It’s not just drinking water which can help to keep you hydrated, there are many foods which help, too. The water content of some foods is extremely high and can play a good part in keeping your hydration levels optimal. Plus, they are a good alternative to fatty snacks as well!
The watermelon lives up to its name in that it is full of water. In 100g of watermelon, there is around 91.45g of water, making it a great hydrating snack.
Some research carried out by the University if Aberdeen has shown some fruits and vegetables are twice as effective at hydrating the body than water alone. Watermelon may just be one example, is made up of 92% water and 8% sugar, it’s a tasty alternative to drinking water alone.
The fruit is also a good source of vitamins, particularly A and B6. Watermelon gets its vibrant red colour from the antioxidant lycopene, also present in tomatoes. Lycopene has been shown to have many nutraceutical benefits. For example, its consumption may be therapeutic against diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
Surprisingly, cucumbers contain more water than watermelons. Coming in at 96% water, cucumbers are a tasty and hydrating snack, perfect for after a workout session. Taking the skin off of your cucumber is also a good way of enhancing its hydrating effects.
Cucumbers are also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte needed by the body to regulate the sodium in the kidneys. As a result, getting a good intake of potassium can help to keep your blood pressure within healthy parameters or even lower it.
Celery also has a good balance of water and electrolytes. It contains 95% water as well as sufficient levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Celery is also low in calories – just 2 calories in every stalk and is almost fat-free. Therefore, it is a good alternative to snacks such as cakes and crisps, try them with dips such as salsa, cottage cheese or hummus. It’s also a great addition to soups, stews and casseroles, too.
Strawberries contain the most water of all the berries, containing 92% water. If you blend the strawberries, this will break down the fibre they contain which will help your body to absorb the water.
They are also low in calories and contain polyphenols which regulate the blood sugar response in individuals who are physically active.
A good way to increase your water intake is by eating soups. These warm and hearty meals are often enjoyed during winter but taste great all year round.
During the winter, you may find you are less active and therefore, not losing as much water as you do during the summer, especially as you may also not feel particularly thirsty. However, you still need to keep yourself hydrated and soup is mainly water, so is an ideal source.
Soup also contributes to your 5-a-day. Adding three different vegetables to your soup, provides vital nutrients, fibre and antioxidants as well as making it easier to get vegetables into your diet.