Body heat or stress heat is quite common especially in hot, humid climes where its possible for the body to find it difficult to cool itself to its temperature norm of 36.5 to 37.5 degree Celsius. The body normally cools itself via perspiration or sweating. However, sometimes, the rate of perspiration may not be adequate enough to cool you down.
Factors that could cause body heat include; exposure to hot and humid environments, staying exposed to the sun for too long, physical exercise, medication, wearing thick clothes, as well as some diseases and neurological disorder.
Some common symptoms of body heat or heat stress include; excessive sweating, elevated heartbeat, body weakness, dehydration, headache, nausea, and dizziness.
If you believe you are experiencing increased body heat, try to get yourself into a cool shade or an air-conditioned room. You could also drink a cup of cold water if it is available.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with body heat or heat stress;
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee and alcoholic beverages as the hamper the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.
- During the peak of summer, strive to stay in a cool or air-conditioned vicinity.
- Stay away from an environment with excess heat and humidity at least for a while.
- Endeavor to wear thin, loose-fitting clothes that are preferably made from cotton.
- Avoid staying inside vehicles parked under the sun.
- Plan physical exercises during cooler times of the day such as early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Apply sunscreen if you would be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
- Endeavor to rest and sleep in cool, well-ventilated rooms.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water to replenish body moisture lost through sweating.
Below are home remedies to help reduce body heat and heat exhaustion;
1. Cold Water
Drinking cold water is the simplest remedy for body heat. Just take a large glass of cold water and drink it to your fill. You can take another glass of water for sipping throughout the day to keep your body in check. This method works on the principle of negative feedback mechanism in homeostasis. The good thing about taking cold water is that it also helps the body in weight loss and also helps to flush out toxins from the body.
Watermelon is made up of 70% of water which the body desperately needs when you are overheating. Watermelon is also rich in vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene all of which are essential for your body. If you don’t want to eat the fruit, you can blend the watermelon and make a melon puree.
You have heard the saying “as cool as a cucumber”. They were not wrong. This vegetable also has a very high water content which will help in regulating the homeostasis in your body. Apart from the high water content, this vegetable will also replenish your body with calcium, zinc, and vitamin B. Cucumber is also known to help you maintain a healthy skin and flush out toxins from your body. Take this however you want it, whether as slices in food or as a salad, it is up to you.
4. Coconut Water
Coconut is known as the magic fruit because of so many beneficial qualities it contains. One of its potent qualities is the water inside. When the body is overheating, most of the time, it is because it is lacking water to make sweat. Coconut water simply aids in replenishing the body with water. Apart from its cooling effect, coconut comes loaded with all sorts of vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals to aid in flushing out toxins. Look for a green coconut and take the water directly from it with a straw.
5. Sugarcane Juice
Sugarcane is rich in fructose and sucrose; both of which are great sugars for energizing the body. Sugarcane juice is also rich in potassium and has a very high level of electrolytes which help to cool down the body.
6. Take A Lot Of Tomatoes
Tomatoes would not only help you in reducing the chances of prostate cancer but also keep that summer heat at bay. Tomato is rich in Lycopene which boosts your skin’s melanin ability to shield your skin from the UV rays of the sun. From a study, those who consumed tomato paste absorbed 40% less UV rays (which are responsible for heating the body up) than those who did not consume the paste. Apart from helping you absorb less U.V rays, this vegetable is rich in vitamin K which helps in activating osteocalcin which makes your bones stronger.
This root contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and is rich in minerals such as iron, iodine, and sulfur all of which the body needs. Furthermore, this root cools down the body due to its high electrolyte contents of potassium and iron
8. Take Ginger And Chili
Ever wondered why the Indians love chili? Apart from spicing your food, these two are great for cooling down your body. From experience, this might seem counterproductive because chili is hot and somewhat heats the body up. This is not necessarily the case. The active agent in chili (Capsaicin) would cause a burning sensation and send signals to the brain that you are dangerously hot. The result is that the body will produce excessive sweat that would eventually cool you down. So go ahead and add that chili, to your diet, to cool down.
9. Mint Leaves
Mint leaves have been a fascination for a long time now. Mint contains a transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M Member 8 protein(TRPM8). This protein is very specific and allows the sodium and calcium ions to enter the cell without much regulation at the cell walls. As such, this activates the neurons responsible for the cold sensation which sends signals to your brain that you are feeling cold. The brain interprets this making you feel that “cool” sensation in your mouth. When you are feeling uncomfortable with due to heat, you can make a drink or cool tea and add mint to it.
10. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are great for regulating body heat. Oranges, apart from tasting great, also contain phytonutrients such as polyphenols and anthocyanin which are all great for your body. Citrus fruits also help with your digestion and help reduce hypertension. You can consume these as whole fruits or juice them.
Bananas are rich in potassium which is not only good for your brain but also for cooling down the body. Take these after meals for salad as they are also good in helping you to digest heavy and spicy foods.
