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    Ask the Chef: Cooling Smoothies

    By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef | July 1, 2013

    Q: Do any of the superfoods or any other foods have a cooling effect in the body to handle the heat of summer??

    -Marina S.

    A: Inherently, most traditional smoothies are a perfect food to promote cooling. From adding frozen fruits and vegetables, to extra ice, it's easy to make smoothies into “frosties†- aka smoothies that have a thicker, icier texture and thus a chillier effect. As we head into the warmest months of the year, consuming cold smoothies throughout the day can help cool down the body from the inside-out, making the impact of the outside heat not as invasive biologically.

    Additionally, there are collections of ingredients that can be used to help cool the body even more. Look to incorporate one or more of these foods into your next blend this summer:

    Cucumbers: A classic spa food, cucumbers rich water content keeps the body hydrated, and it's high content of a phytochemical called cucurbitin has a soothing effect when applied topically as well as when it is ingested. Try some in your next green smoothie, such as this Simple Cleansing recipe from our Smoothment video series.

    Mint: Mint is so cool, it even tastes the part. Natural menthol found in mint leaves has a fascinating effect on the body -- it affects the pores on our nerve cells (our “sensory cellsâ€) and changes the electrical activity within the cell, having the same effect in electrical activity as if the body were to come in contact with something cold. Mint leaves can be added fresh into smoothies, and are especially delicious when added to berry flavored, green, or chocolate smoothies. This Mint Chip recipe from my book Superfood Smoothies is one of the most popular recipes . . . try it for yourself!

    Greens: Just simple raw greens keep the body clean and cool as well. Fresh veggies like spinach and kale, or even a spoonful of wheatgrass powder help to promote circulation and assist your body in releasing heat. Plus, green smoothies are always a favorite!

    Coconut water: Coconut water doesn't exactly have a biological cooling effect in the body, but it's important more than ever to include in smoothies during hot months to stay properly hydrated. When we sweat, we naturally release many minerals (the reason why sweat is “saltyâ€), and the wealth of electrolytes that coconut water contains (important minerals) ensure that the body is replenished and kept in hemostasis. Try using coconut water powder in your smoothie recipes for an even higher concentration of electrolyte benefits.

    Do you have a favorite cooling smoothie? Share it below!