Body temperature measures the body’s ability to generate and get rid of heat. The normal temperature is often quoted as 98.6°F, but it can be slightly lower or higher. The average temperature of adults is between 97.8°F and 99.0°F.
Usually, your hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system keep your body within a degree or two of your normal temperature. However, there are times when your body heat rises. This condition is known as heat stress.
Heat stress may be due to extreme heat, certain foods, or other factors. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of high body heat and what you can do to find relief.
Causes of High Body Temperature:
Several factors can cause your body temperature to rise. Here are a few common reasons for body heat stress:
- Having an inflammatory illness, such as an infection. Such an illness can cause you to have a fever, which is one indication that something unusual is going on in your body.
- Having a thyroid disorder known as hyperthyroidism. This causes your body to produce too much thyroid hormone.
- Spending time in extremely hot and humid weather. It’s especially likely if you’ve spent time in direct sunlight or have been doing physical activity.
- Wearing tight-fitting, synthetic clothing. These types of fabrics trap moisture and don’t breathe easily, especially if they’re tight.
- Eating spicy, oily, or fried food. In addition, nuts, meats, and other high-protein foods can contribute to heat stress.
- Consuming drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Performing intense physical exercise. This can cause an increase in heat since active muscles and related blood circulation activity create a lot of heat.
- Having certain medical conditions that affect your body temperature, such as types of arthritis, leukemia, and neurological disorders.
- Taking drugs that cause high body temperatures, such as certain antibiotics, opioids, and antihistamines.
- Being dehydrated. Dehydration can lower your body’s ability to sweat to cool you down and support a normal temperature.
Foods That Lowers Body Heat Quickly
You probably know how important it is to hydrate with water when you have heat stress. There are lots of other ways to lower your body heat quickly as well. The following home remedies are easy and effective ways to beat the heat.
It is said that cooling foods help to clear heat and toxins from the body, whereas the warming foods increase circulation and raise ‘qi,’ or vital energy,” explains Kerry Bajaj, a certified health coach at Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. Reach for the following eight foods this summer for some sweet, healthy relief.
Combination of apples and peanut butter makes a perfect snack that will cool you down and fill you up. Apples contain about 4g fiber for around 95 calories. They also contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin, which has been found to stop hunger in its tracks and aid in weight loss.
Zucchini is actually a type of summer squash that can range in color from yellow to a dark green. In addition to containing vitamin C and important phytonutrients, zucchini is a great source of manganese.
The mineral can help protect your body from free radicals (particularly of concern during the summer months when you’re more susepatble to sun damage) and also promotes collagen production and healthy bone tissue growth.
3. Cold foot bath
Placing your feet in a cold foot bath cools your body and allows you to sit back and relax. Simply add cold water and ice cubes to a bucket of water. Immerse your feet and soak for up to 20 minutes. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for an added cooling effect.
4. Coconut water
Drinking coconut water is a great way to refresh and revitalize your body. The vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes in coconut water make it an effective way to rehydrate. Trusted Source and reenergize your body when you have heat stress. Coconut water has many other benefits, too.
Citrus has a cooling effect on the body and promotes detoxification. Everyone knows how important it is to drink a ton of water every day, but plain ol’ H2O can be boring. Time and time again experts recommend adding lemon to your water not only for its skin and immune-boosting benefits, but because it actually encourages you to drink more water overall.
Peppermint is known for its cooling properties due to its high menthol content, which makes one have the sensation of feeling cooler. You can make a hot or iced peppermint tea and drink it throughout the day. While hot tea may seem to make you feel hotter, drinking hot drinks may help you to sweat more and help to cool down your body.
Along with banana, spinach, kale and cucumber, pineapple makes for a kick-ass green smoothie booster. In fact, all of these ingredients are considered to be cooling, so blend away. Pineapple is also the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which is credited for reducing inflammation in the body.
Drinking buttermilk may help to cool down your body and improve metabolism. It’s also full of probiotics (traditional buttermilk), vitamins, and minerals that will help to restore your body’s natural energy if you’re feeling drained by the heat.