Buttermilk is rich in calcium, vitamin B 12, and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, this by-product of butter churning process is not fattening but a good drink to cool the body. It is also a recommended drink to reduce the heat flashes and helps in slowing down metabolism too.
13. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds have been used for a long time for regulating body heat during warm summers and this remedy has been passed from one generation to another due to its effectiveness. Fenugreek seeds are rich in dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and sodium which are all great for rejuvenating the body. When soaked in water and consumed as a tea or eaten in their softened state, they act as very good body heat regulators.
14. Basil (Sabja) Seeds
Sabja seeds are common in Thailand and India and traditionally have been used to cool the body. These seeds not only contain many essential oils such as eugenol and limonene and but they are also packed with nutrients such as potassium and many phytochemicals. You can drink the basil seeds by mixing with water, milk, honey or any fresh fruit juice.
This fruit is often called the fruit of the gods and it lives up to its name. Pomegranate is rich in numerous minerals, antioxidants and has a very high water content. The fruit is also antiviral and antibacterial.
These soft fruits are not only good for your skin but are also high in water content. However, you can take dried peaches which are just as good in helping the body regulate its temperature.
Spinach is rich in vitamins A and K. It also contains very little calories. It is also rich in manganese and helps the body regulate blood pressure as it promotes good cardiovascular health.
This fruit from the melon family is a great source of Vitamins A and C. Cantaloupe is also rich in beta-carotene and is a great appetizer. Like all melons, it also contains a high percentage of water which helps you reduce body heat.
19. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a very potent healing plant with numerous medicinal values. Aloe vera is mostly known for treating skin conditions but can also be used to cool down the body. Aloe Vera paste made from either the leaves or inner gel can be applied to the skin which, in turn, brings the cooling effect. Aloe vera can also be taken internally when diluted with water. When taken internally, it acts as a laxative and is great for digestion.
20. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds should be taken right before taking a rest. Poppy seeds belong to the opium family and as such can act as a laxative. Take a teaspoon of crushed seeds and mix it with water whenever the weather is too hot to cool down your body temperature. You can add a small amount of sugar to the mixture.
Sandalwood is a spice that is commonly used in Scandinavian cuisines. Apart from spicing food, it is also great for reducing body heat when the temperatures get high. You can take the crushed sandalwood with water or as a mixture in foods or drinks. You can also make a paste and apply it to your chest or apply it on your armpits after a cold bath to maintain the body temperature.
Cardamom is a commonly used Indian spice. It helps improve digestion and to reduce and maintain body heat. You can sprinkle cardamom powder in your food or drink.
Apricot is high in vitamin A and in minerals such as potassium and sodium. Apricot also contains a high content of dietary fiber which aids in digestion. Apart from being great for your eyes, apricot can also help to reduce the body heat. You can juice it or take it as a whole fruit.
24. Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd belongs to the calabash family. It has a very high water content and contains, within it, minerals such as zinc, potassium, and sodium. Bottle gourd also has Vitamins A, Vitamin B5, and B6 which are great for your skin. It is native to Africa and when cooked, it has a nutty taste (i.e. it tastes like nuts). Apart from helping with constipation and hormonal imbalances, bottle gourd effectively helps to reduce body overheating.
25. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and B6. The purple variety is especially high in vitamin A. They are also rich in potassium which helps in regulating blood pressure. The high number of electrolytes, in sweet potatoes, is also effective in maintaining a low body temperature during hot days.
26. Barley Water
Barley water has a natural way of cooling down the body more effectively than pure water. You can prepare barley water by soaking barley seeds in water overnight and drinking the resultant water during the day when it gets hot. Adding lemon and sugar will improve the taste and also energize the drink.
Zucchini is a rich source of manganese, vitamin C, and Omega 3 oils. It is also full of Zinc, Iron, Copper, Phosphorous, Vitamins B5, B6, and B12. This vegetable is not only good for weight loss due to its low calories but is also good for regulating the body heat with its high levels of electrolytes.
Pineapple is rich in vitamins and low cholesterol which makes it ideal for making a great summer juice. Apart from the vitamins, pineapple is rich in glucose and electrolytes making it great for maintaining body temperature. You can take pineapple as is or you could consume it as a fresh juice, smoothie, or in your salad.
29. Herbal Teas
All types of herbal teas are great for trying to balance body heat. Unlike alcohol, herbal teas actually lower the body heat. These should be taken with a teaspoon of honey to add taste. You could also chill the tea by refrigerating it or adding ice to it before consuming.
This fruit is known for its good cholesterol content and high-fat content. Avocado is also great for your lungs and because of its low sugar content, it is great for diabetics and hypoglycemic. It has a high level of potassium, and vitamin B 12.
Seaweed is a great source of nutrients such as iron, vitamin C, and iodine. Seaweeds are also a great way of reducing and regulating body heat due to their high electrolyte content. You could add seaweed to your salad or blend it into a smoothie before consuming.
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