The Best Spices to Beat the Heat This Summer

Summer is here and it is H-O-T hot. With temperatures climbing, it’s time to cool yourself down, and there are several seasonal spices that can help. 

Just as fruits and vegetables have their seasons, so too do herbs and spices. According to the 5,000-year-old Indian food philosophy, Ayurveda, during pitta, or fire season (aka, summer), adding the right spices to your diet can help cool your body, and promote an array of health benefits. Plus, they make food taste delicious! 

If you’re feeling hot-and-bothered — and not in a good way — the following spices will help you feel cool-and-comfortable.

1. Mint

One of the best spices to help beat the heat, mint is also an easy remedy for bad breath and can help alleviate upset stomach or indigestion. Add fresh mint to iced tea, lemonade, and fresh fruit salads like watermelon and feta, or cook up a mint chimichurri sauce for steak or chicken. 

2. Dill

Whether dried or fresh, dill is cooling and savory when added to fish and seafood dishes or use it as a garnish in place of parsley.

3. Fennel

Like mint, fennel helps freshen breath, and is also known to calm heat-induced inflammation in the body and promote proper digestion, especially when eaten before and after large meals. Pair fennel with pork and chicken dishes and almost every type of fish including shellfish.

4. Coriander

Considered one of the most cooling and health-promoting spices in Ayurvedic medicine, coriander (which, FYI, is the seed of the cilantro plant), goes great in fish or chicken curries, as well as spice rubs, sauces and marinades.

5. Cumin 

This reliable cooling spice may also help rid you of stomach issues when days heat up. Use cumin in vegetable recipes and savory grain side dishes.