In hot weather, we often gravitate towards cool and refreshing foods like ice cream, cucumbers, and watermelon. In many of the world's warmest regions, however, the food itself is fiery. Think Indian curry, spicy Thai soup, and Jamaican jerk. For one, these are places where chile peppers grow. And some say that hot foods actually cool you down. Sitting over a bowl of steaming soup or crying from the bite of a hot pepper might not seem like the most intuitive way to spend a summer day, but foods that are hot in spice or temperature may actually cool the body by increasing blood circulation and perspiration. Sweating releases heat ... but how long does this effect last? And is it worth it, or would you rather eat a popsicle?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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