By some estimates, we consume 20 percent of our fluids from food, and since many of us perspire more in hot, humid weather and don’t consume as much water as we should during the summer months, eating hydrated foods can ensure our bodies are getting enough water.
According to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s center for sports medicine, “Produce contains high percentages of water as well as antioxidants and essential minerals.”
And produce is low in calories. After scanning the web for foods with the highest percentage of water, we found some great examples, courtesy of Jessica Jordan with NH.com blog. We also added nutritional information associated with each super hydrated food.
Here are 10 hydrating foods, loaded with vitamins.
1. Cucumber-97% water
Natural News notes cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.
“Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.”
2. Celery-96% water
WHFoods.org claims celery has well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, and scientists have now identified at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery. These antioxidants include dihydrostilbenoids like lunularin as well as furanocoumarins like bergapten and psoralen.
The antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxygen damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems.
3. Lettuce-95% water
Romaine has one of the highest nutritional values in the lettuce category. Diana Herrington notes lettuce’s vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. “This prevents the build up of plaque. Romaine lettuce has a two to one ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. That’s a great ratio.”
4. Tomatoes-94% water
Tomatoes contain niacin, folate and vitamin B6, and are high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins work to minimize DNA damage from free radicals. Tomatoes also guard against atherosclerosis and diabetes.
5. Watermelon-92% water
Watermelon is high in vitamin A, B, B6 and C. Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Caroline, the content writer for DrVita, notes studies have found that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. Studies have also found that lycopene can help protect your skin from sun damage.
“Watermelon is also high in potassium which helps muscle and nerve function and the body maintain the proper balance of electrolytes and acids. It also helps lower the risk of high blood pressure. And watermelon contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine. These amino acids help promote healthy arteries, blood flow and cardiovascular function.”
6. Strawberries-92% water
According to the Health Diaries, the phenols in strawberries ﬁght against osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do.
The combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in strawberries ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.
“And one cup of strawberries contains 136% of the RDA of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure, ensure a healthy immune system, and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.”
7. Cantaloupe-92% water
Each 1-cup serving of balled cantaloupe contains 5,986 international units, or IU, of vitamin A, more than the entire daily recommended intake for adults. Eating fresh cantaloupe also boosts your intake of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Cantaloupe also offers heath benefits because of its potassium content.
8. Raw Brocoli-89% water
Broccoli contains a substantial amount of nutrients including vitamins A, C, folic acid, fiber and calcium. Natural News notes broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin which can be processed by the human body into a kind of compound capable of preventing cancer.
“It works by eliminating H. pylori from a human body which is known as a bacterium that triggers gastric cancer. The vegetable is also rich in indole-3-carbinol which is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Anti-carcinogen properties are also present in broccoli and these are effective in hindering the development of prostate, cervical and breast cancer while also improving liver health.”
9. Peaches-89% water
Peaches are the rich source of multivitamins including A, C, E, and K. Peaches also contain 7 particular minerals — calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, Manganese and Phosphorus. Peaches are a good source of antioxidant and fiber.
“Antioxidant, Chlorogenic acid, works as anti-inflammatory in the body. Studies indicate lycopene and lutein in peaches helps to prevent macular degeneration and cancer. And it also significantly decreases risk of heart disease.”
10. Yogurt-88% water
The probiotics in yogurt help to eliminate harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections. Yogurt is also loaded with vitamins. One serving provides potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. “Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, such as chicken and fish, so strict vegetarians can easily fall short,” says Jackie Newgent, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of Big Green Cookbook.
Jessica also provides some tantalizing drinking water combinations:
Cucumber Drinking Water Recipe
1. Wash and slice cucumbers into small chunks.
2. Cover in cold water and chill in fridge over night.
3. Serve over ice in a pitcher with a grated spout to hold back the chunks.
TIP: Add fresh, rinsed, raspberries and/or mint to the mixture before setting overnight for an even more fun, fruity-chill!
Other Delicious Drinking Water Combinations