The soaring heat and humidity makes staying hydrated more important than ever. But chugging bottle after bottle of water isn’t the only way to avoid dehydration.
“Some foods, especially fruits and vegetables, have a high water content, which contributes to your total hydration for the day,” said Melissa Keeney, RDN, a registered dietitian-nutritionist with Hartford HealthCare.
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By incorporating some of the foods below into your diet, you can avoid dehydration and its serious side effects – muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches.
Here are some of the most hydrating foods and ideas for enjoying them:
- Lettuce – 96% water. Dark green lettuce varieties, such as kale, spinach, and arugula, are high in nutrients. Try grilling romaine for a unique way to eat your greens.
- Cucumber – 95% water. Make a cucumber salad or slice thinly and add to a sandwich.
- Celery – 95% water. Add to your vinegar-based coleslaw for extra crunch.
- Zucchini – 94% water. One cup contains 35% of your daily vitamin C needs. Try grilling or sautéing, then adding to pasta.
- Tomatoes – 94% water. Make Caprese salad skewers with basil, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes and balsamic glaze.
- Watermelon – 92% water. Watermelon gazpacho is a cold soup perfect for soaring temperatures!
- Strawberries – 91% water. In addition, strawberries contain good amounts of fiber. Consider adding them to a spinach salad with poppy seed dressing.
- Cantaloupe – 90% water. Tomato-cucumber-cantaloupe salad is an easy way to add some vegetables to your standard BBQ spread.
How do you know how much fluid you need? The best indication, Keeney said, is urine color. Aim for a pale, straw-colored yellow.