Hello Healthy Friends!!

 

Although summer is winding down, it is still super hot so I wanted to talk about hydration.

I am sure you have all heard that you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, right?  Did you also know that some of this water comes from the foods you eat?  Yes, it is true that if you eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you will be well hydrated.

 

That being said, it is still very important to drink water throughout the day to avoid health risks like kidney stones.  Of course, the exact amount that you need to drink depends on factors including age, gender and activity level.  Obviously, if you are a young athlete, exercising in high temps, you will need more fluid than a sedentary person.

 

How to use foods to get hydration:  A good regimen to follow would be to get at least 3 servings of fruit and 5 or more servings of vegetables every day.

 

All foods vary in the amount of water content that they have.  Remember that fruits and vegetables that are cooked will lose some water content.  To optimize the hydration of these foods, it’s best to eat them raw or minimally cooked.  For the best, most hydrating effect, enjoy these foods with a glass of water.

 

Here is a list of foods that are most hydrating:

 

Cucumbers (95% water) can go well in your salad but also use to dip in hummus in place of chips or make a chilled cucumber soup this summer.  Also, you can make a refreshing drink with slices of cucumber and add fresh mint or ginger to the water for an extra zing!  Make sure to keep the skin on to reap the most vitamins and minerals.

 

Celery has only 14 calories per cup and is very hydrating and made up of primarily water.  Stuff celery sticks with peanut butter or tuna salad.  This reduces your carb intake by using celery to replace bread.

 

Watermelon (well the word water is built into its name) and it is very high in water and only 46 calories per cup.  It is very refreshing and works well in gazpacho and fruit salads.  It is quite yummy added to a summertime salad of fresh greens and mint.

 

Cantaloupe is very hydrating and yummy in smoothies and summertime fruit bowls!  It is packed with 427 milligrams of potassium which is an electrolyte, which means it helps the body balance its water content.

 

Strawberries also contain 91% water in 1 cup and are an excellent source of vitamin C.  Add these to your morning yogurt , chia seed pudding or to your lunch time salad to add some sweetness to your vegetables!

 

Iceberg Lettuce can be used in place of your lunch time bread or in place of the bun for your burgers.  All types of lettuce and other greens like kale and spinach have high water content, but iceberg lettuce is the most hydrating at 95% water by weight.

 

Tomatoes are about 95% water and, like cantaloupe, they also are a good source of potassium with about 9% of your daily value in a 1 cup serving.  They are versatile  and delicious and can be enjoyed in pasta sauce, soups, fresh salsa, gazpacho or, my favorite, eaten plain with a touch of black pepper!

 

Bell Peppers are about 92% water and have a decent amount of fiber too.  Add to your salads or use them to dip in hummus in place of chips.  Stuffed peppers are yummy too but, remember, cooking them will cause them to lose some of their water content.

 

I hope that some of these fruits and veggies are your favorites!  Remember that you still need to drink water throughout the day to keep extra hydrated.  If you do not think you get enough water, try tracking the amount of water you drink by writing it down or use a mobile ap to track for you and to remind you to drink water.

 

Enjoy the rest of summer, stay cool  stay hydrated, and, as always, be well!

 

Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Group Lifestyle Balance Coach