Try drinking a glass of cold buttermilk. Adding honey or yogurt is optional but may make the flavor more to your liking.
9. Leafy greens
Is there anything that leafy greens can’t do for your body? Spinach, kale, collard greens, and romaine take the nutritional cake (so to speak) for healing and helping your body. Since greens have high water content, they’re easy to digest. This means your body doesn’t have to work as hard, which saves you energy and keeps you cool.
10. Hydrating foods
Eat plenty of foods high in water content. Fruits such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and strawberries are good options.
Try eating lots of vegetables such as celery, cucumber, and cauliflower. You can eat these foods raw in a salad. Alternatively, add a bit of ice to incorporate them into a healthy smoothie since yogurt is also a cooling food.
No day at the beach is complete without some fresh slices of watermelon, and you’re actually doing your body a favor by keeping the tradition alive.
“It’s so helpful to eat seasonally, says Bajaj. “In the summer, cooling foods like watermelon can act like internal A/C, while in the winter, warming foods like meat, spices, and root vegetables can act like an internal space heater.”
Even though eating spicy food can make you feel warm, it can also help to lower your body temperature. That’s because the capsaicin in chilies sends messages to the brain to signal that your body is overheated. This causes you to sweat more than normal and brings on a cooling effect.
Originally cultivated in China, peaches are another cool, seasonal pick. Not only are they delicious this time of year, but they also contain vitamins A and C, which promote healthy skin—and at 35-50 calories a pop, they make the perfect diet-friendly dessert.
14. Wear Loose
Play it cool in a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses if you’ll be in direct sunlight. You can even carry a parasol or umbrella.
Wear loose, lightly colored clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk. Semi-synthetics such as rayon and modal can also be worn to combat body heat.
Scientists are developing fabrics created especially to keep you cool, such as thermal regulation fabrics. Products made with these types of fabrics are often designed for sport and outdoor activities.
15. Aloe Vera
The leaves and inner gel of this healing plant can help to lower body temperature.
You can apply aloe Vera gel to your skin for a cooling effect. Either use the inside gel of a fresh plant or a pure aloe Vera gel. For added benefits, keep it in the refrigerator before application.
Aloe Vera can also be consumed internally. Use 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe Vera gel per cup of water to make a drink.
Sipping a cup of fenugreek tea may help to bring on a sweat, allowing you to cool off. If you don’t like the idea of drinking a hot drink, you can make the tea ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator before drinking it.
Fenugreek may also be useful in getting rid of some excess fluid and detoxifying the body.
Being “cool as a cucumber” might actually have some weight to it. Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating, and staying adequately hydrated during the hotter months is crucial.
Snack on cucumber slices and hummus, or if you’re truly desperate for some heat relief, “a green juice with lots of cucumber and lemon is a great way to stay hydrated and cool,” says Bajaj. Either way, you’ll reap the benefits.
18. Sitali breath
This yoga breathing technique has a cooling effect on your body and your mind. Sitali breath helps you to relax and cool down both physically and mentally.
To do this yoga breathing technique:
- Sit in a comfortable seated position.
- Stick out your tongue and roll the outer edges together similar to a hot dog bun.
- If your tongue doesn’t curl like this, you can pucker purse your lips.
- Slowly inhale through your mouth.
- Then exhale out through your nose.
- This is one round.
- Continue breathing like this for up to 5 minutes.
These remedies should help to cool you down if you’re feeling the heat. If your body temperature seems to be high for an undetermined reason or you’re not cooling down after trying some of these remedies, see your doctor. This is especially important if:
- you have an underlying medical condition
- you’re over 65 years of age
- you’re pregnant or nursing
- it’s occurring in young children or babies
Heat stress has the potential to turn into heat exhaustion or heat stroke if left untreated, so seek help if you or a loved one is having extreme discomfort that doesn’t ease.
In addition, learn the signs and symptoms of heat emergencies.
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