Drink more water. It’s likely you hear this advice a lot.
As many as 75 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water, and seven percent of us don’t drink water at all, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With children, it’s even worse. A recent study found more than half of American kids and teens are dehydrated, and one in four do not drink water at all.
There’s no question it can be hard to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day. Most people get some water through coffee, soda, or juice, but drinking pure water is best. If you just can’t seem to drink enough water, there’s another way you can get it.
That’s right, eat water. Food makes up about 20 percent of the water people consume each day. To your body, water is water, whether it comes from the tap or from food sources.
With that in mind, here are six common foods you can eat on a regular basis that are made up of 90 percent water or more, along with valuable nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
1. Cucumbers (96 percent water)
Cucumbers are a great way to stay hydrated on very little calories – one-half cup is only eight calories. Cucumbers are also a good source of vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates blood clotting and is important for building strong bones and preventing heart disease.
2. Tomatoes (94 percent water)
Tomatoes contain the four main carotenoids, including lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant linked to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of potassium and the antioxidant vitamin C.
3. Watermelon (92 percent water)
Like tomatoes, watermelon is also antioxidant rich with vitamin C and lycopene. In fact, watermelon contains even more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Watermelon rind also contains citrulline, an amino acid used to make arginine and may help support cardiovascular health.
4. Strawberries and Other Berries (92 percent water)
Juicy strawberries are packed with vitamin C and fiber, good for cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. To fully reap their health benefits, eat fresh berries within a day or two of being picked, or freeze them to lock in their nutritional power.
5. Grapefruit (91 percent water)
Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, pectin, and the flavonoid antioxidant naringenin, which work to lower cholesterol, protect against colon cancer, and support healthy vision. (Note: grapefruit affects some medications, so to be sure to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist).
6. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and Other Cruciferous Veggies (91 percent water)
These vegetables are rich with vitamins C, K, D, E, and folate plus calcium and fiber. They help to lower cholesterol levels, protect against cancer, and support digestive health. These tasty veggies have also been associated with eye, teeth, and bone health, as well as strengthening the nervous, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems.