You may think that all our hydration comes from drinking but the truth is that about 20% of our fluid intake comes from the food we eat. However, not every food we consume contributes to our hydration level. Some foods that are especially high in fibre, salt, and protein end up depleting our fluid reserves, thereby dehydrating the body instead.
Especially comes summertime where days get longer and warmer with each rising temperature, staying hydrated becomes even more important than ever. A daily 6 to 8 glasses of water may not be enough to stay hydrated during the hot summer days. Moreover, it can be quite challenging for some people to rely solely on water (especially with that much amount) for hydration.
Fortunately, hydration does not necessarily have to come from water alone. One can always “eat their water” by consuming foods with high water content. In fact, According to a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen, it has been demonstrated that food may be more effective at hydrating the body than simply drinking water. This is because of the micronutrients that are lost through sweat such as sodium, potassium and certain vitamins. Hence, this article will highlight certain foods that are known for their higher water content and also, more effective at hydrating the body.
Here are some of the most hydrating foods you can turn to that will help do the trick:
1. Cucumbers (Water content: 96.73%)
Besides being high in water content, cucumbers are also a great source of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and a modest amount of calcium. Cucumbers may not be packed with high mineral and vitamin content like other fruits and vegetables but they however contain unique and special nutrients known as cucurbitacins, which, according to studies, have an antidiabetic effect.
2. Lettuce (Water content: (96%)
Even though they may not be as nutritious as dark leafy greens like spinach, lettuces contain an immense amount of water, making them an excellent food for hydration. Aside from its high water content, lettuce, such as iceberg lettuce, are also rich in fibre and low in carbohydrates and sugar. They also contain nutrients such as zinc, potassium, vitamins A and K. Furthermore, it is also suggested that lettuce can help with sleeping.
3. Tomatoes (Water content: 94.52%)
Whether you consider them to be a fruit or a veggie, tomatoes are full of nutritional benefits. Apart from containing a high amount of water, they are especially high in the antioxidant, lycopene, and carotenoids which are known to have a role in reducing heart disease risk. Tomatoes are also rich in fibre, folate, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E and K
4. Capsicum (Water content: 94-92%)
From green, red and yellow, Capsicum or Bell peppers comes in different variants and are more nutritious ad hydrating than you may think. These flavourful veggies are a great source of carotenoids and vitamin C. The levels of these nutrients increase as they ripen so the riper the capsicum, the more nutritious it is.
5. Spinach (Water content: 91.4%)
An excellent base for salads, this superfood leafy green veggie is the perfect summer food. Not only because of its high water content, spinach is also packed with essential nutrients, such as fibre, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and K.
6. Watermelon (Water content: 91.45%)
Be it the form of a juice blend or simply in its true form, summer season is incomplete without a hydrating dose of watermelon. Apart from containing mostly water, watermelons are also high in lycopene, antioxidants that are known to help lower the risk of certain types of cancers. They are also rich in vitamins A, B and C, zinc, potassium and copper.
7. Strawberries (Water content: 91%)
These delightful fruits not only packed with water but are also loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants that are known to enhance brain function. Studies have also shown that consuming berries, such as strawberries may delay cognitive degeneration for more than 2 years. Strawberries are also rich n electrolytes, specifically potassium, which is lost through sweat. Strawberry puree is known to increase its hydrating effect.
8. Broccoli (Water content: 89.3%)
Most cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli are high in water content and are an excellent hydrating food for the summer. Broccoli, in particular, contains numerous antioxidants essential for health, They also contain fibre, iron, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Raw or steamed broccoli packs the most nutrients.
9. Pineapple (Water content: 86%)
Pineapple is considered an excellent food for the summer not only because of its high water content but also because of its rich nutritional benefits. It is packed with a high amount of vitamin C and also nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin B as well. Furthermore, It also contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme and bromelain which are known to help treat sinusitis, osteoarthritis and digestive issues.
10. Mangoes (Water content: 83%)
Also known as the King of Fruits, mangoes are highly nutritious besides being high in water content. They are rich in antioxidants, which help boost immunity. Additionally, they are also very effective in improving digestion and are also known to lower cholesterol and in promoting eye health.
Hydration is extremely important for our health. Staying hydrated supports healthy body functions, including enhancing and improving metabolism and digestion, and also in promoting healthy and hair and skin, and many other benefits. Most of all, the best thing about hydration is that it does not necessarily have to come from water alone. There are numerous fruits and vegetables (apart from the ones listed above) that are just as hydrating as water.
Moreover, these foods are not only hydrating but also contains incredible vitamins, minerals and additional nutrients that are vital for good health. So make sure to look for these food items the next time you go grocery shopping as they are very much healthy and beneficial for health, as well as for the summer heat.