Feeling the Heat Then Cool Down With a Curry

When the temperatures soar more often than not, we reach for the salads, the refreshing cold soups, and drinks. Surprisingly, if you want to stay cool, this is not the best way to go. Have you ever wondered why in hot countries, let's take India as an example, despite steaming temperatures they eat hot spicy curry. The reason is that the spicier it is, the better it is for cooling down. 

This anomaly of eating hot to stay cool has to do with the way the body reacts when you eat an extremely spicy dish. Put simply, the heat of the spices makes you sweat, and sweating cools you down. 

  • 01 of 03

    How to Cool Down with Spicy Foods

    Without a doubt, that long, cold drink chinking with ice will feel refreshing and cooling. You drink it down and as you do, your body temperature drops, you “feel better.” But the sensation is short-lived. You have cooled your body down far too quickly so to compensate; your temperature goes up. You are now hotter and set in a vicious circle. Better to reach for a cup of tea than a cold drink, you will feel refreshed and less thirsty. 

    It is the same when you eat spicy foods. The heat raises your internal temperature and increases your blood circulation. Before you know it, you are sweating. The sweat rapidly evaporates and hey presto the this makes you feel cooler. It is that simple.

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    Hot Recipes to Keep You Cool - Light Curries

    A bowl of lamb curry

    pelican / flickr / CC By-SA 2.0

    So all the talk of spicy food to keep you cool, there is one problem, eating heavy, hot food on a red hot day. It is not always what we want. Or that is what we think. 

    Curry, especially those from the Indian Subcontinent so loved in Britain and Ireland, can be quite heavy, especially if dependent on meat. One way to lighten the load and still keep the cooling benefits is to choose a vegetable, chicken, fish or seafood curry. These will be easier to tempt the palette and still keep you from overheating. 

    Here are five recipes which will work wonders on a hot day and not leave you overstuffed:

    The success of these recipes depends on the careful balance of spices. You can increase the heat if you wish but should find all will have the desired effect as they are.

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    Which Foods to Eat When the Temperatures Soar - Spicy Dishes

    A plate of spicy lentil chicken
    Elaine Lemm
    • Spicy Chicken with Lentils: this chicken dish has a great oomph from the Moroccan Ras al Hanout spice mix.
    • Spicy Butternut Squash Recipe: light enough for even the hottest summer's day but with enough heat to cool you down.

    Delicious hot or cold, so a good dish when the thermometer is set to burst is a Spiced Braised Pork. Cook it and then slice up for a great sandwich or in a salad.