Why is hydration a summer must? During warmer weather, we perspire more, and that water and electrolyte loss needs to be replaced. Hydration is critical for heart function. A well-hydrated heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood. In fact, people with heart disease may need to consume more water than the average person during hot summer months .
Fluid intake, whether it’s via water or hydrating fruits and vegetables, also supports proper muscle and joint function. Dehydrated muscles cramp more easily as well. It’s critical to stay hydrated to help those muscles get you through everything from loading groceries to 4-Minute Fat Blasters.
How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? Perhaps the simplest test is to look at your urine. Yep. Really. When the body’s dehydrated urine is more concentrated, making it dark yellow or amber. If you’re properly hydrated, urine will be pale yellow or clear.
Check out our hydrating foods list below, and then see this handy 21 Ways to Eat Your Water infographic.
1. Apricot | 86%
Whether you snack on fresh slices or use them in a recipe like Apricot and Almond Chicken Salad, they’re a sweet, summery way to hydrate.
2. Cantaloupe | 90%
Packed with vitamins A and C, this summer staple is a natural when you want to keep the body and brain hydrated. Cool down with a Cantaloupe Granita.
3. Carrot | 87%
Carrots usually aren’t the first food we think of when it comes to hydration, but this easy-to-like veggie offers a high water content as well as powerful antioxidants, like beta carotene. Enjoy them in Carrot & Zucchini Whole Grain Muffins.
4. Cherry | 81%
Cherry season is a favorite time of year in many homes, so now there’s even more reason to enjoy these fruity gems. Snack on cherries to boost hydration or enjoy them in Cherry, Asparagus, and Corn Salad.
5. Cucumber | 96%
This summer fruit has among the highest water levels of any food. Treat your taste buds to a hint of the Mediterranean with Chickpea Cucumber Salad.
6. Okra | 90%
You might not typically think of okra as one of our hydrating fruits and vegetables, but with 90% water it’s a great summer choice. Try okra in this 13-Bean Burgoo Stew.
7. Papaya | 91%
This fruit practically brings tropical breezes to your door–no matter where you live. It’s super hydrating and super tasty. Add fresh papaya to summer salads or enjoy it in Mean Green Juice #2.
8. Peach | 88%
Your body will feel peachy after eating this choice on our hydrating fruits and vegetables list. This fruit is delish in Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa and Peppery Slaw.
9. Pineapple | 87%
Sweeten dessert time the healthy, hydrating way with Grilled Pineapple with Rum Syrup and Frozen Yogurt.
10. Radish | 95%
Salmon with Ginger Noodles is a superfood-licious way to eat high-in-water-content radishes, but they also make a tasty, crunchy addition to healthy salad recipes.
11. Spinach | 96%
This superfood is packed with water and nutrients, like vitamin E, fiber, and potassium, making it a favorite on our list of hydrating fruits and vegetables. Dig into a Spinach and Feta Lettuce Wrap.
12. Strawberry | 92%
These summer sweeties are loaded with water, plus vitamin A and a B vitamin called folate. Strawberry and Spinach Salad makes a tasty lunch or light dinner.
13. Sugar Snap Pea | 87%
A home garden favorite, this hydrating veggie also offers vitamins A, C, and K as well as folate. Snack on them, or replace the green beans in this Zucchini Salad with sugar snap peas.
14. Sweet Pepper | 92%
Green peppers contain slightly more water than other colors—but any color makes a crunchy, hydrating addition to salads or this One-Pot Black Pepper Chicken.
15. Tomato | 93%
Red tomatoes offer a slightly higher water content than their green siblings, but they all boost hydration. Add tomatoes to this simple DIY Skinny Salad-in-a-Jar.
16. Watermelon | 92%
Also rich in the antioxidant lycopene, this is a hot weather winner. Get a heaping helping of hydration in Watermelon Chiller with a Hint of Mint.
17. Zucchini | 95%
Whether you buy them at the local farm stand or grow them in a home garden, these vegetables offer a high water content that makes them ideal for any summer menu. Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti will turn this veggie into a family favorite.
Plan menus that incorporate yummy, good-for-you ingredients. Check out our SkinnyMs. Recipe Collection: 101 Fan Favorites ebook.
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