We all know that water is one of the most basic needs of the human body, but we really feel it when the summer months roll in. While it's always a good idea to follow the conventional wisdom of drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day, many have a hard time packing that much liquid into a 24-hour time frame. The good news is that water from food can keep you hydrated just the same as water from a glass, so keep the following water-rich foods in mind to help you stay hydrated during those sweltering summer days.
Arguably the king of all summertime fruits, watermelon is comprised of 92% water, 8% natural sugar, and 100% refreshing taste. Not only is watermelon rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), but it's also a great food to help you replenish vital rehydration electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphate. In addition, watermelon contains generous amounts of lycopene, a key nutrient that helps protect your body from the effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Talk about a food made for summer all the way around!
Cucumbers contain more water than any other fruit or vegetable (96%), making them a must-have on your list of hydrating foods. They're rich in Vitamin K (i.e., potassium), and they contain a healthy dose of energy-giving nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and iron. Cukes are the perfect addition to practically any salad, but you can also eat them as a standalone snack with some hummus or low-fat ranch dressing.
Let's talk about the stalk! Celery boasts a 95.4% water content, and with only 6 calories per stalk, it's one of the lowest-calorie snacks around. Due to its high water and fiber content, celery is surprisingly filling, and it packs a nutritional punch with plenty of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium per serving.
Comprised of 94.5% water, tomatoes are a great complement to any sandwich, sauce, or salad, whether sliced or diced. You can also opt for the smaller varieties such as cherry, grape, or Roma tomatoes, as they're an ultra-convenient hydrating snack \you can just pop in your mouth anytime.
Popeye definitely knew the secret to staying hydrated. Spinach is comprised of 91.4% water, and it's rich in vital nutrients such as potassium, iron, and folate (a key brain food). You can boost the water content of your meals by adding raw spinach leaves to salads or sandwiches, but if you plan to boil your spinach, only keep it in the water for less than 1 minute in order to minimize any loss of flavor or nutrients.
Not only is cauliflower an excellent hydrating food (with 92.1% water content), but it's packed with powerful nutrients that can fight free radical damage and help stave off a variety of formidable diseases, including breast cancer. Add raw cauliflower florets to your favorite salad to give it a nice, crunchy texture, as well as a significant nutritional boost.
With only 30 calories and a 90% water content, grapefruit is an excellent, refreshing snack for any hot summer day. Grapefruit is a nutritional powerhouse as well, as it contains key detoxifying phytonutrients known as limonoids, which have been shown to inhibit the formation of certain cancerous tumors.
Don't just drink your water--"eat" your water too! Add these tasty foods to your family's diet, so you can stay hydrated all summer long!