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Beat the Heat with These Hydrating Foods

Water is an essential part of our daily diet, with the medical professionals recommending we drink eight glasses every day. Water is, after all, 60% of our body weight. It helps transport oxygen, fat and glucose to your working muscles, regulates your body temperature, keeps your kidneys functioning properly, and helps you to digest food and eliminate toxins.

If you find getting through eight glasses of water to be a challenge, try eating your water with hydrating foods. We can get approximately 20% of our required water intake through solid foods—especially fruits and vegetables. With a water- and nutrient-packed diet, you can hydrate more effectively than you would with a sports drink—without the artificial flavors, colors and sugar.

At Bethesda Senior Living, we know the serious ramifications that can stem from dehydration. Seniors are especially vulnerable because, as we age, daily tasks can become a challenge, particularly if there is no caregiver checking in on the senior. That’s why our communities have such a strong emphasis on dining services and nutrition.

To help everyone stay safe and healthy this summer, we have compiled a list of four fruits and four vegetables that are at least 90% water by weight and well-worth stocking in your fridge:

  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers are cool and refreshing for a reason. With a water content of 96.7%, these summer veggies have the highest water content of any solid food.
  • Lettuce: Dark greens such as spinach and romaine lettuce carry a powerful nutritional punch, but for water content, even iceberg lettuce (at 95.6% water content) offers plenty of H20.
  • Celery: With plenty of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C and K, and just 6 calories per stalk, celery offers a variety of health benefits beyond hydration.
  • Bell Peppers: All bell peppers are a reliable source of antioxidants, as well as having a high-water content—around 92%—but green peppers offers the highest hydration.
  • Tomatoes: Whether sliced for a sandwich or a snack, tomatoes are a tasty way to replenish our fluids. Roma tomatoes might be our favorite for flavor, but cherry and grape varieties are easy to enjoy anytime.
  • Watermelon: The name should make it apparent that watermelon is a wonderful way to hydrate. In addition to the benefit of water, watermelon is a rich source of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene.
  • Strawberries: Berries are good for hydration in general, but strawberries tend to be the best of the bunch with a 91% water content (compared to blackberries at 88% or raspberries and blueberries at 85%).
  • Grapefruit: Known for helping dieters shrink their waistlines, grapefruit are also healthy hydrators, with a 90.5% water content.

    Other handy hydrating fruits and vegetables include spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, star fruit, baby carrots and cantaloupe. In the name of staying cool this summer, here’s to foods that are healthy and hydrating!