To beat the blues, declutter the mind and trim that waistline… there are far more reasons to stay hydrated than to quench the thirst. Here’s how to do it. Hydration is central to the most basic physiological functions of the body such as regulating BPand body temperature, blood circulation, and digestion. But having enough water is one thing and keeping the body well hydrated another. Hydration comes not just from sipping water but from a diet high on the water. One needs to have a variety of fruits and vegetables that have a naturally high water content to replenish the electrolytes in scorching summer.
EAT YOUR WATER
“The primary way of hydration is drinking plenty of clean water orally, but about 20 per cent of our intake comes from foods, especially fruits, vegetables, drinks, and broths. Hydrating Food not only corrects the water balance but also replaces essential salts and minerals,” adds Manjari Chandra, therapeutic nutritionist. Aqua foods provide volume and weight but not calories. Grapefruit, for example, is about 90 percent water and half a grapefruit has just 37 calories. High water greens and fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals, bioflavonoids (compounds believed to prevent heart disease) and antioxidants that slow down the aging process. They are also high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer and helps the digestive system run efficiently. They can provide almost all vitamins and minerals and correct nutrient deficiencies.
If you thought the list of hydrating foods ends with the usual suspects like cucumbers, watermelons, and tomatoes, you are wrong. Some offbeat natural hydrators include leeks, spinach, peppers, carrots, and celery. In fact, celery comprises mostly water… qualifying as a great snacking option. It can also curb sweet tooth cravings, which will help you stay slim and keep away from acidic sweets. “Eggplants are a fabulous weight loss kitchen staple. This versatile ingredient has low calories and is rich in fiber that boosts satiety. Grapefruit has been hailed as a weight loss superfood globally for its cardioprotective, antioxidant and appetite-sup pressing qualities. This high fiber, juicy fruit has the ability to lower blood sugar levels and control a voracious appetite,” says Jia Singh, travel, food and wellness writer.
MOOD AND MIND
People usually don’t consider water as a mood enhancer. However, studies have proved otherwise. Even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy levels, and ability to think clearly, according to two studies by the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory. Mild dehydration is defined as an approximately 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body. It is important to stay properly hydrated at all times, not just during exercise, extreme heat, or exertion. This is because water gives the brain the electrical energy for all t, its functions, including r thought and memory processes. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience clarity and creativity.
We all know the importance of exercising, getting enough protein, calories, and rest in order to build muscles.But water consumption is as important for muscle wellness and lubrication of joints. Water composes 75 percent of our muscle tissue! So, if your body’s water content drops by as little as 2 percent, you will feel fatigued. If it drops by 10 percent, you may experience health problems, such as arthritis and back pain. When you’re well hydrated, water provides nutrients to the muscles and removes waste so that you perform better.
TOP SUMMER HYDRATORS
They rank highest in water content in comparison to all other berries. Berries are powerhouses of antioxidants that are cardio protective, good for your eyes, skin, and nails and even help prevent inflammation and chronic illnesses.
They are almost 90 per cent water, are rich sources of vitamin A and C and have tons of betacarotene that keep cancer at bay.
Zucchini is a popular summer squash made of 95% water. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, C and K, folate, magnesium. It is best to use it fresh and raw in salads because cooking leads to loss of water.
Sweet bell peppers are amongst the veg gies with the highest water content. They are also a great source of vitamin C.
Iceberg lettuce: Health experts often rec ommend substituting it with darker greens like spinach or romaine lettuce for higher amounts of fiber and nutrients such as folate and vitamin K. It’s a different story, however, when it comes to water content. Crispy ice berg has the highest amount of water amongst the lettuce family.
It may not be as hydrating as iceberg lettuce, but spinach is usually a bet ter bet overall. The leafy vegetable is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber, and brain-boosting folate.