Staying hydrated is a vital part of good health. We all know that the recommendation is to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water each day. However the water content of our food is often overlooked. In this article we’ll give you 11 healthy foods that are rich in a number of beneficial nutrients as well as being especially hydrating.
How to Tell If You’re Dehydrated
If you do allow yourself to slip into dehydration, which isn’t too difficult to do during the summer months on the North Coast, there are some side effects that you can expect.
If you’re spending lots of time outdoors in the hot sun, performing vigorous activity, or if you simply have a high sweat rate, then you may be at risk of dehydration. The earlier symptoms of dehydration include:
- Muscle cramps
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Skin problems.
Prolonged dehydration can lead to more serious complications such as organ failure. Dehydration can, however, easily be avoided by drinking several glasses of water per day. Drink according to your thirst level, and include the water-rich foods below in your diet.
Eat Your Water
With water contents of up to 96%, here are some delicious healthy foods that will contribute largely towards keeping you properly hydrated:
- Lettuce (96% water)
With the highest water content on this list, lettuce provides not only a high amount of water but also a number of important nutrients and fiber. One cup of lettuce (72g) provides more than 60ml of water as well as fibre, folate, and Vitamins A and K.
- Cucumber (95% water)
Cucumbers are made up almost completely of water, and are another very hydrating food to include in your meals. Cucumbers provide a small amount of nutrients including Vitamin K, potassium and magnesium, and they’re very low in calories.
- Watermelon (92%)
It’s literally in the name, but watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods that you can eat. One cup of watermelon (154g) contains over 120ml of water as well as fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and magnesium. Watermelon is also rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, which has long been studied for its ability to reduce oxidative stress.
- Strawberries (91%)
Not only are strawberries delicious in smoothies, in salads or simply as a snack, but they also keep you hydrated. Strawberries are nutrient dense and are a great source of fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin C, folate and manganese.
- Sweet Melon (90%)
Sweet Melon, or Canteloupe, is very nutritious and contributes to your health in a number of ways. One cup of Sweet Melon (177g), is about 90% water, delivering more than 120ml of water per serving. Sweet Melon is also rich in fibre and Vitamin A, as well as a number of other nutrients.
- Oranges (88%)
Oranges are delicious as a summer snack, and they are very healthy for you. In just one orange you’ll be getting almost half a cup of water as well as fibre, Vitamin C and potassium. Oranges are a great source of disease-preventing antioxidants, and actually are preventative against kidney stones due to their citric acid content.
- Zucchini (94%)
Zucchini, or marrow, is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is very healthy for you. This green vegetable is not only hydrating, but a great source of fibre and Vitamin C. In just one cup of zucchini (124g) you will receive 35% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Zucchini is also very low in calories, so it’s great for weight management.
- Celery (95%)
Celery is a very hydrating food. As it’s mostly made of water, celery provides about 120ml of water in a cup serving. Celery is well known for its role in weight management due to an exceptionally low calorie content. Celery is also a great source of fibre, Vitamin K and potassium.
- Tomatoes (94%)
Tomatoes have quite an impressive nutrient profile. Per medium tomato you will receive about half a cup of water. Tomatoes provide a number of vitamins and minerals including immune-boosters Vitamin A and C, and are very low in calories. Most notably, tomatoes are a rich source of Lycopene, a heart-protective and cancer-preventative antioxidant.
- Bell Peppers (92%)
Healthy in every colour, bell peppers contain a variety of health-promoting nutrients along with a great dose of water. They are rich in fibre, B Vitamins and carotenoid antioxidants which are beneficial for eye health and cancer-prevention. Bell peppers contain the highest amount of Vitamin C compared to other vegetables and fruits, providing more than 300% of your daily needs in just one cup. Bell peppers are also low in calories, and easy to incorporate into your diet either fresh or cooked.
- Grapefruit (88%)
As another citrus fruit, Grapefruit is rich in immune-boosting nutrients as well as being a good source of water. It is rich in fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin A, potassium and folate. Grapefruit is also especially high in Vitamin C, providing more than 120% of your daily requirements in just half a grapefruit. Several studies have also shown that adding grapefruit to your diet may help with weight loss, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar and lowering blood pressure.
Stay Hydrated by Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
The main takeaway here is that staying hydrated is important for good health. Whilst experts recommend drinking 6 – 8 glasses of water per day to meet your hydration needs, foods are often overlooked as a source of water.
Aim to include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily intake, and you may not need to drink as many glasses of actual water. As long as you’re eating plenty of these healthy foods and drinking water according to your thirst, you won’t struggle to stay hydrated.