After the rainy season finishes, the summer is here. Summer in Japan is so hot and humid and must be very different from your country. Recently, the temperature which is usually about 35℃ is constantly rising each year. Therefore, some people suffer from “summer heat fatigue” which is called “Natsubate” in Japanese. To enjoy your summer and to ensure safety, we have figured out the cause of it and how it can be prevented.
- What is “summer heat fatigue”?
First, I would like to illustrate what “summer heat fatigue” is. Some people suffer from some symptoms such as feeling tired and a loss of appetite. A few people also suffer from diarrhoea, constipation and sometimes headaches and dizziness. If you have these symptoms, you may catch summer heat fatigue. Summer heat fatigue also causes a summer cold which leads to a strong sore throat and diarrhoea.
- What is the cause of “summer heat fatigue”?
There are four reasons why people catch summer heat fatigue.
The first cause is the disturbance of the autonomic nervous system. When you come in the room, where the air conditioning is too cold, your autonomic nervous system tries to maintain a constant body temperature and disturb your autonomic nervous system.
Secondly, summer in Japan is hot and humid, which promotes your sweat gland to be filled with sweat and thus unable to produce any more sweat. Then you are not able to regulate your body temperature. In addition, when you are exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, you sweat excessively, which increased the chance of dehydration and heatstroke.
Thirdly, a lack of sleep may trouble you. The temperature in the night does not drop, which leads to difficultly falling asleep or an inability to enter a deep sleep. Lack of sleep prevents you from recovering from fatigue.
Finally, hot and humid weather promotes you to drink cold beverages such as beer and carbonated drink excessively. This leads to hypofunction of digestive organs and a lack of appetite.
- How can we prevent “summer heat fatigue”?
There are a lot of causes which promote it, however, we can minimise the risk of it through taking some preventative actions. There are four actions listed here to help avoid it.
First is to drink more water than usual. You lose water and salt from your body when you sweat a lot. Therefore you stop sweating and will get heatstroke if you do not have an adequate intake of water and salt. You should take a water replacement regularly before you are thirsty. You should also take a glass of water before going to bed. I recommend you to take oral rehydration solution (ORS) or a sports drink. However, you must not drink alcohol such as beer which promotes dehydration.
Secondly, you should sleep well and make sure you get adequate rest. It would betst that the temperature is about 28℃ and the humidity is about 50-60 % in the room. You can use the air conditioner and the electric fan, but you must not use them all night.
Thirdly, it is important to take light exercise to enhance perspiration. You can take a walk or a jog for 15-20 minutes. You had better take an exercise in the morning or evening to avoid heatstroke.
Finally, the most important thing is to eat a well-balanced diet, especially an intake of protein, minerals and vitamins. You can get protein from meats and soybeans. Minerals and vitamins are contained in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin B is so essential for energy metabolism and recovery from fatigue. You are best to eat pork, liver, fish and garlic. Furthermore, you should eat various vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins and green peppers. Please do not eat many cold foods such as ice creams, or the function of the stomach will weaken.
- A recipe for a well-balanced diet
Here I would like to introduce one Japanese food recipe which is useful to avoid summer heat fatigue and to recover from it. You also can find many recipes on the Internet.
Japanese-style pork hamburger steak
- Ground pork (1 pound)
- Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup)
- Egg (1)
- Garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon)
- Ginger powder (1/2 teaspoon)
- Salt (A little)
- Pepper (A little)
- King oyster mushroom (25g)
- Chopped onion (15g)
- Olive oil (as needed)
- Beefsteak plant leaves (2)
- Grated Japanese radish (50g)
- Soy sauce (1 tablespoon)
- Sliced lemons (2)
- Add ingredients (pork, egg, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper) into a bowl and mix them. Add onions, king oyster mushroom and bread crumbs, and knead it.
- Form into two balls and flatten into patties.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Cover and fry the patties until patties are browned, about 5 minutes per side.
- After cooking, move to the dish. Put the beefsteak plant leaves and grated Japanese dishes. Pour soy sauce over the hamburger steak and put the sliced lemons.
You must love summer in Japan, however, please be careful not to get summer heat fatigue. Take a lot of water onboard and have a well-balanced diet. Enjoy your summer!
Yuki / Japan