So it’s hot and humid and you’re sweating like a dog. Don’t despair! It may seem almost unbearable to step outside the confines of your own home but there are ways – beyond the AC’s perpetual hum – to help your body cool down. All you have to do is listen to a voice from thousands of years ago…
The Chinese have been refining the art of balancing what you eat with what your body needs for millennia.
Indeed, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short), there’s a nuanced system of helping your body adjust to Shanghai’s stifling temperatures. And it’s all to do with understanding the balance of foods you consume: understanding which ones cool you down and which ones most definitely don’t.
While spicy, hot and salty foods are considered yang, which are best for warming the body, cooling, sweet and bitter foods are yin – and it’s these that you want to be eating under the sun. Generally speaking, raw or watery foods makes for ideal fare during the scorching summer since they are said to clear heat, calm and cool the blood, as well as quench thirst.
What’s more, foods that are cool by nature, TCM suggests, can help to alleviate a whole host of symptoms, including hot skin, perspiration, constipation, pungent or hot wind and stools, anxiety, red eyes, a red face, headaches, ulcers or cold sores around the mouth, heartburn and dark or yellow urine.
Watery fruit & melons
Due to their high moisture content and plentiful vitamins and minerals, foods like watermelon, bitter melon, winter melon, eggplant, pear and persimmon are also great at counteracting bodily heat. And since it’s summer, look to enjoy them only lightly cooked – steamed, say – or, even better, raw.
Neutral veggies & greens
The mild flavor of certain Chinese veggies – including chrysanthemum, spinach and celery, along with other roots and sprouts such as bamboo shoots and lotus roots – can also counterbalance heat. But beware of preparing them with salt or spice – too much of either will nullify their cooling effects. Instead, prepare simply, steaming or boiling.
Lighter proteins & carbs
It’s just common sense that moist and quenching drinks are vital for hydration. But eschew that latte or breakfast cuppa and choose green, mint, aloe or herbal teas instead. Fancy a little sweetness? As a natural sweetener, honey is the smart option since it’s also naturally moist and is an aid to digestion.
TCM predates AC and electric fans. And while some regard it as a pseudo-science, it has, for thousands of years, been helping Chinese people give their bodies a break as the mercury rises.
And if you’re still struggling to beat the heat, take advantage of FIELDS’ summertime promotion – each week throughout July, FIELDS predicts the temperature – and that’s the amount you save on a range of cool products.
Browse discounts now!
FIELDS is a popular online grocery store for safe, quality food in China. FIELDS stocks fresh organic fruit and veg, imported and domestic meat and seafood, plus essential pantry items from home. Order before 5 pm in Shanghai and benefit from same day delivery with delivery free for orders over RMB 200. A new customer? Great – you’ll receive a free gift with your first order!