Healthy Living: Hydrate with Food

Healthy Living: Hydrate with Food

Summer may be coming to an end, but it’s still hot and steamy outside (and inside!) the studio. While you are working on your flexibility, hydration becomes a key component of your wellness. Are you drinking plenty of water, but still find yourself parched? This is your body’s way of telling you that you need to eat, not just drink your water. According to the Institute of Medicine, 20% of your daily water consumption needs to come from food.

Foods to Eat

There are many foods that contain water, but there are a few standouts that you need to eat right now. These include cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes and zucchini. Each has at least 90% water weight and also carry a nutrient punch that doesn’t come from water or sports drinks alone.

Yes, water is crucial for survival and healthy functioning of your body, but without the nutrients found in the following hydrating foods, you are missing out on important vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The great news is that these fruit and veggies are in season, so hit a farmers market and stock up:

  • Cucumbers provide fiber and Vitamin C. Blend them in a smoothie, add to salads or soup or if you enjoy snacking on them alone, try dipping them in hummus for an extra satisfying snack.
  • Watermelon not only contains Vitamin C, it also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight cancer. Watermelon contains some of the highest levels of this antioxidant, providing around 12 milligrams per standard size wedge.
  • Cantaloupe has been called a ‘beauty fruit” for a good reason, it provides 100% daily requirement for Vitamin A and C, both crucial for healthy skin. There are endless way to eat it, but I like to blend it in smoothies, add it to salads or dip it in yogurt.
  • Celery is chock full of water and fiber, two things that help keeping you healthy and full. A great electrolyte food, just a couple stalks of celery can restore the lost sodium, potassium and magnesium levels in athletes.
  • Tomatoes are versatile and incredibly hydrating! They contain Vitamins A and C, folic acid, and lycopene. Chop them up and add them to your salad, eat them with satisfying mozzarella cheese or make a gazpacho.
  • Zucchini are a great weight loss food because they are low in calories but provide a feeling of lasting fullness. While zucchini is 95% water, some of it is lost when cooked, which is how most people eat this fruit (yes fruit!). My favorite way to enjoy zucchini is to make raw zoodles. So take out your spiralizer, make zucchini pasta, mix it with pesto, top with clean protein and you have a meal that takes no time to make.

Hydrate the Right Way

The next time you have worked up a sweat and are feeling great, keep that feeling going by heading home and making my Watermelon Cooler smoothie. It will restore you with electrolytes for that well-nourished and well-hydrated feeling.

Watermelon Cooler recipe

  • 3 cups watermelon
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy feeling instantly hydrated!

Ania Dunlop
Ania Dunlop
Ania Dunlop is an Integrative Nutrition Coach and founder of Food For Zen, LLC, a nutrition practice dedicated to helping people adopt a clean diet and create a new mindset around food. She is a chef and advocate of a plant-based way of eating. Follow Ania on Instagram or Facebook to get inspiration, healthy recipes and wellness tips that make healthy eating a lifestyle, rather than a diet.
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