We all know that keeping hydrated is vital for good health; every cell, tissue and organ needs water. If you’re struggling to reach your recommended (by the NHS) six to eight glasses of water a day, combine drinking water with eating your way to boosted hydration.
Symptoms of dehydration can include headaches, dry skin, irritability, lack of concentration and dizziness amongst others. The best way of checking your hydration levels is to look at your urine. Aim for it to be as clear as possible – dark urine is a clue that you might be dehydrated.
My top eight hydrating foods:
Cucumber – one of the top hydrating foods. They are thought to be composed of a massive 96 per cent water. They are therefore great to eat to keep our water levels up. Try adding them to juices, or snacking on them. In the summer consider a delicious cold cucumber soup.
Watermelon is made up of 92 per cent water. It is also a good source of lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. Add a slice of watermelon to your glass of water to add flavour, and then eat the watermelon when you’re finished!
Pineapples – contain 87 per cent water. They are delicious and also help our digestive system, as they contain a digestive enzyme called Bromelain. Try making your own pineapple ice-lollies for a tasty and refreshing source of water.
Grapefruit are composed of 91 per cent water. They are also often eaten to help with weight management. A word of caution though if you are on any prescription medication, as grapefruits can interfere with them so check with your healthcare provider first.
Celery has water content of 94 per cent. In addition, they are exceptionally low in calories – a mere six calories per stalk. They are also high in fibre and Vitamins A, C and K. Snack on these throughout the day and remember that they can easily be added to foods such as soups and stews.
Blueberries along with most berries are composed of approximately 85 per cent water. Blueberries are one of our superfoods, due to their high antioxidant content, so are a great fruit to snack on. Pop them into the water when you’re making ice cubes for a healthy and pretty option.
Lettuce is exceptionally high in water (approx. 96 per cent). Nutritionists tend not to recommend lettuce too often, as there is very little nutritional content. It however great to add bulk to a meal and of course add to your water intake.
Tomatoes contain about 94 per cent water. They also contain a rich concentration of lycopene. Remember that tomatoes are one of the very few foods, which are even better for you when they’re cooked. Add them to stews and soups and have cooked tomatoes on wholegrain toast as a great snack.
Shona Wilkinson is nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com, the online shopping destination for health and wellbeing.