Sometimes it can be tough to hit the water mark on a busy day. Try incorporating some of these most hydrating foods into your diet!
On top of helping your stay hydrated during this steamy last month of summer, these hydrating foods are packed with minerals that can help your body absorb the water it needs. They almost act like natural sports drinks. Foods like cucumber and watermelon, for example, contain natural amino acids, sugars, and salts that you lose when you’re sweating. But without the yellow number five dye.
8 Most Hydrating Foods
1. Cucumber – 96 percent water
Cucumbers might seem like pretty nutrition-light veggie, but they’re actually a pretty good source of antioxidants and even anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds. Cucumber’s cooling properties also make it a great ingredient in homemade skin care products, like this tomato-cucumber toner (see #3).
How to eat them: Make some pickles, drop a few slices into your water glass (double hydration!), stuff them into yummy summer rolls.
2. Iceberg Lettuce – 96 percent water
I know, iceberg lettuce is the polyester of vegetables. I think of this leafy green as sort of neutral, nutritionally. It has basically no calories. You can opt for other juicy lettuces, like romaine, if you want more nutritional punch. But for pure water content, iceburg wins in the hydrating foods battle. Lettuce is also a pretty easy green to grow yourself, so you can have a hydrating little corner of your veggie garden.
How to eat it: Try some of these no-salad lettuce recipes.
3. Celery – 95 percent water
Celery has cleansing properties that not only keep you hydrated but may just help your body fight acne from the inside out.
How to eat it: Of course, you can use celery as a chip replacement for dipping into the best hummus ever. You can also chop some into a vegan “tuna” salad, or use it in a delicious homemade pasta sauce.
4. Radish – 95 percent water
Do you think of radish as that veggie that you pick out of a boring side salad? These low-calorie veggies are easy to grow and can be super delicious if you prepare them properly.
How to eat it: Check out these radish recipes or branch out and try daikon radish.
5. Zucchini – 94 percent water
Summer squash like zucchini are packed with water but also with polysaccharides that help your body regulate blood sugar.
How to eat it: Try it sauteed with toasted chia seeds, baked in this oven fries recipe, or in this fancy pants galette.
6. Tomatoes – 94 percent water
Do I even need to tell you that tomatoes are healthy and delicious? If you can get your hands on a late-summer heirloom tomato, I recommend snatching up as many as you can. If you’re used to grocery store tomato varieties, the rich flavor of an heirloom tomato will blow you away. And save those tops! You can use them to make a two-ingredient tomato face scrub.
How to eat them: Slice them into a tomato sandwich like Harriet the Spy, roast them up for a smoky salsa, or cook them into a hearty soup.
7. Strawberries – 92 percent water
Berries like strawberries are some of the best foods for healthy skin. They’re hydrating foods that are packed with antioxidants to help skin cells regenerate. If you can manage to refrain from scarfing them down right out of the pint, try some of these ideas.
How to eat them: Slice them into a refreshing summer salad or blend them up into fruit milk.
8. Watermelon – 92 percent water
Watermelon helps aid digestion and can even help boost your mood. Eat it right off of the rind or in some of the recipes below.
How to eat it: Puree into a cooling agua fresca, try it in a melon salad
Sources: University of Kentucky Extension Service, SFGate; Image Credits: cucumber, lettuce, celery, radish, zucchini, tomato, strawberry, and watermelon photos via Shutterstock.