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Eight foods rich in water
Summer has arrived and so has one of Europe’s hottest ever heat waves! In such unpleasantly warm weather, staying properly hydrated takes on an even greater importance.
Although it is essential to drink water every day, there are other ways of staying hydrated too, such as having foods that are rich in water.
Water and its role in our body
Roughly 60% of our body is composed of water. In fact, water is the only essential drink for humans as it plays several important roles in our body.
– Structural role: water contributes to the overall construction of our body. It is found in all bodily liquids, such as blood, plasma, sweat, saliva and digestive juices. Furthermore, over 75% of our brain, 81% of our kidneys and 78% of our lungs are composed of water. Fat and bones contain 30% and 25% respectively.
– A solvent and transporter: water dissolves various substances and allows them to be transported within cells as well as from one cell to another.
– Metabolic role: water is involved in many chemical reactions such as hydrolysis, which allows a molecule to be broken down into two smaller molecules.
– Regulating body temperature: when the body’s temperature is too high, sweating will help to cool the it by evaporating on the skins surface.
– Protecting: water is part of the cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain, as well as being part of the amniotic fluid that protects the foetus.
Your water requirements
In order to stay properly hydrated, you ought to consume at least 1.5l of water per day.
Those who take part in regular and intense exercise would need to increase their water intake to between 2-3l.
Those who have difficulty drinking this amount of water should look to try and drink it gradually throughout the day. Typically, 1.5l of water equates to 6 medium sized glasses.
Another way of staying suitably hydrated is by consuming foods that are rich in water.
Vegetables rich in water
Cucumber is composed of up to 96% water.
It contains polyphenols and light antioxidants that protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Cucumber is also a good source of copper. Copper is important in ensuring the proper formation of hemoglobin and collagen, which in turn helps the body fight against free radicals. It is also a source of vitamin K which contributes to blood coagulation and is an important element in bone formation.
This crunchy vegetable contains only slightly less water than a cucumber, with its water content a mere 95.9%. It is also has a rich source of antioxidants that help protect against certain cancers. Radishes have an active compound in the form of isothiocyanate, which, due to its anti-mutagenic properties, plays a key role in cancer prevention.
Mushrooms are a low-calorie vegetable that are rich in water (92.6%) as well as group B vitamins. It is also an excellent source of fiber, phosphorus and potassium.
Mushrooms contains starch, which, like fiber, is resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. This starch is used as food for bacteria in the colon and therefore helps maintain good intestinal health.
The presence of vitamin B2 helps contribute to both tissue growth and repair. It also aids hormone production and red blood cell formation. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D which plays a role in bone growth by ensuring that both calcium and phosphorus are readily available.
Carrots contain just under 90% water. They are also rich in beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene activates and prolongs tanning by boosting melanin synthesis and thus protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Carrots also contain vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.
Fruits rich in water
This fruit is composed of just over 94% water and is also rich in antioxidants. It has the advantage of being low in calories and is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.
Its fiber content helps stimulate intestinal transit and also has an impact on satiety. Its vitamin C content reduces oxidation and inflammation of the body.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that contains 90.9% water. It contains a pigment, lycopene, which is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. It is also believed to play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer.
Strawberries contain 90.1% water. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B9 and fiber.
They also contain anthocyanins that help protect the body from certain cancers.
With just under 90% water, grapefruit is a refreshing fruit containing both vitamin C and antioxidants.
Remember to stay hydrated throughout the summer and don’t forget to eat extra fruits and vegetables.
Have a brilliant summer!