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11 Foods That Help Prevent Heat Stroke

By Cheyenne Buckingham

Sweltering summer days can cause your body to overheat to an exponential degree. Add these foods to your arsenal of tricks to stay cool.

In 1995, seven-time champion Paula Newby-Fraser flung herself to the ground about 400 yards before the finish line of the Ironman race in Hawaii. She failed to drink water continuously throughout the 26.2-mile run and collapsed from dehydration with less than ¼ mile to go. Maybe you have not endured as dramatic of an experience as Paula, but heat exhaustion can happen to both athletes and everyday walkers and joggers. And heat can be quite taxing to the body, no matter what level of physical fitness you are at! Rapid weight loss sounds great and all, but not when you solely lose water that your body needs to keep your organs healthy and functioning.

The onset of heat stroke can become more prevalent in an environment that is both hot and humid. Think about it this way: The body cools itself by sweating, which normally accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the body’s heat loss. If you are dehydrated, though, the rate at which you sweat slows and your body traps in the heat, instead. What happens when your internal temperature keeps rising but your body cannot release the heat? In the worst case scenario, heat stroke. So, along with drinking plenty of water, keep up that perspiration by hydrating periodically with these foods and herbs! And regardless of if you’re running, if it’s summer, or it’s the dead of winter, discover What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Drink Enough Water.

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1. Cucumber

This vegetable comprises 95 percent water, so the last thing you need to worry about is being deprived of H2O. One cup of cucumber slices contains only 16 calories, which is what makes this veggie the perfect addition to your weight loss plan this summer. Its high water content teams up with its natural stores of dietary fiber to create a successful, toxin-ridding agent. Your digestive system will be pristine and well-hydrated with a daily dose of cucumber. And whatever you do, avoid removing the skin because it holds a significant amount of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps you fend off skin cancer caused by those blistering UVA/UVB rays. Supplement these thirst-quenching slices with a dollop of hummus for some protein!

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2. Watermelon

If you have not checked out 12 Watermelon Trends You Have to Try, then it may interest you to do so ASAP because this cool and refreshing fruit is so hot right now! The USDA has found that watermelon actually stimulates the release of excess perspiration, so heat stroke will not be on your radar so long as you have a cold one in your hands. And by cold one, we mean a slice of watermelon!

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3. Pomegranate

Did you know pomegranate derives from Middle French’s “pomme garnete,” which literally means seeded apple? Now that you know the fruit’s etymology, it also important to identify the numerous health benefits that come from popping a handful of these ruby-like seeds in your mouth. Not only are the arils (you know, the small yet plump rubies we just referred to a sentence ago) loaded with water, they are also rich in special antioxidants called punicalagins. This category of antioxidants is so powerful that it actually triumphs over even red wine and green tea’s antioxidant count; one serving of the juice (which resides in the arils) has three times as much as the other two! Detox with this seeded apple to help sweat those toxins out.

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4. Basil Seeds

Basil leaves may be the real MVPs in a bowl of homemade pesto, but its seeds are just as valuable—if not more—with regard to keeping your internal body temperature regulated. If you regularly exhaust two hours running or walking vigorously outside in the hot, sticky mornings, it may be wise for you to toss a handful of these seeds into your recovery smoothies. In lieu of frantically jumping under the garden hose, eat a ration of basil seeds to give your overheated body the cool down it craves! These seeds actually induce a cooling effect on the body post-consumption. You can soak up the sun, but let these seeds soak up the heat.


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