There’s no getting around it…it’s July and it’s HOT! We all know how important hydration is when it’s this hot and humid outside, but chugging down plain water can get boring and opting for high-calorie sugar-sweetened beverages can take a toll on your waistline! So why not hydrate with food? It’s estimated that about 20% of our water intake actually comes from the food we eat. Choosing foods with high water content can not only help you prevent dehydration, but can also ward off sluggishness and keep you feeling full (which can also help if weight loss is a goal!).
Enjoy all of the following hydrating foods to get a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals without adding too many excess calories!
Watermelon-There’s a reason we reach for this refreshing fruit at summer barbecues-it’s about 91% water and high in Vitamin A, C (great for immune function) and minerals Potassium and Magnesium (essential to heart and muscle function).
Peppers-Bell peppers are chock full of vitamin C and beta-carotene, and can add a sweet and satisfying crunch to appetizers, snacks and entrees.
Strawberries-This sweet treat provides tons of vitamin C, fiber and folate in addition to water. Strawberries (or any other berry) are delicious all on their own or tossed into salads and desserts.
Cucumber-This super refreshing vegetable is packed with Vitamin C and is about 96% water. Add it to salads, soups or even dips!
Lettuce-Depending on the type, lettuce can be up to 96% water and is rich in potassium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K. And at less than 20 calories for 2 cups of greens, who wouldn’t want to hydrate with a big beautiful salad?
Broccoli/Cauliflower-These cruciferous veggies might not come to mind right away, but with about 90% water and the benefits of vitamin C, calcium, fiber and iron…they’re a must add to summer meals!
Kimberly Hoban, R.D.