We all know we need at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, but many nutritionists believe it’s far more beneficial to eat your water. When you drink plenty of water through the day, you end up going to the bathroom more frequently because this water just runs through you. Eating foods that have a high water content however, will release their water slower, giving your body a steady supply of hydration. So if you’re looking to increase your water intake, eat more of these seven foods.
Cucumbers are a bit of a no-brainer. They contain so much water that they’re really just water made into a vegetable. Water makes up 96% of a cucumber, while the remaining 4% is fiber. Eating a cucumber is equivalent to drinking the same amount of water by weight. It’s probably even more healthy than water since it contains many vitamins and minerals that water doesn’t. Cucumbers also help you manage your weight because while munching on them will help you feel full, you aren’t consuming many calories at all.
Zucchini is made up of almost 94% water. It also contains plenty of fiber which helps you feel full without adding unnecessary calories. When you’re eating zucchini, try to eat it raw or use minimal heat to cook it. Overcooking it will lead to loss of water, which means it won’t be as hydrating anymore. You can slice zucchini into thin strips and add it to a salad or spiralize it into ‘noodles’ for a low-carb, nutritious noodle substitute.
If it has ‘water’ in its name then it has to be super hydrating. 92% of watermelon is made up of water, making it a refreshing, hydrating snack on a hot summer day. Watermelons are also very high in the antioxidant lycopene, which gives the fruit its red color. This antioxidant helps fight free radical damage, keeps your skin looking young and fights disease. You can eat watermelon as it is or chop it into cubes and mix it with crumbled feta cheese for a delicious summer salad.
Cantaloupe is another melon with a very high water content. Cantaloupes are almost 90% water and 10% fiber. This combination of water and fiber will keep you full for much longer and stop you from feeling hunger pangs. They are also rich in beta-carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A. Once in your body, beta-carotene converts into vitamin A and works on repairing your cells. Studies have shown that people who eat the most beta-carotene have the healthiest skin. So munch on some cantaloupe and help your skin glow from the inside.
The pulpy goodness of oranges is down to the fact that it contains 88% water. Oranges are an extremely hydrating fruit, but their benefits don’t stop there. They are also one of the best sources of vitamin C you can find. Vitamin C from oranges helps build your immunity and fights disease. It is also essential for collagen production, which keeps your skin supple. With age, our collagen levels begin to decrease and our skin loses its elasticity. Eating hydrating fruits like oranges will help your skin look eternally young.
6. Skim Milk
While full-fat milk isn’t necessarily bad for you, skin milk is definitely more hydrating. It contains up to 91% water, making it almost as good as a glass of plain water. Fitness experts believe that drinking a glass of skim milk after a workout might actually be more beneficial than just guzzling down water. This is because in addition to its water content, skim milk is naturally high in electrolytes. This replenishes your body with salts it lost through sweat and helps you recover much quicker. It also contains plenty of protein which your muscles need to repair themselves.
If you tend to be too busy through the day to drink plenty of water, soups are a great way to bring your hydration levels back up. The stock or broth in a soup is almost entirely water, so it helps you meet your daily water requirement. You can also add as many vegetables into it as you like, to make it even healthier. Soups help you feel full because of their high water content, so they’re a great weight-loss food. You can either replace a meal entirely with soup, or drink a bowl of it before your main meal to see results.