Just one day of 85-degree temperatures and 100 percent humidity is all it takes to send most of us straight to the nearest ice cream parlor, with visions of Popsicles, frappés, and iced mochas dancing in our heads. But while those treats may sound good, for tempering the effects of all that heat and humidity, they're overrated.
It may sound counterintuitive, but loading up on chilled or frozen foods and drinks (even ice water) can be harmful. All that cold dampens your digestive fire, which means you won't absorb nutrients as you should. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty alternatives to the standard frosty delights. The liquid from young coconuts—these are green, not brown—makes a fabulous cooling drink. It's wonderfully refreshing even at room temperature. It also makes a great smoothie: Mix it with coconut flakes or chunks and toss in some cilantro.