Relief from the Heat – Top 10 Most Hydrating Foods
During a heat wave, the best way to stay safe and healthy is to keep your body cool and completely hydrated. We are constantly reminded that drinking lots of water is vital on summer days with high temperatures. However, it is also important to replenish your fluids by consuming juicy fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins, electrolytes and other healthy nutrients to help you beat excessive heat and dehydration. Here's a list of some of the best foods to get you through a heatwave!
An excellent source of vitamin A and potassium, peaches also contain approximately 88% water content, making them a great solution to beat dehydration. Fresh peaches are said to be best during late summer in New Jersey, when temperatures are often high. Therefore, they're easy to find and they taste perfectly sweet when our bodies need them the most!
Cantaloupes provide vital nutrients found in vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Their high water content (92%) works to replenish the fluids in the body after loss due to heat or exertion. Like peaches, cantaloupes are delicious on their own and easy to find at local markets each summer.
When you're feeling hot and dehydrated, put down the sweets and instead snack on strawberries. They're 92% water and loaded with vitamin C, potassium, fiber and folic acid. Fresh red strawberries (and blueberries) are naturally sweet, often replacing cravings for artificially flavored juices and snacks.
7. Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers contain 92% water and provide rich nutrients that are beneficial for the body such as vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin B, potassium, and folic acid. Peppers are a great addition to many meals or can be eaten alone as a snack on a hot summer day or after a workout.
Even more hydrating than some sports drinks, the combination of watermelon's high water content (92%) along with its essential nutrients of vitamins A & C, sodium, calcium and potassium provide the body with natural bounce-back benefits after dehydration. Watermelon is a summertime favorite and its natural sugars make it a great choice for make-your-own juice, an anytime snack or a delicious dessert.
Made up of about 94% water, fresh tomatoes (especially Jersey Fresh tomatoes) are great for providing vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They also contain lycopene, the antioxidant known to aid in fighting aging, cancer and other diseases. Tomatoes are an excellent source for hydration and are delicious as a stand-alone snack or great on any sandwich or salad.
Zucchini is a low-calorie, high-nutrient vegetable with 95% water content. Besides replenishing the body's fluids, zucchini has many benefits as it provides vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Zucchini tastes great fresh off the grill or as part of a stir-fry, and can also be eaten raw alone or in a salad.
While more leafy, greener lettuce provides more nutrients overall, lighter lettuce such as iceberg lettuce is approximately 95% water, and therefore has many hydrating benefits against dehydration. Lettuce provides vitamin C, folic acid, and beta-carotene. When the temperatures are high, preparing a salad is quick and simple, and eating the lettuce will keep you cool and hydrated in the process.
Not only does celery have one of the highest water content levels at 96%, but like watermelon, it is packed with a formula of minerals and nutrients that specifically aid in re-hydrating the body. Celery can be found in any market and is a great dipping snack after a long day in the sun, or after exercise.
Topping the list of hydrating foods are cucumbers. A sensational vegetable especially for the skin, cucumbers are 96% water and a great source of vitamin C. Cucumbers are also known to help with inflammation, as people place them under the eyes to reduce redness and swelling. They're delicious in salads or often eaten as a fresh snack.
Other great foods that aid in hydration include pineapples, raspberries, yogurt, applesauce and grapes. Making fresh juices, frozen fruit popsicles and jello are also sweet alternative ways to beat the heat while having fun. Remember, always drink lots of water when dealing with excessive heat to stay hydrated and to keep your body as cool as possible.