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Need Some Help Staying Cool This Summer? Try These 10 Foods.

As summer heats up, here are some of the foods that will keep you super cool.

Food & Drink

I don't know where y'all live but I live in Nashville, Tennessee (hence all of the y'all-ing that I tend to do). And chile, when the summer creeps on over this way, it can get pretty ridiculous due to all of the humidity in the South. While I've learned a few keep-cool-hacks like investing in blackout curtains, taking cooler showers, sleeping with a fan on (yes, I have central air but who wants to pay rent to keep that running non-stop?) and working downstairs (because heat rises, right?), I've also realized that if I eat certain foods, I am able to remain cooler too.

If you appreciate the summer season, but you can't stand feeling all hot 'n sticky, do your body temperature a favor and eat a little more of the following 10 foods. They're healthy, they're delicious and they're scientifically proven to make you feel cooler, well through Labor Day too.

1. Pineapple

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Pineapples are actually one of my favorite fruits. When you get a good one, it's super sweet, plus it's packed with plenty of Vitamin C and manganese. As far as health benefits go, pineapples are good for you because they've got antioxidants that will reduce oxidative stress. Another cool thing is the enzyme bromelain that's in them can help you to better digest your food while also boosting your immune system (bromelain can ease arthritic-related discomfort too). Another bonus with pineapples is, thanks to all of the Vitamin C that's in it (approximately 131 percent of your RDA), it's a great food to treat yourself to if you're trying to get pregnant. That's because Vitamin C helps to fight off free radicals; ones that are prone to do a real number on your reproductive system, over time.

The reason why pineapples make this list of foods that are naturally able to keep your body cool is because, something else that bromelain is able to do is reduce bodily inflammation. The less inflamed your tissues are, the cooler your body temperature will be, overall.

COOL DOWN WITH: Impress your friends with a Pineapple Fluff Dessert. You can cop the recipe here.

2. Watermelon

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When you come across a watermelon that is perfectly ripe, it is truly one of the best things ever! On the health tip, watermelon is good for your health because it's high in vitamins A and C. It also contains the plant compound cucurbitacin E, which contains anti-inflammatory properties. Since watermelon also has the plant nutrient lycopene in it, watermelon can help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and keep your vision strong. As a bonus, thanks to the amino acid citrulline that this fruit also contains, watermelon is able to reduce muscle soreness, if you happen to be someone who works out on the regular.

And just how is watermelon able to cool your body down? Water is something that is able to help to regulate our body temperature. Since this is a fruit that happens to be made up of 92 percent water, I'm pretty sure you can connect the dots on why it can be a delicious way to beat the heat.

COOL DOWN WITH: Summer ain't right without some homemade watermelon popsicles. Learn how to make some of 'em here.

3. Cucumber

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Guess how much water is in a cucumber? A whopping 96 percent! That's kind of crazy, once you factor in that it is a fruit (yes, fruit) that is packed with protein, fiber and lots of Vitamin K, along with some potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C too. The combination of all of these nutrients makes it possible for cucumbers to keep your blood sugar right, keep your bones nice and strong and, they can even help to make depression symptoms more manageable (due to all of the B-vitamins in them which can balance out your stress levels).

This is one more food that makes the "cool you off" list, mostly because it can hydrate you while keeping bodily inflammation down at the same time.

COOL DOWN WITH: If you're a smoothie kind of girl, how about one where cucumbers are the main ingredient? You can learn how to make that happen here.

4. Celery

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Celery is a trip, ain't it? The reason why I say that is because, if there is any food on this list that is a lot like chewing water (well, cucumbers come in a close second), celery would have to be the one. That doesn't mean it's not hella good for you, though. Where do I begin? Celery contains the antioxidants ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and quecetin that help to soothe joint pain, help to heal kidney and liver infections, and also naturally reduce UTI-related symptoms. Celery has the vitamins A, B, C and iron in it. Some other things that are dope about this particular veggie are the properties in it can assist in lowering your blood pressure, fighting bacterial infections and, due to its diuretic properties, celery is a great food for treating bloating. Also, if your man has infertility issues, celery can also help to treat that (plus, it's known to make semen/sperm taste better because the C that's in it helps to make it taste less salty).

Since celery is made up of 95 percent water, it also can hydrate your cells so that your body temperature doesn't increase and cause you to feel hotter when you're out in the summer sun.

COOL DOWN WITH: If you happen to like soup year-round, how about some summer celery soup? The recipe is right here.

5. Mint

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Bet you didn't see this one coming, huh? Let's start with all of the ways that mint is good for you. For starters, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe cold and asthma-related symptoms. Since mint has a powerful way of inhibiting the growth of bacteria that is in our mouths, it's a great way to treat bad breath. Since mint also contains digestive enzymes, it's able to help your body to better absorb the nutrients from your food while also supporting your ability to maintain your preferred body weight. The anti-bacterial properties in mint can help to remove toxins from your system. And, mint is also able to stimulate the area of your brain that is directly connected to mental awareness and memory.

