Your body is a hydro-powered machine, made up largely of water—about 60 percent, to be precise. And if you’re getting your sweat on in the summer heat, you can quickly alter that amount. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated—and even mild dehydration can alter how you think and feel.
So it’s important to keep sipping. But it’s not just what you drink, it’s also what you eat. Did you know about 20 percent of your water intake typically comes from food? That’s because fresh fruits and vegetables are full of H20—at least 80 percent, up to the high 90s. So you can crank up the amount of water you get from fresh produce, with juicy strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes, all bursting with liquid and other benefits.
Being hydrated may help boost your weight-loss efforts, too. Research shows that people who drink more water tend to eat fewer calories overall. One study in Obesity showed that drinking a couple of cups of water before a meal can help you shed pounds. And another study in Appetite suggests that eating a salad before a meal can help you eat less.
So start chopping and dropping! These super simple and refreshing salads feature some of the most hydrating fruits and veggies.
Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad
One of the most water-rich fruits, watermelon boasts more than 91 percent water. The benefits don’t stop there: The fruit’s pink hue comes from the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent certain types of cancer, and the electrolyte potassium helps keep you hydrated from the inside out. In a bowl, combine 2 cups diced seedless watermelon, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, and ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) crumbled feta. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and toss to coat. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and serve.
Cucumber, Tomato & Red Onion Salad
There’s a reason cucumbers are a spa staple: The veggie is almost pure H20, at 95 percent water. But you get more than water in every bite! A cup of unpeeled cucumber slices is an excellent source of vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting. In a bowl, combine 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced, ¼ red onion, diced, and ½ cup (3 oz/90 g) grape tomatoes, halved. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and toss to combine. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and serve.
Arugula, Zucchini & Strawberry Salad
At more than 90 percent water, juicy strawberries are also bursting with vitamin C, and you’ll get a good amount of fiber, to keep you satiated ’til your next meal or snack. In a bowl, combine 2 cups (2 oz/60 g) baby arugula with 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) strawberries, sliced, 1/3 cup (1½ oz/45 g) shaved or spiralized zucchini, ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) crumbled soft goat cheese, and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and serve.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.