Water. You’re literally made of it and it’s so, so essential to our health and wellbeing that it’s extremely dangerous to spend more than three days without it! You need it for almost every single process in your body, and without it, you put yourself at risk for many complex health issues. There is a reason that we are told to drink eight glasses per day, and this should not be taken as a distant target. Rather, it should be a requirement to hit this mark for you and should be included in every person’s daily routine. I drink three liters per day and make sure to have one full liter upon waking up so that I am not spending my whole day sipping at a water bottle. It has become a habit now… and wow how things have improved.
How does water affect the body?
- One of the primary things which water does is hydrate your body so that your brain is provided with a flow of nutrients and electrolytes. In fact, being dehydrated by just 2% can cause delayed motor response and impaired focus in people of all ages. This is important, as 2% is not a large amount of dehydration to be dealing with, and yet it can have an impact on one of the bodies most important organs!
- Water is super important if you are very physically active–or already prone to aches and pains! This is because it is what lubricates the joints between your bones, which rub together with movement. These joints would become worn and scraped down without lubrication, without water! Drinking water creates a cushion for this movement and helps to keep your joints healthy and keep you clear of the risk of arthritis.
- It can even boost your metabolism! Yes, a study found that people experienced a 30% increase in caloric burning rate when they drank water. The crazy part? This boost happened just 10 minutes after drinking water and lasted for an hour. All it took to activate this increase in metabolic rate was 500 mL of pure water! So for those of you who want to boost your energy consumption, this could be a great new tool to do this. No funny powders, pills or crazy diet plans needed!
But here’s the thing: Drinking water all day just isn’t really… fun! At all. It can even feel like a chore to drink water when we feel that we have to drink a certain number of glasses per day and that we have to get it done by carrying around a heavy bottle of water. There must be another way. (Hint–there is!)
Lots of food contain large amounts of water within them anyway, and by eating them, your body can absorb the water from within the food. These foods are foods that you’re likely already eating and used to incorporating into your recipes. So it should be a simple task to add a few extra servings of these into your daily meals and boost your water intake in a delicious way!
Foods that have high water content:
- Watermelon: Watermelon is one of those fruits that you can’t really have summer without! It’s also an incredible 92% water by weight! Watermelon can provide up to 3/4 of a cup of water for every cup of fruit and comes with a host of important vitamins and nutrients as part of the bundle. These include vitamin C, A, Magnesium, and a range of antioxidants to help fight inflammation. I like to freeze watermelon slices covered in coconut yogurt or dark chocolate, to make delicious and refreshing summer popsicles. Another favorite is to chop it up and add it to a Morrocan-style couscous salad in place of the dried apricot which is usually added. But this fruit is so versatile that you really can let your creative side loose.
- Peaches: These juicy wonders offer up to 90% of their weight as water! Which luckily tastes incredible in this sweet stone fruit. Peaches are late summer and fall favorite and excellent with kids. I found that my siblings always got to the peaches before me, so you don’t have to worry about the kids turning up their noses. Peaches are packed with Vitamins A, B, and C, along with fiber and potassium. They can be great for salads, porridge toppings, or crumbles. One of my favorites is the beautiful combination of peach and coconut cream in a parfait, and the colors are breath-taking!
- Cauliflower: This is a wonderful source of water in food form, as it comes with many wonderful nutrients such as B vitamins, phytonutrients, and choline which is rare in vegetables and very important for brain function. Cauliflower has a 92% water content and comes with very few calories per 100 grams and plenty of fiber which makes it great for those wanting to lose weight without compromising their physical health! Cauliflower is great roasted on its own, which is my favorite way to eat it! But you can really go nuts with this one, in fact, cauliflower rice and walnut salad taste just beautiful! You can also grate into a “rice” or use to make pizzas or soups (extra water there too!)
- Lettuce: Lettuce is like the ruler of all watery foods! It is a whopping 96% water by weight and contains nutrients like vitamin K and A, as well as folate and fiber! Great for making the base for summer salads or garnishing your other culinary creations. This one is easy to come across and really versatile, so let yourself start creating some interesting recipes!
So here it is, the simple tricks you can use to get more water into your body without it having to seem like a chore… in fact, it can be a whole lot of fun! Give these recipes a shot and see just how delicious and taste-filled your 8 glasses per day can really be!
How do you make sure that you’re consuming enough water?
Also by Aine: These Two 5-Minute Meditations From France Totally Changed My Attitude To Food
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Photo: Mrjn Photography, Alexander Redl, Mutzii; all via Unsplash