You don’t need to guzzle gallons of water in order to stay hydrated. Instead, you can ensure you’re getting enough water by eating H2O-rich foods throughout the day. To determine how much water you should be drinking — and eating — on a daily basis, simply divide your body weight in half, according to U.S. News & World Report. For example, a 150-pound person would need a minimum of 75 ounces of water per day. Ready to fill your fridge with thirst-quenching foods? Here are six that will keep you hydrated!
With a water content of 96.7%, you’ll want to work this vegetable into your daily diet. Health states that you can easily add cucumbers, which have the highest water content of any solid food, to your regular eating rotation by slicing them up and adding them to your salads or serving them with a healthy dip, such as hummus. Interestingly, Eating Well notes that one cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as one glass of water.
While you’re munching on this hydrating veggie, you’ll also be absorbing some other noteworthy health benefits. Livestrong explains that cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C, which helps protect the body from free radicals and lowers your risk of various cancers and diseases. It’s also a good source of vitamin K and potassium, Livestrong adds. If you’d like to create a cucumber snack that’s extra hydrating, Health recommends blending the veggie with nonfat yogurt, mint, and ice cubes.
As its name implies, watermelon is packed with water — Rodale News notes that the fruit is 93% water. Shape explains that the combination of salts, minerals, and natural sugars in some fruits and vegetables can actually hydrate people more effectively than a glass of water. Thanks to its magnesium, potassium, and sodium contents, watermelon happens to be one of those ultra-hydrating foods. While this water-filled fruit is working to keep you hydrated, it’s also providing you with other key vitamins and minerals.
Medical News Today notes that watermelon contains vitamins A, B-6, and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, and betaine. If you’re looking for a way to work more of this fruit into your diet, Rodale News suggests combining your watermelon with tomatoes, another hydrating food, to create a Cherry Tomatoes with Watermelon Salad.
Surprisingly, fruits and vegetables aren’t the only hydrating foods. Eating Well states that regular plain yogurt is 85 to 88% water. Marie Claire adds that eating this high-water-content food promotes the growth of good bacteria in the stomach, which can help you feel less bloated. If you are eating yogurt for its H2O content, choose regular yogurt over Greek.
Kitchen Savvy explains that in order to give Greek yogurt its rich and creamy texture, water must be removed from it, either by boiling the milk or straining the yogurt. Women’s Health says that yogurt is also a good source of protein, electrolytes, and calcium. For an extra hydrating snack, top your yogurt with berries — Livestrong notes that berries, on average, contain between 81 and 87% water.
Celery is comprised of 95% water, according to a Demand Media article via SFGate. Furthermore, one stalk of this fiber-filled veggie only contains 6 calories, making it a great guilt-free snack to munch on throughout the day, Shape notes.
It can also help reduce your blood pressure, is a good source of the antioxidants zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene, and contains hormones that calm and sooth the central nervous system, states Care2. Celery is also packed with potassium and sodium, which help maintain your body’s fluid balance, Raw Food Made Easy explains. If you want to prepare a juice blend that’s both healthy and hydrating, Raw Food Made Easy suggests making this Carrot-Celery-Beet Juice.
Tomatoes have a water content of 94.5%, according to Health. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, they’re chock-full of vital vitamins and minerals. Web MD states that they contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, and three high-powered antioxidants: beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.
Looking for ways to eat more of this high-water-content food? Health suggests adding tomatoes to salads, sauces, and sandwiches. “They’re great to just pop in your mouth, maybe with some nuts or some low-sodium cheese. You get this great explosion of flavor when you bite into them,” Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner and Healthier You, told Health.
6. Iceberg Lettuce
An easy way to increase your water intake is by eating iceberg lettuce, which has a 96% water content, according to Get Healthy Clean and Lean. Feel free to also add some cabbage to your salad — Healthline notes that green cabbage has 93% water and red cabbage has 92%.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic adds that lettuce is a good source of potassium, folate, and antioxidants, and contains smaller amounts of vitamins C and K. For an ultra-hydrating salad, Rodale News recommends topping your greens with tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and carrots, all of which have high-water contents.