Meals for hot weather: what to eat during UK heatwave

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The UK is braced for another heatwave, with temperatures in excess of 35C forecast

Things are heating up again in the UK this summer, with a second heatwave forecast for this week.

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The Met Office has issued its first heat health warning as persistent temperatures are forecast to soar to highs of 35C.

But what if when it comes to dinner, is there a way to keep your cool?

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Here’s everything you need to know about what to eat in hot weather.

Londoners eat out on the street in Hackey, London to stay cool (Image: Getty Images)

What foods should you eat to cool off in hot weather?

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When dealing with a heat wave, it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated.

People often try to keep cool by eating popsicles or ice cream or drinking cold drinks, but it’s important to make sure the food you eat is nutritious.

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Drinking sugary beverages may chill you for a moment, but it can actually cause you to become more dehydrated.

It is recommended that you eat foods rich in water, which will keep you hydrated and protect you from overheating.

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Fruits like strawberries and watermelons, vegetables like cucumbers, celery, lettuce and tomatoes all have high water content.

Just as hot drinks can cool you down, hot meals can have a similar effect.

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Spicy foods that make you sweat can help you cool down as your body regulates your temperature.

Foods high in vitamins are also important as they help you replace minerals lost through sweating.

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It’s ideal to choose foods that don’t need to be cooked in the oven, as this will help keep your kitchen cool.

But staying hydrated is also important, with nutritionists recommending drinking six to eight glasses of water a day.

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What foods should you avoid in hot weather?

To stay cool, you should avoid foods and drinks that dehydrate you.

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Enjoying a refreshing beer or cocktail in the sun is common practice, but it could make you feel even hotter.

It’s important to avoid diuretic foods and drinks, which flush water from your body and leave you feeling dehydrated.

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Foods and drinks to avoid include: coffee, mango, fennel, artichokes, and asparagus.

As tempting as you may be to get out on the grill, meat is not recommended during a heat wave.

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Your body will have a difficult time digesting the digestion as it will actually raise its temperature in an attempt to do so.

This is often referred to as “flesh sweat,” which is not ideal in warm weather.

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A man drinks a beer on Primrose Hill in London, England (Photo: Getty Images)

What to eat for dinner during a heat wave?

There are many ways to stay cool during dinner.

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Here are some foods to eat during a heat wave:

The best meal for dinner when it’s hot is a salad.

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Not only can salads appeal to all types of people, including picky eaters, they’re perfect for helping you stay cool and feel full during the heat.

A salad can include your favorite vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, carrots, or tomatoes, and your favorite meats, like chicken, fish, or bacon.

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You can also build up your salad by adding pasta and your favorite sauce or vinaigrette.

Here are some things to add to your salad:

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  • Low-fat cheese
  • Croutons
  • rice
  • eggs
  • Lemon, garlic, ginger or basil

It may sound strange, but soup is the ideal meal to enjoy during a heatwave.

By simply swapping out winter ingredients, you can add a summery twist to some of these staples.

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Soup is incredibly hydrating and is packed with beneficial nutrients.

Here are some ideas for soups to keep you cool:

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  • Summer minestrone soup
  • Gazpacho soup
  • Chilled cucumber soup with yogurt and dill
  • Chilled Tomato Soup
  • chicken noodle soup

Much like drinking hot beverages, eating spicy foods has been shown to actually cool you down during a heat wave.

Eating spicy food raises your internal body temperature, causing you to sweat, which in turn cools you down.

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For a light meal, Thai curries made with coconut milk have a refreshing flavor without heavy spices.

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