If an individual is suspected with heat exhaustion, the body produces more heat than it can release especially if dehydration sets in. This is due to the fact that the body reduces the body temperature via sweat.
Once heat exhaustion is left untreated, it can progress to heat stroke which involves body temperature that reaches up to 104 degrees or higher. This heat-related illness puts the individual at risk for organ failure, brain damage and even death.
How to prevent heat exhaustion using food
Foods that support the hypothalamus
The individual should eat foods that support the optimal functioning of the hypothalamus which is a component of the endocrine system. These foods include leafy greens, seaweeds, carrots and seafood such as tuna and salmon which contain essential fatty acids.
You can also provide the individual with olive oil and nuts such as peanuts and cashews as well as foods that are packed with minerals such as collards, broccoli and kale.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that contain high water content must be added to the diet if the individual has plans to engage in prolonged periods of exercise or any activity under direct sunlight. These foods include apples, pineapple, pears, cucumbers, oranges and tomatoes. Take note that watermelon is highly beneficial in hydrating the body and can be eaten in chunks, added to fruit salads or prepare watermelon water by placing the fruit in a blender.
It is vital to properly hydrate the body by encouraging the individual to consume soups, broths and cereals with nut or low fat milk. Even though foods have water content, it is important to increase the fluid intake.
Additionally, miso soup is also suitable during cold days while gazpacho can be served to the individual during warm days to help refresh the body as well as maintain proper hydration and nourishment.
Considerations to bear in mind
The individual should avoid consuming any food or beverage that contains caffeine such as chocolates. Remember that caffeine functions as a diuretic that urges the body to urinate which promotes fluid loss.
It is recommended to drink at least 6 glasses of water throughout the day to keep the body properly hydrated and always drink water if thirsty. Take note that the feeling of thirst is already an indication of minimal dehydration.