Summer is here, and we all know that means lots of heat and humidity, and with it the need to consume increased levels of water.
But drinking glass after glass of water just to meet your daily quota can get a little boring.
Why not mix it up a bit and try some of these hydrating foods to help boost your water intake and help you lose weight.
Cucumber – When cucumbers are fresh, you can slice into them and literally see the water start to leak out. It gently is released from all the pores of the veggie, as it starts dripping down the side. Now imagine all that water going into your pores and refilling the ones that are dry and helping to rehydrate your body. Essentially that is exactly what happens when you eat cucumber and other fruits and veggies high in water – your body consumes water from the inside and you can consume less from the outside!
Tomato – Tomato is high in lycopene, the pigment that gives the fruit it’s characteristic red colour, and is thought to play a role in preventing against certain cancers and diseases. But that’s not all it’s high in: tomatoes are loaded with water, as you can probably tell when you cut into it and it squirts you in the face. Eat tomatoes raw or cooked into a sauce to gain the most health benefits, ensuring minimal processing which will cause them to lose a lot of their water content.
Lemon – Lemons have great detoxing effects on the body, helping to rid it of toxins and flush out the system, partly because of their acidic properties. These properties also allow it to help balance the pH level of the body, and refill it with water from the high water content of the fruit. Like the idea of citrus? Oranges and grapefruits also have lots of water, so add them to your list!
Spinach – Have you ever tried to juice spinach or any other green? Did you notice that it produces heaps of juice relative to how much pulp? There’s a lot of green liquid, which is died green from the chlorophyll – the super healthy component of greens – but that really is a huge pile of water. Add spinach to smoothies, stir fries and toss it into a salad for lunch. It also offers protein and lots of vitamins, especially vitamin K.
Celery – You’ve probably heard that it takes more calories to digest celery than it contains, and that’s mostly because celery is made up of almost all water. High in fiber as well, celery is the perfect veggie to consume to keep you full – both the water content and the fiber content make you feel satisfied without the consumption of a lot of calories. Eat the celery plain or with hummus or some nut butter, and make sure not to cancel out it’s great health value by loading it in calorie rich sauces.
Watermelon – You’ve seen it leave the juicy, wet mess on your plate (or down your chin), and you’ve balled melon enough to know how much water squirts out as you squish through it. And it’s true: watermelon is loaded with water. In fact, if you crushed up watermelon, you would end up with nothing but a pile of red liquid with some small melon particles floating around. This also shows how easy it is for your body to digest it and how quickly it can get all the water straight to where it needs to go!
Beans and Legumes – You may have heard that you should eat your beans so you get enough protein, but did you know that you should also eat your beans to help you get enough water? Beans absorb water when they are soaked in it prior to the cooking process, and then continue to soak up the water when they are cooked in a water-filled pot. The end result is one water loaded protein source, that is also packed with fiber. Between the water, fiber and protein, beans keep you full, keep you hydrated and keep you healthy!
Don’t stop at food! If you are tired of drinking plain water, consider some alternative beverages such as coconut water, kombucha and iced green tea that are high in water, but don’t have high levels of sugar or additives. Not to mention, they all have additional health benefits, including everything from replenishing electrolytes and probiotics to loading you up on antioxidants. Don’t settle for water if you’re all watered out. Try something new!