Florida’s scorching summer temperatures can be relentless! The heat can take a lot out of us – especially water. It leaves us searching for ways to cool down and stay hydrated. While drinking plenty of water is essential, did you know that certain foods can also help you stay hydrated? Yes, you can eat your way to better hydration! Let’s explore the importance of water and a variety of delicious and hydrating foods that can keep you cool and refreshed during the sizzling Florida summer.
So, how much water should you be drinking every day? I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of eight glasses, or 64 ounces per day. However, newer studies by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine are showing that for optimal health the average water intake should be 125 ounces (15.5 cups) for men and 91 ounces (11.5 cups) for women. One major thing to keep in mind is this is the base, or average, recommended amount. The total amount should increase when experiencing higher than normal physical activity, during high temperatures and when the body loses fluid through sweating, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
I know to some of you that seems like a LOT of water. The good news is we get about 20% of that recommended water from the food we eat. So in other words, we don’t have to consume it ALL by drinking plain water alone.
Fruits and Vegetables are a great choice for many reasons, as well as staying hydrated. Here are several options to choose from:
Juicy and refreshing, watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. With its high water content (over 90%) and natural sweetness, watermelon is a fantastic choice for staying hydrated. Like other red fruits and veggies, watermelon is a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant known to help protect cells from sun damage and improve completion. That’s a plus!
This fibrous veggie will satisfy your craving for crunch. It’s made up of 95% water. You can feel good about eating celery because it’s low calorie and high in vitamin K, folate and potassium.
Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating, consisting of approximately 96% water. The highest water content of any solid food! They too are rich in vitamin K and potassium. Add cucumber slices to your water or enjoy them in salads and sandwiches for a refreshing and hydrating crunch.
Besides being a tropical delight, pineapple is a great source of hydration during the summer months. With its high water content and natural enzymes, pineapple not only helps to keep you hydrated but also aids in digestion. Enjoy it as a standalone fruit or add it to smoothies and fruit salads for a refreshing treat.
Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are bursting with flavor and are excellent sources of hydration. Citrus fruits are packed with electrolytes and vitamin C, which can replenish your body’s fluids and keep you refreshed. Squeeze some citrus juice into your water or enjoy them as a healthy snack.
Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are not only delicious but also hydrating. These little powerhouses are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals while containing a significant amount of water. Toss them into your salads, blend them into smoothies, or enjoy them as a refreshing snack.
Leafy greens like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and kale are great hydrating options. These greens provide nutrition in the form of calcium, magnesium, iron potassium and fiber. They are an important part of a healthy diet. Add them to salads or use them as a base for your favorite summer wraps.
Tomatoes are not only juicy but also hydrating. A fruit commonly mistaken as a vegetable. Enjoy fresh tomatoes in salads, sandwiches, or incorporate them into salsa for a delicious and hydrating snack.
Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during the scorching Florida summer. While drinking water is vital, incorporating hydrating foods into your diet can provide an additional boost. From watermelon and cucumbers to pineapple and berries, these foods are not only delicious but also packed with water and essential nutrients. Make sure to include them in your summer meal plans to beat the heat, stay refreshed, and maintain optimal hydration levels throughout the season. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and enjoy the flavors of summer!