As the summer heats up, it’s important to keep you and your loved ones hydrated. Not getting enough water can make you very sick and can make many chronic conditions worse.
The information contained in this article should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your health care provider for appropriate diet changes for you.
While the simplest way to stay hydrated is to drink more water, (you should drink 8 oz. of water six to seven times a day) it does not have to be the only way. Many foods make you thirsty, dehydrating you as you eat them. Others have the opposite effect.
Here is a list of some hydrating and easy-to-find foods you can enjoy at summer picnics. Many are fruits and vegetables, but not all of them:
- Cucumbers – Like most fruits and vegetables, cucumbers are mostly made of water. They actually have 95 percent water content. They also have other nutrients that can help nourish the body.
- Watermelon – The name should be a big giveaway. While watermelon is also mostly made up of water, it also contains hydrating salts, calcium, magnesium and sodium.
- Cabbage – In addition to helping you stay hydrated, cabbage can lower cholesterol and it has lots of vitamin C.
- Chicken Noodle Soup – There is a reason we enjoy soup to help recover from the flu. In addition to the liquid in the broth, the sodium in the soup can help retain the water and the noodles provide carbohydrates to help the body absorb it.
- Bell Peppers – Colorful bell peppers are 92 percent water and contain lots of nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin C and beta carotene.
- Yogurt – The amount of water contained in yogurt depends on the type. Surprisingly there is actually more water in the yogurts that have higher amounts of fat. Yogurt also often contains calcium, B vitamins and probiotics.
- Pineapple – Not only is this fruit juicy, it also has potent anti-inflammatory powers to help you avoid some aches and pains.
- Tomato Sauce – This varies depending on the brand, but most store-bought tomato sauces are about 90 percent water. Be aware of sauces with high extremely amounts of sodium, but they typically have low calorie and fat content per serving as well.
- Celery – This vegetable actually has a reputation of being “negative calories” because it is nearly all water and it takes energy to crunch and swallow. But it is still a great snack to help rejuvenate the body.
- Strawberries – These deliver the most vitamin C of all the berries and they also assist with the healthy growth of new cells.
- Popsicles – These sweet treats are basically flavored ice and they can provide a nice boost of energy on a hot day.
- Salad Greens – Salad greens 90 percent water and they also have lots of nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Butternut Squash – Not only is butternut squash 88 percent water, a cooked cup of the vegetable also gives you more than 400 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A, which promotes eye health.
- Avocado – The texture may not seem like it, but avocado helps your body replenish potassium and it contains healthy fats and fiber, which helps the body hold onto water.
- Broccoli – This vegetable and other green foods provide alpha lipoic acids, which are a water-soluble antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
Remember to consult with a health care provider before making any dietary changes. For more ideas on hydrating foods, check out the references below:
- Kimberly Snyder
- Eating Well magazine