Thanks to the menthol that's in mint, if you put some mint leaves into your drink or even chew on a piece of mint gum, it can create a "chilling" sensation; one that won't literally cool your body down, but it can make you feel a lot more comfortable when you're in the summer heat.

COOL DOWN WITH: Feel like downing a couple of mocktails or two? How about a virgin mojito? You can make it here.

6. Apples

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If you want to get a little more fiber into your system, apples totally have your back. They also have a nice amount of Vitamin C in them, so that you're able to get some antioxidants into your body as well. Since apples also have the flavonoid epicatechin in them, they can help to fight heart disease and lower your blood pressure. If you happen to have a real sweet tooth, some studies indicate that apples can actually lower your type 2 diabetes risk by as much as almost 30 percent. Apples also promote good gut health, contain properties that fight cancer and, the flavonoid quercetin that's in them can reduce bodily inflammation and significantly decrease the chance of having recurring asthma attacks.

COOL DOWN WITH: Treat you and your kids to some Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches. If you want to, learn how to make them here.

7. Coconut Water

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There are quite a few people in my life who are all about coconut water. That's actually a good thing because it's the kind of water that contains fiber and protein, along with with a fair amount of manganese, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C. All of these nutrients (and others) can help to lower your blood sugar levels, strengthen your heart and, even reduce high oxalate levels that can ultimately lead to kidney stones. Another awesome ingredient found in coconut water is cytokinins. They are natural hormones that help plants to grow. In our bodies, they're beneficial because they are able to fight off cancer-causing cells while slowing down signs of aging as well.

When it comes to the ability to cool your body down, coconut water has its fair share of electrolytes. If you take those into your system when you're feeling hot, they can help your system to maintain a proper fluid balance which can support your body temperature remaining at a healthy level, as a direct result.

COOL DOWN WITH: Know what would be dope? Some Rainbow Coconut Water Spritzers. The recipe for them is here.

8. Peaches

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Peaches are dope. Full stop. Matter of fact, it's kind of a trip that something so delicious can also be so good for you. Every time you bite into a peach, you're getting some fiber and protein into your system. As far as nutrients go, this is a fruit that also has a nice amount of vitamins A and C, along with traces of potassium, copper, zinc and vitamins E and K. Thanks to the fiber, peaches can help to keep you regular. There are studies to support that peaches can also keep your skin's texture nice and smooth while protecting it from UV damage. Another perk is, peaches are able to stifle the production of histamines in your system; this means that if you're prone to summertime allergies, this is a fruit that can make them more bearable.

Peaches are a cool-down-food because they can also replenish electrolytes. And, it should go on record that vitamins like vitamins C and E are able to reduce oxidative stress while zinc can calm your nerves. The less "worked up" you are, the easier it is to remain cooled down.

COOL DOWN WITH: A couple of slices of homemade Creamy Peach Icebox Cake would be so bomb. Learn how to make it from scratch here.

9. Sprouts

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Sprouts are the kind of food that, while they typically don't come up a lot, they probably should. By doing something as simple as adding them to your salad, sprouts are able to be a good source of protein and fiber. Not only that but sprouts actually contain as much as 100 times more enzymes than most fruits and vegetables, they can reduce the acids that can throw off your body's pH balance and the calcium and magnesium that sprouts have in them are able to keep your body chemistry in check as well.

And why is eating sprouts a wonderful way to cool your body down? Something else that sprouts are considered to be is an astringent food. What that means is, it's the type of food that helps the tissues in your body to shrink so that water is able to flow more smoothly throughout your system, ultimately cooling you down in the process.

COOL DOWN WITH: Interested in chowing down on a delicious sprout salad? Get all of the ingredients that you need here.

10. Hot Peppers

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Do you tend to like a little bit of "kick" to your food? While all peppers are good for you (thanks to the vitamins A, C, potassium, folate and iron that are in them), what I'm specifically gonna touch on is hot peppers. Believe it or not, hot peppers are an anti-irritant that can actually help to treat ulcers. Some other I-bet-you-never-saw-coming benefits that come with hot peppers are, if you eat them while having a migraine, the sensation from the peppers can get your mind off of your headache discomfort; the chemical compound capsaicin that is in hot peppers is able to relieve joint pain; hot peppers are able to give you a boost of energy so that your metabolism goes into high gear and, they are also able to fight fungal infections that can trigger a cold or full-on flu attack.

If you're like, "I can get with that, but it makes absolutely no sense to eat hot peppers in the heat", I hear you. But, that's actually not true at all. When you eat them, they cause you to perspire. When that happens, it sends a message to your body that you need your system to cool you off. So, don't be afraid to toss back some jalapeños or chili pepper or two. They're better for your health than you probably thought they were. Plus, they can help to keep you cool—all summer long.

COOL DOWN WITH: How about a Coconut Jalapeño Margarita? A delightful recipe is right here.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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