Get Hydrated With Food
Summer is here! And depending on what kind of a person you are, that’s either wonderful news or dreadful news!
While summer mornings and evenings are quite pretty, summer afternoons can be pretty rough. The miserable heat… the risk of sunburn… and my personal un-favorite, the likelihood of dehydration.
Dehydration comes with unpleasant mental and physical side effects. Headaches, dizziness, irritability, inability to concentrate, lethargy, reptilian skin. We all know about those discomforts, yet the majority of Americans admit to not consuming enough water on a regular basis. Your ideal minimum intake should be half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should consume a minimum of 60 ounces of water.
If you’re finding that you’re not drinking enough fluids, it might be hard to change your habits overnight. But you know what you can do to add some hydration to your diet without filling up eight glasses? You can eat watermelon! Or cucumbers! There’s plenty of hydrating foods you can incorporate that are hydrating and actually taste like something! (No offense, water.) Let’s list them!
Did you know that melons have a higher water content than any other fruit? A watermelon is 92% water, whereas cantaloupe and honeydew melons are each 90% water. They’re basically chewable drinks!
There’s a reason people like to cut these into thin slices and turn them into face masks. That antioxidant-rich moisture feels so good on the skin! Would you believe that his elongated fruit, often mistaken for a vegetable, is 95% water?
But wait a minute! I thought melons had a higher water content than any other fruit! Well, guess what? A cucumber is not only a confused fruit, but it’s also part of the melon family! You learn something new every day!
Rumor has it that celery is a “negative calorie food”. You supposedly burn more than five calories when you digest the celery, and a serving of celery has approximately five calories. That may be just a theory, but it’s definitely worth adding to your diet! It’s water-packed and has alkalizing effects on your body! Maybe that’s why it’s often paired with spicy foods, like hot wings.
Oh, the earth’s natural candy! They are superior to other sweet snacks, and not just for the vitamin and mineral content! They quench your thirst too, with all that juiciness!
Lettuce be honest here (hee hee). This boring leafy green is basically crunchy water. Great for hydration, but it needs some help in the taste department. Want to know how you can make your lettuce taste better AND make it more hydrating? Throw strawberries and blueberries on it, and top it off with some raspberry vinaigrette! Perfect summer salad!
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, all those guys! It’s really best to get your citrusy juices from the fruits themselves, and not from a carton. Packaged orange and grapefruit juices contain just as much (if not more) sugar than soda. Get the juice’s hydration from the natural source instead, letting the fibrous material keep you full. Chewing is good for you!
It’s not long until the Palisade peaches are ripe for the picking! When you see the roadside stands this summer, pull over! Hydrate deliciously!
Another confused fruit! The tomato, like the cucumber, so badly wants to be a vegetable. Like its friend the cucumber, it is almost entirely made of water. A handful of cherry tomatoes makes a perfect snack, especially if you’re not much of a sweets person.
Something with protein made the list! Get your calcium and vitamin D while getting your fluids!
While broth is better suited for wintery recipes, there is such a thing as cold soup and it’s actually good! Just look up cold cucumber soup with yogurt — it includes two other hydrating foods we just mentioned!
Take your favorite food, blend it with milk, and there you go!
Well, I don’t know what your favorite food is, but mine is peanut butter, and that generally works in smoothies. If your favorite food is garlic bread, maybe don’t turn that into a slurry. Anyway, do you want to know what I make almost every day? Thanks, I knew you would! 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter, half a banana, 1 cup of oat milk; throw it in the blender, and I have it as part of a hydrating lunch. So simple, delicious, hydrating, and high in protein!
Now go eat!
Remember when I said chewing is good for you? Well, it is! So maybe don’t beat the smoothie until it’s purely liquid. Let it be a little chunky. Chew those little fruit pieces!
But what benefits does chewing have over drinking? You know how your body takes some time after consumption to realize it’s no longer hungry? Chewing takes more time than swallowing something whole, which lets your body think about what’s going on for a bit as the food makes its way through your system. This will let you enjoy your food longer, and prevent you from overeating.
A lot of your digestive system’s behavior is anticipatory. Your intestines function best when they’re thinking one step ahead of your mouth. Chewing stimulates your gut to start secreting enzymes that facilitate digestion. If your pre-liquified food just races its way down, your body hasn’t had enough time to produce the enzymes.
With that in mind, get the best of both worlds by eating watery foods! Chew and get hydrated!
Written by: Katrina Jenkins, LMT
Photo Credit: Canva