8 Refreshing Foods That Naturally Cool the Body

Updated: Jul. 14, 2024

These body cooling foods keep your hunger—and the heat!—at bay.

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Mid adult woman checking food in fridge holding tablet
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The refrigerator isn’t the first place we think to turn to when the temperatures climb, but apart from grabbing a glass of water to cool off, some of your favorite foods, especially fruits, boast body cooling capabilities. Next time you’re feeling flushed, rather than switching on the AC, just serve up any of the items on this list for a naturally cooling snack.

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Coconut Water
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Thankfully you don’t need to bother cracking open a coconut to experience its cooling benefits. Chill out with coconut oil, water or fruit. Coconut water, especially, is a healthy drink that’ll keep you hydrated and balances water and mineral levels within the body, and its potassium helps prevent heat stroke.

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cucumbers with dill
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Keep a few cukes close by for those extra hot days. The green treat is about 90% water and contains electrolyte-balancing minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Not a fan of cucumbers as food? Place a few slices on your skin for an instant cool-down or apply a cucumber face mask at home.

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Fresh berries in basket
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Time to break out your favorite berry recipes because the bite-sized fruits can cool you off in a big way. Practitioners of Chinese medicine assert all berries (think raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries) are alkaline and hence have a cooling or soothing effect on the body. They contain high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, too.

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Yellow Lemon And Half Place On The Brown Sack And Wooden Table
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Lemon or Other Citrus Fruits

When life gives you lemons, chill out. The tart fruit—and its puckery counterparts—are a tried-and-true way to ward off the heat. Lemons are refreshing, but they’re also packed with vitamin C, and once they’re digested, they’re an alkaline food, much like berries. We’ll take a squeeze, please, in these lemon-infused water recipes.

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Full Frame Shot Of Watermelons On Table
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Hey, it’s in the name! Like cucumbers, watermelon contains 90% water, but the other 10% certainly isn’t throwaway. The yummy melon contains vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium, so it’s hydrating and healthy. We call that a win-win. Next time you’re feeling wiped, cut off a wedge. It’ll keep you cool, plus it’s one of our favorite hydrating foods.

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High Angle View Of Poppy Seeds On Table
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Poppy Seeds

Small but mighty, poppy seeds are popularly used in medicines due to their cooling properties and, also for this reason, thought to remedy mouth ulcers. You can’t eat the teeny ingredient on its own, but we can’t get enough of them in our Test Kitchen recommended poppy seed recipes.

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Lemon and coriander
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Lucky for you, you probably already have this one in the fridge! Ice cream might be colder in temperature, but yogurt’s high water content has a cooling effect on the body. For the best of both worlds, load up on frozen yogurt from a local shop—or just make it yourself with our easy froyo recipe.

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homemade spicy hot sauce
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Spicy Foods

Confusing, right? Well, spicy dishes make you sweat, which, in turn, activates the body’s cooling mechanisms. There’s a reason equatorial cultures cook up intensely hot ingredients, despite year-round warm weather. We say you just make everything spicy by dousing on different types of hot sauce.