This particular season of the year is thought upon as most unpleasant due to the discomfort caused by Scorching heat. Summer sweat makes us dehydrated and short of energy. Therefore, maintaining hydration levels and regulating body heat to normal is very important to get through summer heat and stay energetic. Making healthy, appropriate food and lifestyle choices during summers can help to resolve the same.
Ideal Body Temperature
Our body temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus part of the brain. If body temperature is low, the hypothalamus ensures to generate and maintain body heat. While during high body temperature, heat is given off in the form of sweat.1 The normal temperature recorded in a typical adult is 98.6°F. Whereas average temperature range in adults is 97.8°F - 99.0°F and it varies with age and the state of the body.2
Common factors that escalate body heat:
- Sunstroke: Sweating while being in direct contact with the sun for too long can cause dehydration and increased body heat.
- Inappropriate fabrics: Wearing certain inappropriate and non-breathable fabrics during summers can also level up the body heat.
- Intense physical activity: Intense physical activity raises body heat even higher since our blood circulatory system becomes even more active.
- Viral fever: A viral fever also heats the body temperature since the immune system is fighting against microbes to bring body temperature back to normal.
- Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism or thyroid storm (a condition in which thyroxin hormone is excessively released by the thyroid gland) causes increased, irregular heartbeat, tremors, sweating, and heat intolerance due to a hyperactive state of the body.
- Consuming oily, fried, and spicy food can also level up the body heat instantly.
- Having too much Caffeinated and Alcoholic beverages can also level up body heat.
- Hormonal changes during conditions like Perimenopause and Menopause can also increase body heat followed by heat flashes or night sweats.
- Certain medications such as Antibiotics, Opioids, and Antihistamines can also increase body heat.
Here is the list of top 5 conventional everyday Indian food picks that will safely lower body heat:
1. Barley (Jau)
Barley is a cereal, known for its effectiveness against diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity, hypertension, heat-induced headache, colon inflammation, and regulating body temperature. These factors are attributed to β-glucan content in Barley.3 It is also considered a good source of protein, minerals, and fibers which are effective for weight loss.
You can take Barley in numerous forms such as Drinks, khichdi, Porridge, roti, salads, idli, dosa, soups, and salads.
1. Rose Petals
Rose is a medicinal plant, that possesses antibacterial, antifungal, anti-depressant, and antioxidant properties it is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Apart from skincare, it is good for the digestive system, and heart, boosts body immunity, and weight loss, prevents UTIs and gives a cooling effect to the body.
You can take rose petals in numerous forms such as Rose jam, Rose chutney, Rose sherbet, Rose tea, and Rose ice cream.
- Basil seeds (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil seeds (Ocimum basilicum) contain high concentrations of proteins, essential amino acids, dietary fiber, linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium), and phenolic compounds. These help in the prevention of type-2 diabetes, heart ailments, possess antioxidant, antimicrobial effects, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, anticoagulant, and anti-depressant effects. 4
Basil seeds when soaked in water for 30 minutes can be added to a variety of items such as Sherbets, Milkshakes, ice creams, and refreshing drinks including lemonade.
- Gond Katira (Tragacanth Gum)
Gond Katira (Tragacanth Gum) is rich in minerals (calcium, magnesium) and protein. It is well known for its cooling effect during summers. It offers its benefits against heart strokes, is good for pregnancy, lactating mothers, Urinary tract issues, is good for skin, relieves constipation, and keeps active throughout the day.
Gond Katira when soaked overnight can be added to a variety of items such as lemonade, buttermilk, ice cream, shakes, and refreshing drinks.
- Bael Fruit (Wood Apple)
Bael fruit has multipurpose nutritional and medicinal benefits. The extensive health benefits of Bael fruit are attributed to the presence of proteins, tannins, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C), minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus ), and fiber.5It is known for its therapeutic value in the sustainable treatment of a wide variety of health conditions including jaundice, constipation, chronic diarrhea, dysentery, stomachache, stomachic, fever, asthma, inflammations, febrile delirium, acute bronchitis, abdominal discomfort, acidity, burning sensation, indigestion, eye disorders, ulcers, mental illnesses, nausea, sores, swelling, thirst, thyroid disorders, tumors, ulcers, and upper respiratory tract infections.6
You can have Bael Fruit in the form such as Refreshing juice, chutneys, jelly, jams, ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, and fruit salad.
1. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. How is body temperature regulated and what is fever? 2009 Jul 30 [Updated 2016 Nov 17].
2. Geneva, I. I., Cuzzo, B., Fazili, T., & Javaid, W. (2019). Normal Body Temperature: A Systematic Review. Open forum infectious diseases, 6(4), ofz032.
3. Mohamed A. Farag, Jianbo Xiao & Hosssam M. Abdallah (2022) Nutritional value of barley cereal and better opportunities for its processing as a value-added food: a comprehensive review, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 62:4, 1092-1104.
4. Calderón Bravo, H., Vera Céspedes, N., Zura-Bravo, L., & Muñoz, L. A. (2021). Basil Seeds as a Novel Food, Source of Nutrients and Functional Ingredients with Beneficial Properties: A Review. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(7), 1467.
5. Yadav, Tripti & Vishwakarma, Deepak & Saloni, Shweta & Tiwari, Soumitra & Dipa, Dipa. (2018). Wood apple-Its nutritive value and medicinal benefits. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING. 11. 159-163.
6. Sekar, Gaurav Kumar, Karthik, L. and Bhaskara Rao, K.V. (2011). A review on pharmacological and phytochemical properties of Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr. Serr.(Rutaceae). Asian J. Plant Sci. & Res., 1 (2): 8-17.