the evening.
Stay out of the sun. Trees and other greenery usually provide better shade than man-made structures. However, whether you rest under a tree or in the shade of an awning, try to avoid the direct sunlight.
Avoid hottest hours. Limit yourself from outside activities between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are hottest. You will also avoid any sunburn this way.
Make a DIY Air Conditioner
Use one or more 2-liter bottles and fill them mostly full of water and rock salt, leaving 20 percent of the volume empty for expansion. Freeze the liquid in the bottles, the salt lowers the temperature at which the water freezes, allowing you to make the super cold ice.
Then place them in a large bowl (to catch dripping condensation). Position a fan to blow over them. As the salty ice in the bottles melts, the air around them cools and the fan will blow that air at you. The salted water bottles can be re-frozen every night and used repeatedly.
Use Cotton Bedding
How to keep body cool at night? Use cotton sheets and loose-fitting pajamas. Cotton is a breathable fiber that lets air circulate, so your body heat can dissipate to the surface and sweat can evaporate.
Shade Your Windows
About 40 percent of heat comes in through the windows, especially those facing east and west. To avoid it, use shades, curtains, and blinds of a light, reflective color that closely fit windows. You can also purchase a clear, heat-control window film from a home-improvement store, and apply it to your standard windows.