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Greet summer with these hydrating foods

Greet summer with these hydrating foods

Apart from helping in hydration, water-rich foods also offer other health benefits
hydration, food and nutrition, water, health benefits, water rich foods, foods with high water content
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Growing up, we learnt in our science classes that drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for the correct functioning of the body. What is this adequate amount?

Some say eight glasses while others say six glasses are enough for some people. That is a debate for another day. The bottom line here is that one should be hydrated well, more so with the onset of summer that saps us of the fluids within.

Technology, too, has made it easy for us to mind our drinking and eating patterns. Now there are various mobile phone-based applications to remind us to drink water at certain intervals. The message, be it from our childhood or from the application, is quite clear. We need to drink ample amounts of water.

But let us also not forget that food contributes a small percentage of fluid intake as well!

Options aplenty

Where do we find that? In the kitchen, of course, says nutritionist Priyanka Kandala from Bengaluru who also lists fruits and vegetables that have a high-water content.

If the sight of dark green or striped watermelons excites you on a scorching day, then that is rightfully so. About 90 per cent of this fruit is nothing but water.

Coconut water is an excellent hydrating fluid that is packed with vitamins and minerals. A study suggests coconut water as an effective therapy for diarrhoea as it inhibits bacteria that cause diarrhoea. It also helps in oral rehydration.

About 90 to 96 per cent of cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes is water. These vegetables can be easily added to our daily diet in the form of salads and curries. They can also be used to make sandwiches.

Tomatoes have anti-cancer properties and protect against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, they help to maintain skin health.

Cucumbers, which are high in water content and low in calories, have potential anti-diabetic, cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant properties.

Lettuce provides cardio-protection, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-ageing and other health benefits..

When it comes to fruits, strawberries, grapefruits, cantaloupes, peaches, oranges, pineapples and papayas can play an important role in the hydration game as 80-90 per cent of their content is water.

Strawberries and yoghurt can be healthy snack options.

Read about a cereal and fruit breakfast recipe here

Bonus benefits

Kandala says eating water-rich foods not only helps in hydration but also has other benefits.

Take watermelons for example. They come with antioxidants that help to lower inflammation in the body. A 2014 study published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Sciences, suggests that watermelons have lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.

Oranges also have similar antioxidant properties.

Pectin, a soluble dietary fibre found in apples, supports gut health. A 2021 study indicates that pectin helps in smooth bowel movements. In addition, it acts as a fodder for good bacteria in the gut, promotes their growth and in turn, gut health.

A study published in the journal of Food Research International indicates that pineapples are anti-inflammatory and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They have antioxidant properties offering health benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes, improving digestion, supporting gut and heart functions.

Strawberries are rich in nutrients that help to prevent health conditions. A 2016 study lists the many benefits of strawberries. They reduce the risk cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.

Buttermilk is a form of curd or yoghurt that has been churned and diluted well. It can be taken plain, salted or spiced with herbs. It can also be relished as a hydrating and healthy summer drink.

A study published in the  International Journal of Scientific Research and Management suggests that buttermilk helps in digestion and provides calcium that is essential for bone health.

Ice apple, a tropical palm fruit popular in southern India, has cooling and hydrating properties as it has water content above 90 per cent.

Kandala says that by adding these to your diet, you get vitamins and minerals that support your overall health. A bonus point is the fibre they provide to support gut health.

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