When it comes to upping your water intake, making sure you’re drinking enough can be tricky. Luckily, incorporating water doesn’t have to consist solely of drinking water. There are many foods you can add to your meals that have a high water content, helping you to stay hydrated and refreshed.
Why You Need Water
As an essential part of a healthy diet, your body requires water in order to function properly. Water helps with several bodily functions, including:
- Weight Loss
- Regulating body temperature
- Protecting organs and tissues
- Moistening your eyes, nose, and mouth tissues
- Bringing nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- Lubricating joints
- Flushing waste
- Dissolving nutrients and minerals for your body to use
Water is constantly lost through breathing, sweating, urination, and bowel movements. Because of this, you need to replenish your body’s water supply regularly. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Guidelines recommend that you drink water whenever you’re thirsty. At Cardiomender we recommend drinking a minimum of a gallon of non-caffeinated beverages per day with at least half being water. However, you may require more water if you are extra active, in a hotter climate, have a health condition requiring you to drink more water, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
One easy way to add more water to your diet is through the foods you eat. Not only will these foods help increase your water intake, but they are also low in calories and nutritious, making them a great addition to your weight loss program.
Vegetables and Greens with High Water Content
Cauliflower has a water content of 92% and only 25 calories per cup. Cauliflower consists of more than 15 different minerals and vitamins. Try using finely chopped cauliflower as a rice substitute, or use it to make cauliflower pizza crust.
With a water content of 96%, lettuce can provide you with 1 gram of fiber and 5% of your daily folate needs. Lettuce is also high in vitamins K and A and extremely filling, and at only 10 calories a cup is a great choice for those looking to lose weight while increasing their water intake.
Zucchini is a nutritious vegetable with a water content of 94%. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C and many other nutrients, with only 20 calories per cup. Add it to your diet as a side dish, in soups and salads, or cut it into strips and create noodles, popularly known as “zoodles,” that can be used in place of regular pasta noodles.
Celery has a water content of 95% and just 16 calories per cup. It is high in vitamin K and potassium. Eat it raw or cooked, add it to soups and salads, or dip it into hummus or Greek yogurt.
An extremely healthy vegetable with a water content of 92%, cabbage is a great addition to your meals. Cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K, folate, and several trace minerals.
Bell peppers have a water content of 92% and are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as vitamins B and C and potassium. At 46 calories per cup, bell peppers can be added to your salads raw, cooked into sauces, or added to stir-fries.
Fruits with High Water Content
Cucumber has a water content of 95%. Made of almost entirely water, it contains only 8 calories per serving. Additionally, cucumber provides a small amount of nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. It can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches or cooked in stir-fries and soups. Surprisingly, they also have an average of 1.7 grams of sugar per cucumber, however this is mitigated by the fiber content
With a water content of 91%, strawberries are a flavorful hydrating option to add sweetness to your meals. Strawberries provide fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and manganese. Blend them into smoothies, add to salads, or eat them alone.
Although watermelon is NOT currently recommended during acute weight loss because of its high sugar content, it has a water content of 92% and 42 calories per cup. It contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium. Despite being so high in water and important vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, it also has 17 grams of sugar per serving size.
For a nutrition-dense option, peaches have a water content of 89% and provide several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium, as well as antioxidants. Eat them alone, in smoothies, salads, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
With a wide range of nutrients, tomatoes also have a water content of 94%. With only 32 calories per cup, there are many dishes that tomatoes can be added to. Use them to make salsa, sauces, soups, and more. It should be known that 1 cup of tomatoes has 4 grams of sugar and, therefore,recommended after various weight loss thresholds have been achieved.
Other Food with Good Water Content
Broths and Soups
Broths and soups have high water content and can help you to feel full for longer but it is important to check the sodium content which can be high, so certain people should avoid it. Add in nutritious vegetables, such as broccoli, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, to boost the nutritional value of your soup.
During acute weight loss, we recommend non-fat unsweetened plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or with our premium flavored balsamic vinegar. With a water content of 88%, plain yogurt can provide nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Yogurt is also a great source of protein.
During acute weight loss, we recommend selecting zero or low-fat cottage cheese. Cottage cheese has a water content of 80% and contains approximately 12 grams of protein per ½ cup serving, making it a great option to mix with fresh fruit, use as a spread, and add to salads. It has an impressive nutrition profile, making it a protein-packed, low-calorie, nutritious option.
We do NOT recommend hydrating with coconut water while on a weight loss program. However, if you’re not on a weight loss program and looking for a healthy alternative to sugary sports drinks , try coconut water. Not only is it hydrating, but coconut water can also help replenish nutrients and electrolytes that you’ve lost through sweat. It has vitamins C and B6, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The Hydrating Diet Dilemma
It is absolutely vital to consume foods with high water content for effective weight loss efforts, however, many foods on this list may also have a high glycemic index or may be high in fats and calories. Balancing high water content with foods that will aid in acute weight loss, can be a complex and confusing task, which is why many people trying to get fit and lose weight seek help from weight loss professionals.
Weight Loss Programs in South Florida
At CardioMender, MD our Medical Director, Dr. Barry Schiff, and his qualified weight loss center team will help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy weight. This cardiologist-supervised weight loss program has helped many people in South Florida. You can be one of them, too! If you’re ready to start your journey, contact us today and get started on your custom treatment plan. You’ve Got to Live It!