They’re simply NOT compatible with our boiling hot climate.
As we approach the mid-months of 2019, the weather seems to grow increasingly hot and humid. And if there’s one thing Singaporeans can agree on, it’s that we wish it would 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 method to make sure our bodies do not heat up is to avoid foods that cause our bodies to generate heat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (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 fall into this category? Read on as we list a few commonly consumed items that should be avoided in this tropical heat.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
By Zoe Zeng, June 2019 / Images: Pexels