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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

Timely news, information, and innovative ideas to promote health and influence change.
Watermelon slice

Stay Hydrated with Water-Rich Foods

What on Earth would we do without a liquid supply of water? It would be impossible to exist since 60% of our bodies are made up of water (more or less depending on your age and body fat percentage).

Water is essential for so many bodily functions including:

  • Cell growth, reproduction and survival
  • Saliva formation
  • Digestion
  • Oxygen and nutrient transportation
  • Waste removal
  • Joint lubrication
  • Body temperature regulation

Each day we must consume a certain amount. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women per day. This can come from foods and beverages.

Remember, many people don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated so thirst isn't always a reliable indicator of the body's need for water.

You need more water when you are in hot climates, more physically active, running a fever, or having diarrhea or vomiting. Water is the best beverage to hydrate. Try to limit drinks high in caffeine such as: energy drinks, coffee, tea, and soda which can affect your heart. Alcohol causes dehydration and increases the risk of heat illness.

If you find it difficult to drink enough water each day try incorporating more water-logged fruits and vegetables into your diet. Did you know vegetables typically contain more water than other foods including fruit? They are often over 90% water by weight; another great reason to eat your vegetables!

Here is a short list of fruits and vegetables with high water content so you can stay hydrated for all your summer activities:

Vegetables (% water):

  • Cucumbers (96.7%)
  • Lettuce (95.6%)
  • Celery (95.4%)
  • Radishes (95.3%)
  • Zucchini and Squash (94.8%)
  • Tomatoes (94.5%)
  • Bell Peppers (93.9%)
  • Asparagus (93.2%)

Fruits (% water):

  • Grapefruit (91.6%)
  • Watermelon (91.5%)
  • Strawberries (91%)
  • Cantaloupe (90.2%)
  • Lemons (89%)
  • Peaches (88.9%)
  • Nectarines (87.6%)
  • Pineapples (87.2%)

You might be wondering just how much water you'll get if you eat some of these fruits and vegetables. On average, 1 cup of the fruits and vegetables listed (chopped or sliced) will yield .5 cups of water. In addition, you'll be getting lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to keep you feeling fresh and at your best.

Don't worry, eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables can still be affordable. The Economic Research Service (using 2013 retail scanner data from Information Resources, Inc.) shows that a person on a 2,000 calorie diet can meet their needs for about $2.10 to $2.60 per day. This includes produce from a variety of sources- fresh, canned and frozen.

Stay hydrated this summer by choosing water-rich foods in addition to your beverages and watch for signs of dehydration:

Infant or young child
• Dry mouth and tongue
• No tears when crying
• No wet diapers for three hours
• Sunken eyes, cheeks
• Sunken soft spot on top of the skull
• Listlessness or irritability

• Extreme thirst
• Less frequent urination
• Dark-colored urine
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Confusion

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
― W. H. Auden


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Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

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