Summer heat causes many of us to crave cold, creamy ice cream which throws a wrench in our successful diet plans. However, the surprising news, is that ice cream doesn’t actually cool down your body for very long. When you initially ingest ice cream, it will lower your body temperature, but when it hits your stomach and digestion begins your body temperature rises! Instead of reaching for the ice cream scoop when you’re feeling the summer heat, try adding these six spices into your diet, proven to actually cool down your body! (photo credit here)


Chili Pepper:
Chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaisin, which stimulates the nervous system and causes body temperatures to rise. In turn, your body works hard to cool down and the sweat you start creating will quickly cool your body. Even if at first you feel warm, the peppers will sweat the heat away and make it seem as if your body temperature has gone down. (photo credit here)


Mint:
I’m sure all of you have come to realize that mint toothpaste rapidly cools down your mouth, but mint doesn’t have to be restricted to toothpaste and gum. Mint contains a compound called menthol that will stimulate cold sensitive receptors in your skin, so adding mint to water, tea, or foods will naturally help cool you down. Mint’s cooling power can also be found in different soaps and shampoos. (photo credit here)


Turmeric: This powerful spice is what gives mustard its bright yellow color and it has been used for centuries in curries across the world. Turmeric warms the intestinal cells, creating the same effect as chili pepper has on the body. This warming effect can also reduce inflammation in the intestine, minimizing gut discomfort and gas.


Fennel Seeds: This cooling spice has been used to aid digestion for years. In India, fennel seeds are commonly consumed after meals to help break down the food and ease stress on the intestine. This herb, when brewed with tea, can help regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease period pains. (photo credit here)


Cinnamon: This unique spice can help cool you down in the summer and warm you up in the winter. An iced cinnamon tea can help reduce inflammation, lower your cholesterol and increase brain power. Cinnamon can also help curve your desire for sweet foods and can help regulate blood sugar! (photo credit here)


Cilantro: Typically, this herb is used in cuisine of the warmer climates and when you think of cilantro you’re most likely thinking of Mexican food. However, cilantro is the most commonly used herb in cuisine today and this strong flavored leaf has been used medicinally to cool down during the summer for centuries. It is important to eat cilantro raw, because when cooked, it wilts and loses it’s powerful flavor. On the other hand, the seeds of cilantro, known more commonly as coriander, may be cooked and they have the same cooling effects as cilantro!