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Are you starting to spend more time outdoors as it warms up? Even those of us who normally hide from the heat and sun have felt the need to get outside to avoid the “cabin fever” of looking at our own four walls for far too long.
But with spending time outside in warmer, and eventually hot, weather, comes the danger of dehydration.
It’s a lot easier to fall victim to dehydration than you might think. It doesn’t take strenuous exercise or heavy sweating. And even mild dehydration can be as bad for your heart as smoking a cigarette and can contribute to heart disease and stroke.
That’s why it’s so important right now to get enough water throughout the day. But there’s just so much water you can drink, right?
It’s good to know that there are healthy foods that are perfect for replacing water and keeping you well hydrated. Some are pretty obvious, but some may surprise you.
And all have other amazing health benefits beyond keeping you well hydrated.
8 foods that will keep you well hydratedWatermelon.
1. Let’s start with the obvious one. Watermelon definitely earns its name. A 1 cup serving contains over a half cup of water. Watermelon is one of many foods on this list that has a very low-calorie density. Also known as energy density, it’s the number of calories in each gram of food. Like many fruits and vegetables, watermelon is a great food if you’re trying to lose weight. It has lots of water and fiber, so a relatively large portion will fill you up nicely but carries few calories.
2. Milk. It may surprise you that your best choice for a drink to replace fluids is a glass of milk. When we sweat, we lose sodium along with water (that’s why our sweat is salty). We also lose potassium, and too much lost potassium can lead to hard arteries, heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that skim milk is better than either water or electrolyte beverages at replacing both fluids and minerals.
3. Peaches. A medium peach has only 60 calories but is close to 90 percent water. Peaches are also rich in Vitamins A and C, B vitamins and potassium. Biting into a juicy peach is one of summertime’s greatest pleasures. Or, you could try this refreshing peachy green tea cooler.
5. Celery. If you want a good, satisfying crunch with next to no calories and tons of water and fiber, celery is your veggie. Like drinking milk, eating celery adds needed potassium to your diet, along with vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. It’s easy to add celery to your diet. Eaten raw, it’s great dipped into hummus or Greek yogurt. It can also be added to soups and salads.
6. Cauliflower. Here’s one that surprised me! Cauliflower is not a food I’d think of as having a lot of water. However, a cup of cauliflower provides more than a quarter cup of water, 3 grams of fiber and only 25 calories.
7. Cottage cheese. About 80 percent of its weight comes from water. It’s also high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, selenium and B vitamins.
8. Bell peppers. I often slice up red peppers and eat them for a snack. More than 90 percent of their weight comes from water. One half-cup serving of raw red sweet pepper contains 142 mg of vitamin C and only 20 calories. That’s about twice as much Vitamin C as there is in a whole orange!
The bottom line on staying hydrated
Drinking water will never go out of style. It’s important that you drink throughout the day, especially in hot weather… and most especially when you’re thirsty.
But to give your body the amount of fluid it’s calling for, there’s nothing wrong with getting some through these and other healthy, hydrating foods.
- 19 Water-Rich Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated — Healthline
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17459189/ — PubMed.gov
- A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index — The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Comparing the rehydration potential of different milk-based drinks to a carbohydrate–electrolyte beverage — Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism