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15 Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated

Posted by on May. 17, 2015 at 11:31 AM
  • 3 Replies

15 Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated!

Eat your water

According to the old rule of thumb, you're supposed to drink eight glasses of water per day (and some experts recommend even more). That can seem like a daunting task on some days, but here's the catch: You don't have to drink all that water. Roughly 20% of our daily H2O intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

It's still important to drink plenty of water—, especially in the summertime—, but you can also quench your thirst with these 15 hugely hydrating foods, all of which are at least 90% water by weight.

Cucumber
 
Water content: 96.7%

This summer veggie—, which has the highest water content of any solid food,— is perfect in salads, or sliced up and served with some hummus, says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner and Healthier You and a consultant to Mindbloom, a technology company that makes life-improvement apps.

Iceberg lettuce

 
Water content: 95.6%

Iceberg lettuce tends to get a bad rap, nutrition-wise. Health experts often recommend shunning it in favor of darker greens like spinach or romaine lettuce, which contain higher amounts of fiber and nutrients such as folate and vitamin K. It's a different story when it comes to water content, though: Crispy iceberg has the highest of any lettuce, followed by butterhead, green leaf, and romaine varieties.

Celery
 
Water content: 95.4%

That urban legend about celery having negative calories isn't quite true, but it's pretty close. Like all foods that are high in water, celery has very few calories— -- just 6 calories per stalk. And its one-two punch of fiber and water helps to fill you up and curb your appetite.

Radishes

Water content: 95.3%

These refreshing root vegetables should be a fixture in your spring and summer salads. They provide a burst of spicy-sweet flavor— and color —in a small package, and more importantly they're filled with antioxidants such as catechin (also found in green tea).

Tomatoes


Water content: 94.5%

Sliced and diced tomatoes will always be a mainstay of salads, sauces, and sandwiches, but don't forget about sweet cherry and grape varieties, which make an excellent hydrating snack, Gans says. "They're great to just pop in your mouth, maybe with some nuts or some low-sodium cheese," she says. "You get this great explosion of flavor when you bite into them."

Green peppers

Water content: 93.9%

Bell peppers of all shades have a high water content, but green peppers lead the pack, just edging out the red and yellow varieties (which are about 92% water). And contrary to popular belief, green peppers contain just as many antioxidants as their slightly sweeter siblings.

Cauliflower

Water content: 92.1%

Don't let cauliflower's pale complexion fool you: In addition to having lots of water, these unassuming florets are packed with vitamins and phytonutrients that have been shown to help lower cholesterol and fight cancer, including breast cancer. (A 2012 study of breast cancer patients by Vanderbilt University researchers found that eating cruciferous veggies like cauliflower was associated with a lower risk of dying from the disease or seeing a recurrence.)

Watermelon

Water content: 91.5% water

It's fairly obvious that watermelon is full of, well, water, but this juicy melon is also among the richest sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables. In fact, watermelon contains more lycopene than raw tomatoes— -- about 12 milligrams per wedge, versus 3 milligrams per medium-sized tomato.

Spinach
 
Water content: 91.4% water

Iceberg lettuce may have a higher water content, but spinach is usually a better bet overall. Piling raw spinach leaves on your sandwich or salad provides nearly as much built-in hydration, with an added nutritional punch.

Star fruit
 
Water content: 91.4% water

This tropical fruit, also known as carambola, comes in sweet and tart varieties and has a juicy texture similar to pineapple. Its eye-catching shape looks great in a fruit salad or as an edible garnish on the rim of a summer cocktail. As an added bonus, it's rich in antioxidants, especially epicatechin— -- a heart-healthy compound also found in red wine, dark chocolate, and green tea.

One note of caution: People with kidney problems should avoid star fruit because of its high levels of oxalic acid.

Strawberries
 
Water content: 91.0%

All berries are good foods for hydration, but juicy red strawberries are easily the best of the bunch. Raspberries and blueberries both hover around 85% water, while blackberries are only slightly better at 88.2%.

Broccoli
 
Water content: 90.7%

Like its cousin cauliflower, raw broccoli adds a satisfying crunch to a salad. But its nutritional profile -- —lots of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C -- —is slightly more impressive. What's more, broccoli is the only cruciferous vegetable (a category that contains cabbage and kale, in addition to cauliflower) with a significant amount of sulforaphane, a potent compound that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals.

Grapefruit
 
Water content: 90.5%

This juicy, tangy citrus fruit can help lower cholesterol and shrink your waistline, research suggests. In one study, people who ate one grapefruit a day lowered their bad (LDL) cholesterol by 15.5% and their triglycerides by 27%.In another, eating half a grapefruit -- —roughly 40 calories— -- before each meal helped dieters lose about three and a half pounds over 12 weeks. Researchers say that compounds in the fruit help fuel fat burn and stabilize blood sugar, therefore helping to reduce cravings.

Baby carrots
 
Water content: 90.4%

A carrot's a carrot, right? Not when it comes to water content. As it turns out, the baby-sized carrots that have become a staple in supermarkets and lunchboxes contain more water than full-size carrots (which are merely 88.3% water).

Cantaloupe
 
Water content: 90.2%

This succulent melon provides a big nutritional payoff for very few calories. One six-ounce serving— -- about one-quarter of a melon— -- contains just 50 calories but delivers a full 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamins A and C.

Which of these hydrating foods a staple in your daily diet?


by on May. 17, 2015 at 11:31 AM
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Replies (1-3):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 17, 2015 at 11:35 AM

I eat everything but melons and starfruit.  Daily I eat spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes.   

bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2015 at 3:25 PM

I eat everything but iceberg lettuce and radishes.

Molimomma
by Member on May. 17, 2015 at 3:30 PM

I have always described iceberg lettuce as "crunchy water" turns out that was exactly accurate!

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