Here, we speak to experts to put together five tips on eating and drinking well to beat the heat.
Cooling down options
It’s so easy – and tempting – to reach for an icy cold can of soft drink or beer when the weather gets too much to bear. But the better option might be to settle for a beverage at room temperature instead. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices, drinking warm water increases blood circulation along with protecting internal organs from damage. It is also better to qing huo (relieve internal body temperature), keeping one cool from within.
Note, however, that the Western approach believes taking cold drinks during summer can help you cool off quickly, as cold water gets absorbed quicker by the body compared to warm or hot water.
Juicy red watermelons and citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are packed with vitamins and high water content, making them the perfect snack for a mid-afternoon perk me up. To keep things fun, infuse lemon and herbs such as rosemary into a bottle of sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
A sluggish palate is a tell-tale sign that your body is feeling the effects of heat. On hot days, opt for lighter options such as congee with steamed fish, or soupy dishes. Make small chilled salads of sweetcorn, lotus roots and edamame as side dishes.
Both coffee and alcohol act as diuretics that do not contribute to our recommended daily fluid intake. If you must drink, be sure to chase every two cocktails down with a glass of water to stay hydrated.
Caffeine might be off the table, but try this for a cooling alternative: infuse chrysanthemum flowers to make a soothing tea, and add ingredients such as winter melon or grass jelly into the homemade tisane for a touch of sweetness. Bonus: both have natural cooling and detoxifying properties.