Trying to cool down in this weather? Steer clear of these heat-generating food – they’re simply not compatible with our scorching climate.
If there’s one thing Singaporeans can agree on, it’s that we wish for the hot weather to cool down a little! Luckily, there are measures we can take besides constantly downing iced drinks, pigging out on ice cream and camping out in air-conditioned places.
One simple way to make sure our bodies do not heat up is to avoid foods that cause our bodies to generate heat. In TCM, these foods are referred to as ‘heaty’ foods, which have the potential to cause undesirable effects such as rashes, fever, constipation and sore throats when excessively consumed.
Not sure what food items count as heaty? Read on as we list a few commonly consumed items that should be avoided in this tropical heat.
1. Red meat
Red meat such as beef and mutton bring a plethora of health benefits to the table – being rich in iron, zinc and vitamins, but consuming them causes your body to generate more heat. While that might make them ideal choices of protein in colder regions, for Singaporeans, we would be better off replacing red meat for a side of chicken or fish.
2. Deep-fried foods
Have you ever developed a sore throat or mouth ulcers the day after bingeing on one too many fried chicken wings or french fries? The heaty nature of such deep-fried, crispy foods may have played a large part in causing that. In such hot weather, it would be a smart (and healthier!) choice to go for steamed or baked dishes instead.
3. Spicy dishes
This one may seem obvious, but spices and herbs present in spicy dishes not only trigger your tastebuds, they have the capacity to make your body retain that heat long after you’ve finished your meal. If you’re a spice evangelist who simply can’t go a day without that kick of spicy food, try reducing the amount that you consume. After all, that salsa on the side of your burrito bowl is less likely to leave you sweating buckets compared to a big bowl of chicken curry.
4. Certain types of fruits
Not all fruits are created equal. While eating most fruits help us achieve a balanced diet and provide our bodies with much-needed nutrients and vitamins, there are some fruits that should be consumed in smaller portions. Some examples of ‘heaty’ fruits are durians, jackfruits, mangoes and apricots. Try munching on ‘cool’ fruits such as watermelon, mangosteens and strawberries instead to beat the heat!
(Also read: Use These Portion Control Tips to Avoid Overeating)
Bad news for nut lovers, many nut types such as almonds, cashews and pistachios are known to cause heat buildup in our bodies. But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to skip your daily trail mix or granola bowl! As with most foods, moderation is key. Try to reduce your regular intake of nuts, or snack on ‘cooler’ alternatives such as aloe vera or grass jelly.
(Also read: 6 Best Nuts For Your Skin and Health)
6. Heaty drinks
Contrary to popular belief, some icy-cool drinks only give momentary relief to your body thanks to its cold temperature. What really helps your body cool down or heat up depends on the ingredients that make up the drink. For example, a glass of iced milo or kopi peng would not be the ideal cooling drink, as the chocolate malt and coffee beans they are derived from have a ‘heaty’ nature. Good alternatives to them would include cooling herbal teas, tomato juice and water chestnut or sugar cane drinks.
(Also read: 10 Tips to Eat and Drink Clean While Travelling)