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Best and worst foods to eat during a heatwave

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Posted at 6:15 AM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:31:13-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — What you eat when it is extremely hot outside can definitely make a difference in how you feel. On average, a human body obtains 20% of the water it needs from foods eaten during the day. Food can also make you feel hotter or cooler depending on what it is.

BERRIES
Berries just might be the best thing to eat when it is extremely hot.

Strawberries are a whopping 92% water and berries such as blueberries and blackberries are more than 85% water. Proper hydration is essential when the temperatures soar.

Watermelon is also 92% water and surprisingly filling for many people.

Both pineapples and oranges are 87% water and oranges are packed with vitamin C.

Plums, which are stone fruits, are 85% water. Stone fruits help prevent heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Apples are 84% water and we all know the old saying — an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Pears are also 84% water. And, according to a recent study, a pear a day might cut your risk of a stroke in half.

Cherries are 80% water and grapes are 81%. Grapes are also high in vitamins K and C and grape seeds are full of additional antioxidants.

RELATED: What you should drink when it's really hot outside

MELONS
Eating melons is another great way to get the hydration you need.

Cantaloupe, which is bursting with vitamins A and C and a compound called adenosine, are 90% water.

VEGETABLES
Vegetables can be just as beneficial.

Cucumbers are perhaps the most water-packed vegetable at 97%.

Radishes, which are often overlooked, are 95% water. Additionally, they are high in riboflavin, fiber, calcium, and magnesium.

Celery is also 95% water and good to munch on.

Endive, which is a leafy green vegetable, is nearly 95% water and contains less than 8 calories per cup.

Another member of the 95% group is cucumber. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and other essential phytonutrients.

Tomatoes, which some people also consider fruits, are 94% water. They are also high in the antioxidant lycopene, which is known as a potent cancer preventive.

Spinach is 92% water and will make you strong like Popeye the Sailor Man.

Sweet red bell peppers have even more vitamin C than oranges. They are also 92% water.

Carrots are 87% water and help maintain vision.

Broccoli is 91% water. It also has compounds that have been shown to help reduce cancer risk.

In other words, salads are perfect for hot weather.

SOUP
Many people may not think of eating soup when it is 100 degrees or more outside, but it is actually a pretty good idea.

First of all, soups, stews, and porridge can help with hydration levels.

Also, if you are a fan of spicy chili, it will help you cool off.

When you eat hot or spicy foods, your nervous system senses rising temperature and it triggers a type of sweat gland called eccrine glands to release the salty stuff.

Since there are 2 to 4 million sweat glands in the human body, sweating actually cools you off more efficiently than a cone of ice cream or cold drink.

ICE CREAM
Ice cream and other cold food may actually do more harm than good when you are trying to cool down.

According to experts, consuming food leads to an increase in temperature from digestion.

If you combine this with the rapid cooling caused by ice cream or other cold foods, your body may overcompensate by increasing your core temperature.

In other words, you end up feeling hotter than before you started eating the ice cream.

MEAT
You may also want to avoid a lot of meat or high-protein foods during a heatwave. It takes more digestive power to digest protein, which creates heat in a process known as thermogenesis.

DIURETIC FOODS
Foods like mangoes, fennel, artichokes and asparagus are diuretic, meaning they will flush water out of the body. It is essential that you remain properly hydrated during a heatwave.

HIGHLY-PROCESSED FOODS
You should also avoid foods that are highly processed and high in sugar, including candy bars, doughnuts, muffins, breads, pasta, and grains. A lot of water is needed by the body to metabolize these foods.