Haven’t we all said it at some point or another? “It’s too hot to eat!” We thought it was just us or the tropical India weather but it’s actually science. Studies conducted in animal models and military settings have shown that the Thermal Neutral Zone, or TNZ, an ideal range of temperatures in which the body can function normally, dictates whether your appetite drops or rises.
Our bodies are sensitive to the difference between the external and internal body temperatures. Sweating and exhaling warm air (or panting in animals) are processes that are employed to cope with the difference. Digestion is an exothermic process—one that raises the core body temperature. Which is why you feel warmer after a meal in winter. Internal temperatures can rise as much as 2 degrees after a big meal. Additionally, protein-rich meals may cause slightly higher temperature rises than carb or fat-centric meals.
Don’t turn the AC up (or down, to be precise)
Several studies have shown than when in an air-conditioned environment, our eating habits resemble that of cold weather patterns. It has been suggested that moving from a hot to cold environment is actually detrimental to eating habits. Consumer surveys from the early ‘90s actually revealed that food orders in restaurants tended to be smaller if an air conditioner was broken. When the air conditioner was running, people placed orders “normally.”
What should you do instead?
Enjoy the heck out of summer! This is when you can eat as many sorbets, drink as much juice, eat all those delicious watery veggies and experiment all you want. Let’s celebrate summer and all its warm glory with fresh, natural organic products, whether fruits or veggies.
Our favourite summer recipes in 2016
Cold Soup: Avocado Cucumber
This avocado and cucumber soup is this summer’s superstar. Simple blend cucumbers and avocado (peeled and pitted), along with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Stir chopped avocado and tomato pieces if needed. Chill before serving to acclaim and rapture.
Appetiser: Haricot beans and tomato salad
We love this crisp salad. Trim and blanch the green beans till tender. Halve cherry tomatos. In a bowl, combine freshly chopped coriander, minced onion or spring onion, coconut milk cream, salt and pepper to taste and toss with the beans. Garnish with toasted peanuts.
Main Course: Hummus burgers
Sounds delicious? You bet. Get whole wheat bread or buns (newly launched on I Say Organic and give your entire meal a healthy, protein-y fillip. All you need to do is grill the buns (if you like), place a protective layer of lettuce on both sides and then spread hummus thickly, on both sides. Add tomato and onion slices – and boiled potato slices too if you like. Season with chilli flakes, bring the halves together and let your tastebuds become one!
Dessert: Berry-Coconut Popsicles
In a bowl, whisk around 200 ml of coconut milk with 1/4 cup honey, salt, and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisk to a creamy finish. Puree your favourite berries in the blender and strain. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk mixture and 1 tablespoon honey to the strained berries, and whisk. Add some lime juice and lime zest to the remaining coconut milk mixture, and stir well. Alternate layers of the coconut milk mix and the berry mix into popsicle moulds. Insert sticks after 30 minutes and freeze until firm. You could also combine both mixes and make a non-layered popsicle.