When you exercise or workout, you usually tend to lose a lot of water through sweat leading to your electrolyte levels going below normal. A wise move for replenishing your hydration levels is to drink electrolyte-rich fresh juices and eat hydration-promoting foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, drinking too much water can actually cause a critical loss of vitamins and minerals as they get whooshed out of the body with every trip to the bathroom. When you start ‘eating’ water, you don’t need to count your glasses. You can replace at least one glass of water a day with one serving of raw fruits or vegetables and you will be able to stay hydrated significantly longer. Moreover, you’ll get the added boost of fiber, antioxidants and other health-promoting phytonutrients. In fact, by sticking to a healthy diet, you’ll end up ‘eating’ most of the water needed each day to stay hydrated.
Hydrating foods to eat every day
Our body is constantly replacing damaged cells, so it is imperative that we eat and drink to promote our cellular health. The best way to do this is to keep the body flooded with cell-protecting antioxidants and the building blocks of stronger cell membranes. Here are foods that contain high levels of nutrients and ‘structured water’.
If your skin frequently feels parched, just eat a mango! Mangoes are bursting with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A. Vitamin A normalises the production and life cycle of skin cells. Mangoes also improve your skin if you suffer from acne. In skin with acne, there is an overproduction of cells in the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the skin and is composed of biologically ‘dead’ cells. These excess dead cells combine with sebum (the skin’s own natural oil) to form comedones – the pore plugs that are the defining element of acne. Taken as a dietary supplement, vitamin A helps to prevent overproduction of skin cells in the stratum corneum. You can add 3 to 4 slices of mango to every meal as a refreshing and hydrating naturally sweet treat.
Pomegranates are a wonderfully hydrating source of antioxidants. They may be the world’s most prolific source of polyphenols. The unique combination of elements in pomegranates increases the protective abilities of sunscreens, which can help prevent sun damage. Add pomegranates to your morning cereal or yogurt, fresh green or fruit salads for a refreshing snack or breakfast.
The buttery-fleshed avocado may not seem like a hydrating food, but these healthy gems replenish potassium and contain healthy fats and fiber, which help your body hold on to water. As a bonus, the monosaturated fats in avocados contain oleic acid, which has been found to improve fat levels in the body and help control diabetes and cholesterol. Layer your sandwiches with avocado slices, toss diced avocado into your salads or simply scoop avocado out of its peel as a snack.
Not only are cucumbers delightfully crunchy and low in calories, they are composed mostly of water, which will keep you feeling hydrated longer. In addition, cucumbers are an excellent source of silica, a trace mineral that contributes to the strength of connective tissue. Do not peel the cucumber skin! It is a good source of vitamins A, C and folic acid. You can add diced cucumber to green and grain salads or fan sliced cucumber on the side of your plate as a refreshing side dish. You can also cut cucumber into batons for an afternoon snack.
Your mom was right when she said to eat your greens. Broccoli and other green foods, such as spinach, are a great source of alpha lipoic acid which is a potent fat- and water-soluble antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Toss raw broccoli into your salads or simply snack on this hardy vegetable all by itself.