Spicy food? That will make me sweat? In this heat wave-ridden summer!?
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, packing in the scovilles might just be the heat-beating trick your summer cooking routine has been searching for. (Just as long as you weren’t hoping to keep that new white linen dress pristine and sweat-free, that is.)
Nutritionist Lisa Richards of the Candida Diet explains why adding some heat to your home-cooked meals could help you save on the A/C bill: “The spice (heat) from spicy foods raises body temperature and circulation” she says. “This reaction makes you sweat more, which ironically is a mechanism to cool you off and help you to reach thermal equilibrium.”
Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics agrees, but adds a note of caution to take along on your quest for sweat: “although spicy food can help you to cool down in the heat, it’s achieved through moisture loss. This means that staying hydrated is doubly important when using this method to stay cool.”
Tossing in some hot sauce is probably the fastest way to up the heat index on your next meal, but Richards suggests some other options to help you get creative with spicing – err, spicying? – up your meals. For example, you can sprinkle some chili powder onto your dishes for a kick, or you can reach for herbs and spices with a notably spicy zing, like nutmeg, ginger, or cloves. Plus, you can keep things simple by going back to basics with some hot peppers.
So next time you can’t handle the heat in the kitchen, your best bet might just be to add some heat to your saucepan.