As the summer heat rises, so does the need for our bodies to be plenty hydrated. From the increase of outdoor activities to long-awaited sunbathing, one thing is for sure, you will be sweating. Although sweating has its benefits as it is the human body’s natural cooling system as well as detoxer; losing too much fluid can lead to dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration can range anywhere from mood swings to fatigue to muscle cramps.  Learn how you can help avoid dehydration and eat to hydrate.

In addition to water and other healthy drinks such as coconut water, there are also hydrating foods, such as cucumbers or berries that can contribute to fluid intake and help prevent dehydration. Not to mention the additional benefits of added minerals, vitamins and electrolytes that naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables!

So, when you’re headed out in to the heat, be sure to choose from a food source that will help you hydrate.  Try eating vegetables and fruits in your favorite combination after working up a sweat; here are a few high-water content choices.

For optimum benefits and water content eat all fruits and vegetables fresh, washed, raw, and organic.

Try cutting your choices into bite size pieces!

1. Cucumber – Water Content 95%

Impressively enough, one cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Cucumbers also provide a little fiber and some vitamin C (about 6 percent of the daily value per cup) and a host of electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. They are also great in salads, soups and dips!

  1. 2. Lettuce – Water Content 95%

A fantastic food to incorporate into your salads, crispy iceberg lettuce has the highest water content of any lettuce, followed by butterhead, green leaf and romaine varieties. It’s also low in calories but fills you up, leaving you feeling satisfied and hydrated.

  1. 3. Celery – Water Content 95%

Known as one of the lowest calorie foods outs there, this lightweight veggie isn’t short on nutrition or water!  Celery contains folate and vitamins A, C, and K. And thanks in part to its high water content, celery neutralizes stomach acid and is often recommended as a remedy to relieve heartburn.

  1. 4. Watermelon – Water Content 92%

A summertime gem, this food is munched on at picnics and BBQs. A favorite summertime dish, this sweet fruit not only contains a high amount of water but is packed with vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer.

  1. 5. Strawberries – Water Content 91%

Berries themselves are fantastic for hydration and health protection, but the strawberry hosts the most vitamin C of all berries and also provides folate, a B vitamin that’s essential for the healthy growth of new cells. Strawberries make great cereal toppers, go great with coconut yogurt or consumed just as they are.

  1. 6. Green Peppers – Water Content 93%

This crunchy green isn’t lacking in water, that’s for sure! This versatile veggie can be used as a quick snack on-the-go or added to all sorts of dishes both cooked and raw.  Green peppers are packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as A, B,  C, and K as well as electrolytes.

  1. 7. Baby Carrots – Water Content 90%

Not all carrots are created equal. Who knew right? Truth-be-told the baby-sized carrots that have become a staple in lunchboxes and markets and contain more water than full-size carrots, which are merely 88.3% water! This convenient snack is a great option for on-the-go snacking and is packed with nutrients such as thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.

The list of super hydrating foods doesn’t stop there! To keep the excitement going, here are a few more foods that hydrate the body well: pineapple, oranges, cherries, raspberries, beets, radishes, blueberries, apples, peaches, plums, broccoli and the list goes on.  Individuals should be aware of the sugar content or dietary restrictions and consume accordingly to their specific needs, if specific needs are present. Enjoy local and fresh all year round.  Hydration never tasted so good!

– By SJ McShane

Smart Lifebites