You probably know by now the old saying, “Drink eight glasses of water a day," is an estimate. If you thought that was a lot, think again. The National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate daily amount for men is about eight pints of water and for women about six pints.
Suddenly the simple task of staying hydrated seems daunting. If you’re like most people, finding time to do anything, even drink a glass water, can be a challenge. Furthermore, many people simply don’t like water. So, what if you could eat your water?
Food provides about 20 percent of the water we need. By including foods that are high in water content, we can stay ahead of the hydration curve. Here are seven hydrating foods:
Cucumber soupCucumber has the highest water content of all fruits and vegetables, with up to 96 percent of its weight attributed to water. It’s also known to help flush out body toxins and rejuvenate tired skin. It’s a great addition to any salad, but it’s an excellent snack when dipped in nut butter or hummus. Cucumber also makes a delicious cold soup or tzatziki when blended with yogurt and mint -- a springtime must have as temperatures begin to rise.
Celery sticksWith a water ratio of 9-to-1, celery is a great hydrator. Try pairing it with a dip, such as a flavored, low-fat yogurt or hummus. It’s also a delicious addition to salads, and when served with sharp cheeses or nut butter, it can really stimulate those taste buds.
Tomato poppersEating lots of tomatoes works wonders for the skin. This comes as no surprise since more than 94 percent of a tomato’s weight is water. There are many varieties of tomatoes to choose from. Try pairing grape tomatoes with low-salt nuts, mini mozzarella balls and a sprinkle of diced basil. These bite-size pieces make a delicious snack on a warm day. If sour is more your flavor, try sprinkling a little salt on the outside of a large salad tomato, and eat it like an apple.
Green pepper sticksGreen peppers are packed with antioxidants. They are known to increase metabolism and support weight loss. They’re easy to clean and easy to chop, so if you’ve got those pre-dinner hunger pangs, why not munch on a slice or two of green pepper? With a water-to-weight ratio of 9-to-1, they’ll help you hit your daily hydration target.
ColeslawSurprised? Your favorite side dish is packed with water-rich vegetables. But not all coleslaw is created equal. To keep it healthy and on point for maximum water, create your own. Shred red cabbage (92 percent water) and mix it with some grated carrots (90 percent water). Substitute the mayo with low-fat Greek yogurt (up to 89 percent water), and you’ve got yourself a healthy, low-fat, sodium-free side dish packed with goodness. You can also add some shredded apple (84 percent water) for a slightly sweet contrast.
Strawberry saladThis wonderfully refreshing fruit is a great addition to any salad or fruit bowl. Packing more than 92 percent water, it’s also a delicious hydrator. You can eat the berries as a quick snack, blended into a smoothie, or in a salad paired with spinach (92 percent water), crumbled walnuts and feta cheese drizzled with honey mustard.
Star fruit on a stickTry star fruit sliced and skewered onto chopsticks with small squares of low-fat, mild cheddar and cucumber slices. Top it off with drizzled honey, and it’s is not only a healthy snack, but an excellent way to eat your water.
These seven foods work on their own, but they also complement each other in salads. Don’t feel limited by the suggestions given here. Get creative and invent your own recipes. You might find that mixing and matching the different flavors is not only an enjoyable experience for your taste buds, but works wonders for your overall well-being.
What are some of your favorite recipe combos featuring these hydrators? Leave advice in comments below.