Everyone knows that you should be drinking a minimum of about 8 glasses of clean water daily – especially on sunny days, or if you’re doing exercise – but you can also hydrate your body with a variety of high water-content foods.
Some are pretty obvious: watermelon (the name says it all with its 92% water content), or zucchini, or lettuce.
And then there’s cucumber, with a whopping 95% water as well as being a great source of anti oxidants – like vitamin C and beta carotene – plus offering a selection of vitamin Bs for nervous system support, and polyphenols… and fibre. What an underrated veg it is!
Tomatoes and green peppers contain an amazing 94% water….and again, they have loads of vitamins and anti oxidants.
How about those delicious bursts of juicy sweetness: pomegranates. Not just among the best sources of polyphenols but yet another hydrating food to add to your salads or fruit platter.
Avocado may not seem hydrating with its creamy flesh, but this wonderful fruit contains about 74%, plus its healthy fats and fibre apparently help your body cells hold onto water.
Strawberries are another easy fruit to pop into your mouth, especially knowing they have 91% water, plus loads of Vitamin C, as well as those ‘berry’ anti oxidants: anthocyanins, terpenoids, flavonols and phenolic acids.
Radishes and butternut squash are two foods you may not instantly think of when you imagine a ‘hydrating’ food. However, butternut squash contains 88% water (steamed rather than roasted), and radishes give you an amazing 95% – plus the latter are powerful detoxifiers and a great source of catechins (as found in green tea).
Another source that springs to mind (no pun intended): chia seeds. Not just a complete protein and great omega-3 ALA fatty acid source, but they contain twice the potassium of bananas (an important electrolyte, responsible for regulating the water in your body). These little bombshells can retain 10-12 times their weight in water. Soak in water for 10 minutes and add to soups, smoothies…or make a chia porridge (the recipe is below).
Adding more water to your daily diet through foods is pretty effortless, not to mention tasty. And it’s an easy way to increase your dose of vitamins, minerals and plant polyphenols in order to improve your health.
Chia porridge (serves 4):
1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 cup nut milk – like coconut or almond milk – or use water, 1 organic apple or pear grated, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 cms fresh grated ginger,. 1/4 cup water, handful of berries and sprinklings of nuts n seeds – if you want!
Soak chia in 2 cups of liquid (either the milk or water) and let stand until it thickens to a gel-like consistency, about 10 mins.
Meanwhile blend half the apple/pear with the spices and 1/4 cup water; fold into the chia mixture, then add the rest of the grated apple, berries…more cinnamon if you want. Top with seeds/nuts and loads of berries. Make it the consistency you like.