I’ve recently come to the realization that when I’m feeling sluggish and tired, it’s often because I’m actually dehydrated. It usually happens around that 2pm slump at work, when I’ve forgotten to refill my water bottle and reach for a coffee instead. Did you know that when you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost 2 – 3 percent of your body fluid, which makes you lethargic? Dehydration lowers blood volume, meaning you don’t get as much blood to your brain and your heart has to pump harder. Okay, science class dismissed, and now the real question is – what else can we do about it besides drink more water? Since I for one find snacking to be more fun sometimes, I’m really interested in which fruits and vegetables do double duty in giving our bodies major doses of nutrition and hydration. Scroll on for the top 10 most hydrating foods and our favorite recipes for using them. Hint: these all have the bonus quality of being low-calorie because, well, water.

*featured image: kristen kilpatrick


Cucumber 

Cucumber is the Beyonce (aka queen) of hydrating foods, with 96% water content! They’re also packed with vitamin C (hence why they’re so great for soothing puffy eyes!)

How to eat it:

Mango and Cucumber Noodle Salad

Cucumber and Pineapple Shrimp Tacos


Watermelon

The perfect summertime fruit IMHO – watermelon’s sweet, refreshing, and made up of 92% water. Try it in the recipes below, or eat it by the slice and go ahead and let the juiciness drip all over you.

How to eat it:

Crispy Salmon with Watermelon-Mint Salsa

Kale, Avocado, & Watermelon Salad


Cauliflower

Since cauliflower is filling and hearty, especially when roasted, I was shocked to discover that it’s actually 91% water! Packed full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, and omega-3’s, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense hydrating foods out there.

How to eat it:

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

Cauliflower & White Bean Soup with Rosemary


Grapefruit

I think of grapefruit as the ultimate dieter’s food, and while the claim that you actually burn calories eating it is a myth, it is pretty darn close to being calorie-free. Thankfully, it’s still full of deliciousness, and I love the tart sweetness that grapefruit brings to desserts, salads, or eaten straight up with a tiny sprinkle of sugar.

How to eat it:

Salmon, Cucumber, & Grapefruit Detox Salad

Melon & Citrus Popsicles


Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense veggies out there, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that it’s 92% water. One serving will give you energy-boosting nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and B-vitamins. Eat up!

How to eat it:

Butternut Squash, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Pasta

Camille’s Favorite Cocoa Green Smoothie


Melon (Cantaloupe, Honeydew, etc)

‘Tis the season for melons bursting with juicy sweet flavor. I can’t leave a trip to the market these days without a ripe melon in tow, and I usually chop it up the minute I get home and store it in containers in the fridge for the ultimate easy guilt-free snack.

How to eat it:

Mango-Melon Sorbet (vegan!)

Prosciutto & Melon Skewers


Strawberries

Thank goodness for sweet summer strawberries — even on their own they taste like a treat, and with a 92% water content, they’ll flood your skin and body with major hydration.

How to eat it:

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Basil, & Almonds

Beet & Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola


Zucchini

Grilled, sautéed, or zoodled, there’s no wrong way to cook a zucchini in the summertime. And with 94% water content, they’re super hydrating and you can eat them by the cup guilt-free. We have so many great zucchini recipes on the site, but I narrowed down a few of my faves.

How to eat it:

Zucchini Noodle Pesto Pasta

Zucchini Lasagna with Vegan Ricotta

Rosemary & Apple Zucchini Bread with Ginger


Celery

For dieters, celery is famous for being practically “free” of calories… thanks to all that water. Little known fact: it’s also packed with natural salts to help replenish magnesium levels.

How to eat it:

The Best Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Black Quinoa Chopped Salad


Pineapple

This juicy fruit is made up of 87% water and boasts major digestive and immunity-boosting benefits. Plus, one bite makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacay.

How to eat it:

Cucumber & Pineapple Shrimp Tacos

Black Bean & Pineapple Salsa Lettuce Boats

5 comments
  1. 1
    BeingIsabella | July 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Okay, so some of these foods came as no surprise such as all the fruits, however, just like you, I had no clue that cauliflower was made of so much water as well as spinach! It’s always so fun to discover even more great, healthy benefits of foods you already love! I especially love having cauliflower stakes with nice sauces or buffalo cauliflower wings. And you know what, I am going to go make myself a refreshing bowl of watermelon and kiwi now!

    http://www.beingisabella.com

    Reply
  2. 2
    Michaela | July 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    The only things I’m not a fan of on this list are grapefruit and celery, but I love love love cucumbers and watermelon. They’re practically my two favorite food items during the hot summer months and when I can’t be bothered to turn the stove, it’s perfectly fine to eat these things raw! 🙂

    Reply
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