When heat and humidity soar, keeping your body hydrated matters more than ever. Did you know you can hydrate with what’s on your plate — not just what’s in your cup?
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The following foods are heavy on the water content, according to registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD. In several cases, they’re also full of nutrients that will help you fight disease. So eat up, and beat the heat with your fork.
Hydrate and replenish your skin with fresh cucumbers. In addition to containing 95% water, cucumbers are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that help remove waste from the body and reduce skin irritation. Preliminary research also suggests cucumbers promote anti-wrinkling and anti-aging activity. You can find them at your local farmers market or local grocer. Tip: Freeze cucumber slices and place on the skin under your eyes for 10-15 minutes to relieve redness and puffiness.
This fibrous veggie will satisfy your craving for crunch. It’s also tied with cucumbers and iceberg lettuce at 95% water by weight. You can feel good about eating celery because of its low calorie count and high value in vitamin K, folate and potassium. What’s more, Zumpano says celery juice is packed with many vitamins and minerals, including:
- Calcium: 94.4mg (7% of daily value).
- Magnesium: 26 mg (6% of daily value).
- Phosphorus: 56.6 mg (5% of daily value).
- Sodium: 189 mg (8% of daily value).
- Vitamin A: 51.9 mcg (6% of daily value).
- Vitamin B-6: 0.175 mg (10% of daily value).
- Vitamin C: 7.32 mg (8% of daily value).
- Vitamin K: 69.1 mcg (58% of daily value).
“Drinking celery in juice form allows you to consume much more of the vegetable, thereby consuming higher quantities of its nutrients and vitamins than if you were just munching on a stalk of celery,” says Zumpano.
- 3. Iceberg lettuce
The “ice” might as well be melted, since this type of lettuce contains 95% water. That makes it a good hydrating base for your summer salad. However, iceberg lettuce doesn’t pack as much of a punch as other leafy greens. if you prefer the heart-healthy benefits of leafy greens instead, spinach is a good alternative at 91% water by weight.
Watch for fresh, in-season zucchini this summer. Like its relatives in the cucumber and melon families, this popular summer squash has a high water content — almost 95%. Better yet, zucchini packs in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Those last two are especially important for eye health.
No surprise here — “water” is in the name, after all. Watermelon flesh contains 91% water. This summer treat also contains abundant lycopene, which can help protect cells from sun damage and improve your complexion.
They’re sweet enough you can eat them for dessert. But the benefits of strawberries go beyond flavor and 91% water content. They provide a rich source of flavonoids, compounds associated with improved cognitive function. For example, one study associated eating more berries with delayed cognitive aging of up to 2.5 years.
Surprised? Well, cauliflower is actually 92% water by weight. It’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and other key essentials. Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain nutrients that may help lower cholesterol and lower cancer risk. Try it mashed as a substitute for mashed potatoes.