Eat to stay hydrated this summer

Published On: Aug 01 2012 01:23:55 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 16 2012 10:25:11 AM EDT

By Jessica, Pure Matters

We all know there’s no better way to stay hydrated than by drinking water, but it’s not the only way. Most fruits and vegetables are high in water content, and the more you eat, the less likely you are to dry out. Eat more of the following produce picks – each composed of over 90 percent water! – when the weather heats up, and you’ll keep yourself from getting dehydrated. Bonus: they’re all in season right now.

Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is the most popular melon in the United States because of its sweet flavor, but it has value beyond the foundation for a fruit salad. This fruit is 90 percent water, which makes it a great choice for rehydrating throughout the day, not to mention more than 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin A. Try a serving alongside breakfast, and you’ll counteract the dehydrating effect of that morning coffee.

Strawberries
The secret’s been out for a while now; berries are nutritional superstars. And the best hydrator of the bunch is strawberries, which are 92 percent water. With more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement per serving, this antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, high-in-fiber fruit is the perfect summer snack. Try pairing it with dark chocolate to reap the heart-healthy benefits of both.

Watermelon
You may know that tomatoes are high in lycopene, a nutrient believed to help ward off several types of cancer, but here’s something you may not have heard: watermelon has just as much of it, if not more. The rind also has a high concentration of nutrients, but not much in the way of flavor. Try them pickled -- they’re delicious!

Tomato
I get more jazzed for tomatoes in the summertime than any other fruit. For me, there’s nothing better than a juicy, ripe tomato on a sandwich, or in a salad, soup or stew. And with a water content of 94 percent, they’re great for hydrating throughout the day. A gazpacho with fresh tomatoes, onion, cucumber and green pepper makes a great no-cook light lunch or easy side.

Celery
When it comes to healthy summer snacking, celery is a superstar. With 95 percent water, a high amount of fiber and folate, and only 8 calories per stalk, it keeps you full, hydrated and bikini-ready. Fun fact about celery: it actually takes more calories to digest it than you take in. That’s how it’s earned its reputation as a negative-calorie food. Skip the pita chips and dip celery instead.

Radish
Like celery, radishes are 95 percent water. They’re also high in vitamin B6 and potassium, making them nutritious as well as delicious. Part of the cruciferous family of vegetables alongside broccoli, cabbage and kale, they’re a great summer source of the anti-cancer properties of their brothers and sisters, which are mostly in season in the colder months.

Zucchini
A summer farmer’s market staple, zucchini is 95 percent water, making it a great addition to salads, salsas, or grilled vegetable platters. It’s also a great source of B vitamins, which help with everything from healthy skin to a healthy immune system; and manganese, which is important for nerve and bone health.

Cucumber
There’s no denying that cucumber is refreshing, and there’s a reason that goes beyond taste. This vegetable is 96 percent water, making it a great food to keep you hydrated when it’s hot outside. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, and a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant food. And it’s so versatile! Try it in salads, salsa, smoothies… even in cocktails, where it can help to counteract the dehydrating effect of alcohol.

Iceberg Lettuce
At least – a reason to eat iceberg lettuce! This green gets a bad rap for its lack of vital nutrients compared to spinach, kale and the like; but it blows them all away in terms of water content, at a whopping 96 percent. So don’t feel guilty if it’s the foundation for your salad, as it’s helping to keep you hydrated, not to mention giving you a dose of thiamine and iron.

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