Do you ever just sit back and enjoy a handful of juicy grapes or a slice of watermelon in the summer heat? I find eating fruits and vegetables when hot and thirsty to be quite satisfying. Staying well hydrated is essential to good health. Drinking water is the best source but not the only way. According to the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of our water intake comes from food. Foods with high water content such as fruits, vegetables and dairy are also a great source of essential nutrients that are important for an active lifestyle. So think outside the water bottle and try adding these foods to your diet to stay well hydrated and healthy.
Fruits such as berries, melons and peaches are mostly water but also rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Potassium is an electrolyte we lose when our bodies sweat and important for fluid balance and circulation. Vitamin C helps protect the skin against UV, pollution and sweat damage. Try tossing strawberries onto your favorite summer salad, or twist up your taste buds with these refreshing summer recipes: Triple Berry Summer Salad or Peach Caprese Salad.
Favorite tip: Make watermelon a staple food at picnics or backyard barbecues. It’s an easy and fun way to keep friends and family well hydrated. Watermelon is roughly 92% water and low in calories. To add a new twist on flavor, try grilling slices of watermelon and tossing it with feta cheese and mint, or whip up a Watermelon Salsa to serve over grilled fish.
Recipes courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats and ISU Extension and Outreach Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa