7 Foods that Hydrate the Body
Water does the Body Good
The Importance of Water
Whether you're a health nut, on a fitness quest or just taking life day by day, Your body requires water in order to function correctly and efficiently. Being that the body is comprised of approximately over 70% water, which is an essential nutrient, keeping your body properly hydrated is imperative. Essential nutrients are substances that the body is incapable of producing or cannot produce enough of without employing external sources in the form of our daily dietary consumption. Just to give you an idea of how mandatory it is for you to consume enough water on a daily basis, it's a prerequisite to pretty much every bodily process. The body will lose water through sweating, breathing and digestion. Water regulates the body temperature, partakes in the biochemical breakdown of the food we eat, removes waste products and toxins, and distributes essential nutrients to all the cells of the body to name a few of it's uses. You could actually live for months or even years (depending on factors and the individual) on just water and no food. However, without water.....you would survive maybe 3 to 5 days. Now that you see how necessary H2O is, not consuming enough water really isn't an option. The amount of water your body needs to consume daily will differ by individual and vary depending on many variable factors such as your gender, activity level, the climate you live in and any illnesses/underlying health afflictions. The following is a list of foods that are comprised with a high percentage of water content and assist in re-hydrating the body.
The first item on this list and one of my personal favorites is the cucumber. It's water content is approximately 97% and it also contains a plethora of electrolytes and fiber so obviously hydration and the prevention of constipation are some of it's many fitness and health benefits. Vitamin K deficiencies have been linked to bone fractures, cucumbers are filled with vitamin K which assist in the absorption of calcium. Cucumbers are low in calories (about 15 calories per cup) and a natural fat burner so it helps in maintaining a healthy weight. The anti-inflammatory properties it contains aids in pain relief and studies have shown it supports brain health and in reducing the risks of cancer. I'm sure all the women are already aware that cucumbers are used in anti-aging and skin care products. This super, water rich vegetable will boost the saliva production in the mouth, washing away bacteria that can cause halitosis (bad breath). There's really no excuse for not eating cucumbers, you can put them in your salad, slice and eat them plain, or even marinate them in water with lemon and make your own fat burning drink. Your options are endless.
Raphanus Sativus, the scientific name for the radish comes in red, black, white and purple. Containing a substantial amount of roughage (indigestible carbohydrates) that is filling and satisfies your hunger, low in digestible carbohydrates and calories, and about a 96% water content that aids in the facilitation of digestion, prevention of constipation and aid in water retention. A natural diuretic, raises the production of urine, fights infections in the kidneys and urinary system and the high fiber content improves bowl movements, assists in weight loss, and boosts the productivity of the metabolism for all of the bodily processes. Studies have shown that the abundance of flavonoids, detoxifiers, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties have been linked to the lessening of cardiovascular disease and treating several forms of cancer such as colon, intestinal and kidney cancer. The low glycemic index of the radish has no effect on blood sugar levels, the zinc, vitamin B and phosphorus promotes healthy skin and the potassium in them helps in reducing blood pressure. Radishes can be cooked or eaten raw and are the most common part of your salad.
Anyone who has ever bitten into a watermelon can pretty much tell that it has an extremely high water content. It use to be a common misconception that watermelon was primarily made up of sugar and water. Contrary to that old belief, the watermelon is a nutrient dense food. A member of the Cucurbitaceae botanical family (which also includes cantaloupe and honeydew) every juicy bite of a watermelon not only contains an abundance of water, it also consists of significant amounts of amino acids, antioxidants, lycopene, potassium and vitamins A, B, and C. The high lycopene content diminishes the risk of heart disease, the arginine promotes better blood flow, improves cardiovascular health and aids in decreasing the accumulation of excess fat. Some of the other health benefits that research has linked to watermelons are the engagement of free radicals that cause cancer, reducing hypertension, diminishing the risk pf asthma, promote a healthy digestive tract and of course aid in hydration. So when the heat starts to hit those triple digits, grab yourself a couple of slices of watermelon.
Body Processes that require Water
Celery has been a long time favorite vegetable for a lot of people because one, it tastes great, two, it virtually has no calories, and three, it tastes even better with peanut butter. The fact that it has a high water content of approximately 95% and aids in hydration is just another added benefit. One other bonus to celery is even after its cooked, it keeps a significant amount of its nutrients. Celery comes packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Studies have shown that celery supports the prevention of cancer, aids in the lowering of blood pressure and there is substantial evidence that suggest celery assists in improving halitosis (bad breath), bladder infections, joint pain and calming the nervous system. Although it has a bit more sodium content than other vegetables, having celery in your eating habits will definitely help you on your journey of health, weight loss and staying hydrated.
How many Glasses a water do you drink in a day?
The Purple Vegetable
I was actually a little hesitant to add this one to this list. Although egg plants do have a high water content and does help keep the body hydrated, they have a very distinct bitter taste and are kind of spongy in texture. You have to acquire the taste for them over time, at least in my opinion anyway. If you can get past the taste of it, adding egg plants to your meal plan will have you reaping a multitude of benefits such as assisting in balancing the metabolism (the fiber content), improve bone health (magnesium, potassium, and manganese), heart health (antioxidants reduce cholesterol and enhance blood flow), impede cancer and considered a brain food, the antioxidant anthocyanin helps improve brain function by targeting the free radicals that attack brain lipids. Your health is worth more than a bitter taste, so you should definitely try it for yourself before you write it off completely.
Heads of Cabbage
Cabbage, Old Faithful
Apart form being extremely versatile, cabbage is also one of the oldest and most cultivated vegetables. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 different varieties of cabbage. In the same family as kale, broccoli and cauliflower, cabbage can pretty much be found anywhere and prepared/eaten in a variety of ways. It has a high dietary fiber content (approximately 15% of daily intake)that vitalizes the digestive system, relieving constipation and aiding in weight loss. the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties assists in the strengthening of the immune system, impeding cancer growth, hamper the risk of cataracts, and diminish the risk of Alzheimers Disease. For all you fitness fanatics, in addition to the high water content, cabbage also contains lactic acid and the amino acid glutamine, which can help in the relief of sore muscles or any type of inflammation.
How many of these Hydrating Foods are you Eating?
Grapefruit, The Natural Hybrid
Like the Egg Plant, the Grapefruit is one of those foods you have to grow an acquired taste for. Most people consume grapefruit in a juice, which may alleviate the bitter, sour taste somewhat. What it lacks in tastes, it makes up for in health benefits. A natural fat burner, grapefruit aids in increasing the metabolism and the antioxidant content combat toxins in the body, cleansing the kidneys and the liver. Research has shown the fruit attacks carcinogens in the body and support the prevention of prostate and several other cancers. Studies have also indicated that grapefruit is associated with the lowering of bad cholesterol. This super fruit promotes healthy skin, impedes the risk of diabetes and heart disease and because its comprised of approximately 92% water, it aids in digestion and of course, hydration. Consuming grapefruits regularly can augment insulin resistance and help with weight loss. If you can take vodka or scotch, you can take the tangy, sour taste of grapefruit juice.
Other Nutritional Related LInks
- The Medicine Cabinet in your Kitchen: 10 Herbs and Spices to cook with for Health
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- 10 Foods that give a Natural Energy Boost
You do not have to pop pills or energy drinks to get the energy lift you want. This list of foods can naturally provide you with a boost of energy for exercise or just normal daily activities.