I don't know about you but I struggle to get my 8 glasses of water in EVERYDAY. It's a shame because water is very important. Water makes up more than two-thirds of our body weight and is needed to perform many different functions such as:
proper functioning of cells
transportation of oxygen and valuable nutrients to all parts of the body via the blood which is made up of 90% water
waste removal through urination, perspiration
lubrication of the joints
regulation of the body temperature
prevention or relief constipation
Without water, a person would die in days. Everyone's water needs is different. It depends on how active you are, your health and what climate you live in. However, for a healthy adult, it is recommended to drink 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) for women and more on hot days or if you're doing strenuous exercise. Inadequate water intake leads to dehydration. One way to know if you're dehydrated is to observe the colour of your urine. If it's pale yellow you're good to go. If it's dark yellow and has a strong odour you're dehydrated and need to drink some water asap.
If you're struggling as I am to stay hydrated by mostly drinking water, fortunately there's another way. You can eat foods with a high water content. Yes! Nature to the rescue again. Eating water rich foods not only keeps you hydrated but also gives you blemish free, radiant skin and overall health because these foods are also rich in valuable vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
The following is a list of fruits and vegetables with a high water content:
ICEBERG LETTUCE - 96% water
Iceberg lettuce has the highest water content of all the vegetables at 96%. It is also a rich source of fibre. It contains vitamins A, K and folic acid. These nutrients improve blood clotting, eye health and proper foetal development. Enjoy iceberg lettuce in your salads, burgers, gyros, tacos, etc.
SPINACH - 96% water
This delicious green veggie is also rich in potassium which lowers blood pressure, lutein, an anti-oxidant known to protect against age-related vision impairments such as cataracts. Lutein has also been proven to boost cognitive abilities such as increased memory, verbal fluency, processing speed and reasoning ability. Spinach also contains Vitamin K needed for bone health and growth. Just 1 cup of spinach contains the recommended daily allowance for vitamin K and 15% for vitamin E, which is needed for healthy skin. Spinach is well known to be an excellent source of iron, which helps making hemoglobin, a substance needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Fatigue is a sign of iron deficiency.
CUCUMBERS - 96%
Cucumbers are rich in fibre which helps relieve constipation, vitamins, such as C and K and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and manganese. Cucumbers are known for having cooling and soothing properties. Try placing slices of cucumbers on your eyes. They are great for relieving sore eyes.
CELERY - 95% water
Low in calories and high in fibre makes this vegetable a great option for persons looking to lose weight or improve their digestion. It lacks in taste but makes up for it in nutrients and health benefits. Celeries are also loaded with antioxidants which fight against cancer. Other nutrients in celery lower blood pressure and combat Alzheimer's disease.
TOMATOES - 93%
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and carotenoids that may help reduce the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancer. To incorporate tomatoes in your diet, add them to your salads, sauté with other vegetables or juice them.
WATERMELON - 92%
Watermelon has the highest water content of all the fruits at 92% water. It is sweet, yet low in calories. Besides water, it consists mostly of simple sugars which are easily digested by the body and it also contains a small amount of fibre. Watermelons are very refreshing and can make you feel full. The nutrients in watermelon help to lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce muscle soreness.
STRAWBERRIES - 90% water
These juicy, sweet and delicious fruits are rich in vitamin C, manganese and other nutrients which promote heart health and control blood sugar levels.
GRAPEFRUIT - 91% water
Grapefruits are one of the lowest calorie foods you'll ever eat, yet is packed with lots vitamins, minerals, fibre and anti-oxidants. Eating grapefruits regularly helps control your appetite, fights against colds and flus, helps you lose weight and promotes healthy, radiant skin.
ORANGES - 87% water
Oranges have a sweet yet slightly tangy flavour. These juicy fruits are low in calories and are packed with lots of vitamins like vitamin A and B and are a rich source of vitamin C. What fruit juice do you normally drink when sick? That's right oranges. That's because the vitamin C content in oranges gives a tremendous boost to your immune system. Not only that, oranges promote heart health, improve your skin and reduce cholesterol levels.
APPLES - 84% water
Apples are not only hydrating but they also contain nutrients which boost the immune system, improve digestion, vision, healthy skin and promote heart health. They are low in calories which aid with weight loss, not to mention they are one of the most delicious fruits you will eat.
So why fuss when you can eat fruits? You can eat them in salads, smoothies or raw and keep hydrated plus enjoy all the other amazing benefits.