Turn Up the Heat to Cool Down: 7 Skinny Spicy Recipes

sunny day

You are sitting on your back porch, struggling to enjoy a few blessed moments in the sun, when you feel those dreaded beads of sweat oozing down your neck. Don't let the heat deter you from an afternoon of relaxation! Instead of reaching for an iced tea or ice cream, consider adding a little heat to your afternoon snack! We know it sounds crazy, but spicy foods can actually go a long way in helping you to chill out!

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Eating spicy foods makes you sweat which, in turn, instantly cools you off! When you chug cool beverages or indulge in a chilled sweet treat, you may experience instant relief, but the effects aren't going to last long. Cold foods bring down your internal body temperature way too rapidly, and your body reacts by working to crank that temp back up to normal levels. You'll be back to clammy and crabby in minutes! Next time you need to chill out try reaching for one of these spicy foods instead:

>> Read more: 6 Herbs and Spices That Keep You Cool This Summer

1. Spicy Shrimp Soup: Nothing satisfies those spicy cravings like a serving of our shrimp soup! We've added a healthy dose of red pepper flakes and sriracha chili sauce for a dish that will crank up the heat (and cool you off!) in no time! Click here for the recipe.

spicy shrimp soup

2. Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wraps: Looking for the perfect poolside snack? Give these mouthwatering wraps a go! The buffalo sauce really cranks up the heat for a delicious treat that will keep you cool and satisfied. Click here for the recipe!

spicy buffalo chicken wraps

3. Spicy Quinoa Crusted Chicken: This recipe is a great solution for an outdoor dinner party! Fight off the heat with these succulent chicken breasts that are coated in chili powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika for a dish that is sure to make some eyes water! Check out the recipe here.

spicy quinoa crusted chicken

>> Learn how to add more quinoa to your diet by clicking here!

4. Skinny Jalapeño Mac and Cheese: Make any old bland dish come alive with a chopped chili! Not only will it cool you off on a hot summer day, but studies have shown that chilies actually jack up your metabolism and make you feel more full so you eat less! Plus, when you throw in this much cheesy goodness, how could you possibly resist? Click here for the recipe.

Skinny Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

5. Spicy Roasted Chickpeas: Not only are these babies super easy to make, but they are the perfect, healthy snack for you to munch on next time you feel those sweat beads forming! They are coated in chili powder and red pepper flakes, so brace yourself for a burst of heat! Click here for our recipe!

spicy roasted chickpeas

6. Spicy Mango Cucumber Salad Skewers: Ditch those sugary popsicles and indulge in this fantastic, refreshing treat from Gourmande in the Kitchen. These are perfect for those of you who need a hint of sweetness to go with your spice, so grab a skewer (or three!) next time you're feeling the heat.

spicy mango cucumber salad skewers
(Photo: Gourmande in the Kitchen)

7. Ground Chicken and Chickpea Curry Stew with Yogurt and Cilantro: Curry is one of the best ways to add a little heat to your diet! The Greek yogurt combines with the spicy curry powder to create a dish that will really have those tastebuds dancing! (via Kalyn's Kitchen)

chicken chickpea curry
(Photo: Kalyn's Kitchen)

To learn more about how to chill out with spicy foods this summer, check out our sources: Huffington Post, Women's Health Magazine, and Self.