Sizzling summer temps can lead you to reach for the coldest food you can get your hands on (that is, if it hasn’t taken your appetite away completely). While that can sometimes work, the most-cooling foods are not necessarily the iciest ones. Turns out some food (like high-fat ice cream) can actually raise your body temperature by making you work harder to digest it. For the most-cooling foods, try these:
Salad greens: If ever there were a time for iceberg lettuce, this is it. Iceberg lettuce is 96 percent water. That’s about as high a water content as anything can have. Other greens are also hydrating and cooling, so dig into your favorites.
Tomatoes: Spin summer-ripe tomatoes into a cold gazpacho, or layer with burrata and basil for an amazing caprese salad. Either way, juicy tomatoes will help cool you down. An added bonus? They’re rich in lycopene, which is good for your skin.
Cucumbers: Rivaling iceberg lettuce in water content is the cucumber. This ultra-refreshing, crisp vegetable is perfect on its own — it’s a phenomenal snack sliced and sprinkled with salt — or turned into a refreshing agua fresca.
Cherries: In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, sweet foods are considered cooling. Stick to naturally sweet foods, like cherries, melons, grapes and mangoes.
Chile peppers: Spicy foods help you to sweat, which then cools your skin. In addition to chile peppers, try black pepper or horseradish.