Hint: They Don’t Involve Drinking More Water
Staying hydrated is a key to good health – and good skin. Dehydration interferes with natural biological rhythms like your sleeping pattern. Adequate water consumption may mean the difference between feeling well rested – and looking it! A good rule of thumb is that women should consume about nine 8 oz. glasses of water (or other liquid) per day, while men should aim to drink 13. Since over 20% of water intake is via food, here are some easy ways to incorporate more water into your diet, without drinking more of it:
Choose water-rich whole foods. The following fruits and veggies are packed with water – not to mention tons of nutrients:
This meaty green fruit is high in mono-unsaturated fats, which raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
Sweet corn is high in healthy fats, vitamin B, and trace minerals. Trace minerals help balance your body’s water content, and flush out toxins – they also act as electrolytes, and reduce water retention.
Water-packed cabbage can provide around 20% of your daily Vitamin C and K content. It’s also a great source of Vitamin B6, fiber, and folic acid.
Pineapple, Mango, and Papaya
These juicy tropical fruits are chock full of water, and Vitamin C – which helps balance water circulation in the body, by strengthening capillary walls and reducing fluid leakage.
The origins and preparation of your food can have implications for its hydrating power:
Buy locally grown produce when possible.
Shipped foods are picked before they are ripe and lose water and nutrients in transport. A non-ripe banana, for example, will hold more water in its skin – while the edible portion of a ripe banana retains the majority of its water.
Choose fresh produce over frozen or dehydrated produce.
Thawing and cooking frozen food drives water and valuable nutrients out of it.
Buy organic, when possible.
According to last year’s Dirty Dozen report, water-rich fruits and vegetables like grapes and tomatoes rank high for pesticide content. Organic foods can have four times less pesticide residue than their conventional counterparts – and they are higher in antioxidants, to boot. When you can’t buy organic, choose hydrating foods with tough skin and casing to protect them from pesticide – cantaloupe, grapefruit, and cauliflower are great examples.
Make healthy substitutions.
- Try kale, or another dark, leafy green as a wrap for your sandwich – instead of processed bread.
- When cooking, use tofu to thicken your sauces (instead of dry and processed flours).
- Skip the crackers with your hummus – instead, try radish slices or sweet potato rounds.
- Have a protein-rich Greek yogurt for dessert, instead of ice cream – yogurt is high in water and also promotes beneficial bacteria for digestive health.
- Make lean, broth-based soups and pack them with vegetables and protein - they're satisfying, and provide hydration as they fill you up!
Stay tuned for more tips on eating healthy for beauty and wellness!