We grew up being reminded to drink eight glasses of water a day. We’ve been told it’ll keep us hydrated, in turn we will feel energised with a clear head and that our skin will be smooth and supple.
In the summer, however, when the weather starts to really heat up, guzzling down huge amounts of water can leave you feeling ‘water bloated’. It’s for this reason that we generally try to get 20 per cent of our water from the foods we consume. The hero foods collated below are some of the best water-rich sources to provide additional nourishment, along with the hydration hit your body so desperately craves.
The name says it all. This hero fruit is not only universally adored for its delicious flavour but also for the refreshing and cooling effect it has on us when we eat it. At 91.5 per cent water per 100 grams, a slice of watermelon will have you feeling hydrated in no time. It’s also diverse in it’s possibilities – served in a dessert, a fresh juice or a summery salad with feta and mint, watermelon brings a sweet and revitalising twist to any dish.
With a water content of 95 per cent per 100 grams, cucumber has the highest water content of any solid food. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that this refreshing vegetable is a super hydrating summer snack. Add it to smoothies and salads or cut it up for crudités to serve with your favourite dip.
Butternut pumpkin is perhaps one of the less expected highly hydrating foods. Even oven-baked, this affordable root vegetable has an impressive water content of 88 per cent per 100 grams. Don’t be fooled by it’s sweet taste either, butternut squash only has under 2 grams of sugar per 100 grams too meaning you can indulge care-free. The extremely high vitamin A content also does wonders for your eye health. Try baking some to add to salads, grating it into a loaf of herby bread or using slices if it as a healthy pizza base alternative.
This often-overlooked vegetable isn’t only a wonderful summer addition to any dish, it’s also another great source of hydration. Radishes have water content per 100 grams of 95 per cent, and on top of that provide an antioxidant hit your body will thank you for. Add some thinly sliced radish to a fresh salad for a satisfying crunch.
Carrots are already a popular summer snack so it’s likely they’re already part of your hot weather food repertoire. To get the most out of your 3pm snack choose baby carrots next time you do your weekly shop – at 90 per cent water per 100 grams they have a slightly higher water content than regular carrots.
These are just some of the water-rich food sources that are great additions to your diet during the hot summer months. Keep in mind; fresh fruit and vegetables in general are the most hydrating food sources so adding extra to your meals will always be beneficial to your electrolyte count and health.
Photography credit: http://madeleineshaw.com