One of my favorite parts about summer would have to be the incredible assortment of seasonal fruits and veggies. Summer is the best time of year for berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and salad. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about all the fantastic food! Another wonderful benefit of these foods is that they have a high water content. This makes them a great way to stay hydrated by giving you other means of hydration.
The fact is, our body is largely composed of water. Everything we do involves water. Cells use it to transport nutrients to each other, and to detoxify the body. Our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones require water to stay viscous and moveable. Without water, organs would dry up and not be able to function properly. If muscles were to dry up, they would be much less mobile and more susceptible to tears. An easy way to avoid this would be to keep hydrated. Be sure to get your daily 8-10 glasses of water in. Further, add some tasty water-rich fruit or veggie snacks into your diet.
Some excellent sources of water include lettuce, chard, watermelon, strawberries, citrus fruits, cucumber, melons, tomatoes, and celery. In addition to the high water content of these foods, they also contain extremely beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Take grapefruit for instance. Composed of about 90% water, it also contains phytonutrients named limonoids, which have the ability to detoxify and potentially inhibit tumor formation of cancers. Watermelon is Vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene dense, making it a good defense mechanism for the body against UV light. Cucumbers contain a great balance of electrolytes including calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Silica is present in cucumbers which helps lubricate connective tissue. Cantaloupe is a great way to keep blood sugar levels stable as it is very efficient at carbohydrate metabolism which, in turn, supports energy production. A nutrient powerhouse as far as vegetables are concerned would be celery. Just two or three stalks have the ability to replenish sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc levels after a hard workout. Broccoli is a great way to help control blood pressure due to its high magnesium content. It is full of water and has anti-inflammatory, DNA protecting, anti-cancer and detoxifying properties.
As you can see, keeping hydrated is much simpler than most of us think. In all honesty, adding any fruits and veggies to your diet will bring your hydration level up. A good article on this topic would be; “Stay Hydrated With High Water Content Foods” By Chrissy Wellington, M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N., C.P.T • For Active.com. For more information, contact the Wayne County YMCA at (570) 253-2083. You can also visit us online at ymcawayne.com.