Meals for hot weather: what to eat for dinner during UK heatwave in August 2022 - from salads to spicy food

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The UK is braced for another heatwave, with temperatures over 35C being predicted

Things are heating up again in the UK this summer, with a second heatwave predicted this week.

The last heatwave in July saw record breaking high temperatures reaching all four regions.

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The Met Office has released its first ever heat-health warning as prolonged temperatures are predicted to soar to reach highs of 35C.

Water companies have been issuing hose pipe bans in a bid to save water, whilst people are doing whatever they can to keep cool, from opening their attic to tin foiling their windows.

But what about when it comes to dinner, is there a way you can stay cool?

Here’s everything you need to know about what foods to eat during hot weather.

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Londoners dine on the street in Hackey, London in a bid to keep cool (Pic: Getty Images)Londoners dine on the street in Hackey, London in a bid to keep cool (Pic: Getty Images)
Londoners dine on the street in Hackey, London in a bid to keep cool (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

What foods should you eat to cool down in hot weather?

When dealing with a heatwave, it’s important to ensure you stay hydrated.

People often try to stay cool by eating ice lollies or ice cream or drinking cold drinks, but it’s important to ensure the food that you are eating is substantial.

Drinking sugary drinks may cool you down for a moment but it can actually cause you to dehydrate further.

It’s recommended that you eat foods that are rich in water that will keep you hydrated and prevent you from overheating.

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Fruits like strawberries and watermelon, vegetables like cucumbers, celery, lettuce and tomatoes all have high water content.

In the same way that warm drinks can cool you down, warm meals can also have a similar effect.

Spicy foods that make you sweat can help you cool down as your body regulates your temperature.

Foods that are high in vitamins are also important as they will help you replace any minerals lost due to sweating.

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It’s ideal to pick foods that don’t need to be cooked in the oven, as this will help keep your kitchen cool.

But it’s also important to stay hydrated, with nutritionists recommending we drink six to eight glasses of water a day.

What foods to avoid eating during hot weather?

To help stay cool you want to avoid food and drinks that will dehydrate you.

Enjoying a refreshing beer or cocktail in the sunshine is common practice, but it could end up leaving you feeling even hotter.

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It’s important to avoid diuretic foods and drinks that flush water out of your body, leaving you feeling dehydrated.

Foods and drinks to avoid include: coffee, mango fennel, artichokes and asparagus.

As tempted as you may be to get the BBQ out, meat is not recommended during a heatwave.

Your body will have a difficult time digestin it will actually raise its temperature trying to do so.

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This is often known as the “meat sweats” which isn’t ideal when dealing with warm weather.

A man drinks a beer on Primrose Hill in London, England (Pic: Getty Images)A man drinks a beer on Primrose Hill in London, England (Pic: Getty Images)
A man drinks a beer on Primrose Hill in London, England (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

What can you eat for dinner during a heatwave?

There are lots of ways to stay cool during dinner time.

Here are some foods that you can eat during a heatwave:


The best meal for dinner when it’s hot is a salad.

Not only can salads appeal to all types of people, including fussy eaters, they are perfect to help you stay cool and feel full during the heat.

A salad can include your favourite vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, carrots or tomatoes and your favourite meat such as chicken, fish or bacon.

You can build up your salad as well by adding pasta and your favourite sauce or vinaigrette.

Here are some things you can add to your salad:

  • Low-fat cheese
  • Croutons
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Lemon, garlic, ginger or basil


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It may sound odd, but soup is the ideal meal to enjoy during a heatwave.

By simply swapping out winter ingredients you can put a summer spin on some of these staples.

Soup is incredibly hydrating and is packed full of valuable nutrients.

Here are some ideas for soups to keep you cool:

  • Summer minestrone soup
  • Gazpacho soup
  • Chilled cucumber soup with yoghurt and dill
  • Chilled tomato soup
  • Chicken noodle soup

Spicy foods

Similar to drinking hot drinks, eating spicy foods during a heatwave has been shown to actually cool you down.

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By eating spicy food your internal body temperature rises, causing you to sweat, which in turn cools you down.

For a light meal, Thai curries which use coconut milk have a refreshing flavour, without heavy spices.

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