Naturopath and Kombucha City founder Gail Matthew looks at how you can stay cool, calm and collected to beat the heat as the weather hots up.
Statistics from NIWA show 2021 was New Zealand’s hottest year on record and NIWA scientists are predicting the next few months will be warmer than average in most parts of the country.
Most of us will be looking forward to some warm weather after a wet, cold start to spring but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. We’ve got some tips on how to lower your body temperature and cool your environment so that you can chill out this summer.
Naturally we are big advocates for the wellbeing properties of kombucha and research has shown it can help keep you cool as well as quench your thirst.
Kombucha contains antioxidants which fight the free radicals that damage our cells and support organs such as our liver. Liver toxicity creates heat in the body so when you help your liver to get rid of toxins, it doesn’t have to work as hard and it won’t create as much heat.
The antioxidants that are found in food and beverages are better for you than taking supplements. Kombucha made with green tea, like Kc Kombucha drinks, is higher in antioxidants than kombucha made with black tea. Green tea has been shown in a number of studies to have an antioxidant effect on the liver.
In fact, studies on rats have shown that drinking kombucha can reduce liver toxicity by up to 70 per cent. Although no human studies exist, this seems like a promising area of research. We’ll leave that up to the scientists and just keep enjoying a daily glass of Kc Kombucha to keep our livers working well.
A mint solution
Mint or peppermint is one of nature’s coolants thanks to the menthol it contains. It’s great added to a cool foot bath. Put cold water and some ice cubes in a bucket, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil and soak your feet for 20 minutes. You can also use peppermint essential oil in a diffuser in your house to take advantage of its cooling effects.
Staying hydrated is important because the body can’t produce sweat if you are dehydrated. Sweat is a natural cooling agent for the body. Man (or woman) can’t live by kombucha alone, so you need to increase your water intake. Try putting citrus, cucumber or melon in your water to improve the flavour. The better it tastes, the more likely you are to drink it. Aim to eat more foods high in water content – this includes fruits such as strawberries or watermelon and vegetables such as celery and cucumber.
Be fussy about fibres
Wear loose, lightly coloured clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk – and if you are out in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat. Make sure you have natural fibres on your bed as well – cotton, linen or bamboo works best. Man-made fibres are like wearing plastic bags and no one wants to wear a plastic bag in the middle of summer!
See the sea
Cool down with a swim in the ocean – it’s so much better for you than a chlorinated pool because salt water is full of minerals that promote healing in the body. If you don’t live near an ocean, a lake or river is the next best option for chilling out and enjoying the benefits of being at one with nature. But wherever you swim, remember to stay safe. Wear appropriate swimwear, check for warning signs, currents or rips, swim with others or where lifeguards are on duty, don’t swim after consuming alcohol, watch children carefully and know your limits.
When it comes to summer eating, ditch those carb-heavy comfort foods and stodgy stews. Options such as salads, which are less dense and higher in water content, will make you feel lighter and cooler. Lighter foods are easier to digest and digestion is another function that creates heat in the body.
Dial down the hot water
Keep your showers cooler in summer – it will keep your core temperature down and having a lukewarm shower also means you will use less hot water. Energy saving is good for our planet.
Bring back the barbecue
When the weather is good, consider cooking outdoors on the barbecue as much as possible. It will prevent indoor cooking appliances heating up the house, leaving it feeling hot and stuffy. Everything tastes better on the barbecue. The other option is to opt for meals that don’t need heating – cold meats or smoked salmon combined with salads are simple, healthy, cool options.
Say hello to aloe
Aloe vera gel can help to lower body temperature. You can apply it in the dip behind your ears or on your wrists where it will have the desired cooling affect straight into the blood vessels. Use either the gel found in a fresh plant or a pure aloe vera gel from the pharmacy or health store.
However you choose to stay cool this year, the team at Kombucha City hopes you have a relaxing, safe summer.
Hi, I'm Gail Matthew, Founder and Creator of Kombucha City and Kc Kombucha drinks. As a qualified naturopath and medical herbalist, I know what needs to go into our bodies in order for them to function at their best. I spent years overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and and I want to build a positive community of health conscious kombucha lovers, who are committed to putting their health first!