Food & Nutrition
You’re probably familiar with the recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry: it doesn’t include the water you consume in food.
Click through the slideshow to learn which foods can help boost your water intake.
A Weighty Matter
You lose water every day through respiration, perspiration, urination, and bowel movements, so proper hydration is crucial. Fortunately, you can meet your water needs in different ways. Both vegetables and fruits contain a large quantity of water relative to their weight. When you eat fruits and veggies, your body absorbs the water.
The University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture notes that, at 92 percent, the water content of watermelon ranks among the highest for fruits. While watermelon is available year-round in the United States, summer is the best time to enjoy the fruit at its juiciest and sweetest. Eat it by the slice or enjoy it as part of a salad to get the benefits of its high water content.
Strawberries also contain water content as high as watermelon, at 92 percent. Since the season is so short—from late May to late June—your best bet is to buy them during the three to four weeks when they are at their ripest. You can freeze them and enjoy them in a smoothie after they’ve gone out of season.
This citrus fruit gets a bum rap for being too sour or bitter, but once you get past the pith (the white skin), you’ll find that the pink and red varieties boast 91 percent water content. If you can’t stand to eat the grapefruit plain, try sprinkling a little sugar on it.
You might be surprised to find that red tomatoes have higher water content than watermelons, at 94 percent. Green tomatoes contain almost as much water at 93 percent. That means that water makes up 115 grams of a tomato that weighs 123 grams. Try lightly seasoning a tomato with salt and pepper for a juicy and hydrating snack.
Lettuce and Cabbage?
If you’re looking for a food that has high water content, look no further than your salad. Iceberg lettuce has the highest percentage at 96 percent, but even cabbage contains a lot of water—93 percent for green cabbage and 92 percent for red cabbage.
If you really want to up your water intake, try a mixed greens salad. Remember, the darker the leaves, the richer its nutrient content.
These pickle predecessors have a water content of 96 percent. In a cucumber that weighs 52 grams, 50 grams are attributed to water. Slice them up and toss them on your salad to reap the benefits. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can enjoy them in a green smoothie with spinach or kale. Add a little seasonal fruit to neutralize the flavor.
Eat Your Water
Water aids in many important functions, including temperature regulation, waste removal, and joint and organ protection. Whenever possible, make the foods listed above a part of your diet to provide your body with the amount of water it needs. Many of these options are in season during the summer, when good hydration is incredibly important. Take advantage of enjoying them at their peak.