Friday, July 15, 2016

How to Hydrate Your Body with the Foods You Eat

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Our bodies are comprised of nearly 60% water. Did you also know that your brain and heart are each composed of 73% water? Your lungs, muscles, and kidneys are all about 80% water. Even your bones are composed of 30% water!

 

It makes sense that water is a necessary ingredient to much of our body's internal workings: from forming saliva and lubricating joints, to delivering oxygen, and even aiding the brain in manufacturing hormones and neurotransmitters. Proper hydration keeps your skin looking youthful, muscles supple, and also helps regulate mood, kidney and digestive functions, and more.

 

Water is quite literally essential to your existence.

 

I recently had the privilege of taking an exclusive tour around Sprouts Farmers Market, led by local nutritionist Suzanne Farrell. This wasn't any old tour – it was a food tour, centered on healthy hydration. Throughout the tour, Farrell pointed out all the foods you can eat to hydrate your body.

 


Water is quite literally essential to your existence.


 

Food for hydration, you ask? Yes! Food can contribute immensely to your daily hydration and can help keep you hydrated overall. Water – the single source of our hydration – can be found in a wide variety of foods.

 


Let's explore just how much water you can gain from the foods you already eat:


 


Fruits


Some of the fruits that contain high levels of water are obvious. Take watermelon for example – water is in the actual name! But I was very surprised to learn that strawberries are actually 92% water (along with our friend the watermelon)! 92%. Grapefruit also clocks in around 90%. Cantaloupe is another highly hydrating fruit (also 90%). Just one quarter of a cantaloupe offers your daily requirement of Vitamins A and C.

 


Here are a few more fun stats:


Peaches: 88%

Blueberries: 85%

Apples: 84%

 

It's also important to address juicing vs. blending. While both are great ways to get your daily fruit serving, a dose of vitamins and minerals, and of course the almighty hydration factor, juicing and blending are not created equal. That's because blending has the added benefit of fiber by keeping the skin of the produce you are blending.

 

We recommend using a Vitamix food processor for all your blending needs.

 


Vegetables


You may be more surprised to learn that veggies are also a great source of hydration. The ever-popular bell peppers are composed of 92% water (the green variety is the highest at 94%). Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and celery have a very high water content as well (97%, 95% and 95%, respectively). Feeling hungry in the afternoon? Crunch on some celery, cucumbers, and peppers for a quick and healthy snack AND dose of hydration.

 

Iceberg lettuce, typically not recognized for its immense health benefits, actually contains 96% water. I was surprised to learn that broccoli and cauliflower each contain around 91% water. Amazing!

 

Note: If you're ever feeling hungry, drink a glass of water first. Often times, your body mistakes thirst for hunger, and you'll find hydrating helps curb your hunger pangs.

 


Other Food Items


The next time you're at the grocery store, take a moment to consider the other foods you're putting in your cart. Unexpected culprits like tomato sauce, salad dressing, soups and broths, and even yogurt all contain a good amount of water. In fact, most salad dressings list water in their first few ingredients.

 


Beverages


Don't forget the obvious – beverages! When it comes to the beverages you drink, some questions arise. Does coffee count towards hydration? What about sparkling seltzer water, or milk? The answer is yes on all three counts! While it's not recommended as an ideal form of hydration, a cup of joe is primarily made out of … you guessed it … water! Milk is upwards of 89% water.

 

Coconut water is an excellent source of hydration, with the added benefits of potassium. One type of drink to stay away from is anything flavored. These beverages are laden with added sugar. While fruit juice (made with real juice) does contain high amounts of sugar, these are not added sugars, and are therefore fine to drink – in moderation.

 











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It's interesting to look at produce through the lens of hydration. Suddenly our beloved fruits and veggies offer even more health benefits than we previously thought! While it's amazing how much hydration we can get from the foods we eat, it's important to ensure you're still drinking enough water throughout your day.

 

An easy rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces per day (if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water each day). Make carrying water with you a habit. Drink plenty of water when you wake up, and before, during and after exercise. Be smart about your hydration. Your health depends on it!

 

To learn more about Suzanne Farrell, visit: Cherry Creek Nutrition

 


The post How to Hydrate Your Body with the Foods You Eat appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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