Co-written by: Christina Chu, CPT, a Boston University Dietetics & Communication Student.
Part of staying cool this summer is drinking up! While we know important it is to drink water, sometimes it seems more of an inconvenience than a necessity.
Did you know that the average recommendation for fluid intake, including food and beverages, is 2.7 L for women and 3.7 L for men? That’s a lot of water! Not surprisingly, Americans generally consume around 80% of their intake through beverages and 20% through foods. In order to maximize your fluid intake via food, aim to use foods that have a higher water concentration, like fruits and vegetables. If you are struggling to hit your fluid recommendations this summer, try out some of these easy recipes below and stay hydrated as you eat:
Sun and fresh fruit make the perfect hydrating combination. Mangos make a good smoothie base as they are high in vitamin C, A, and folate. To make the smoothie, add frozen mango in a blender with banana, skim or almond milk, Greek yogurt, and a dash of honey for additional sweetness. This is perfect for any beach trip, mid-day snack, or on the way to work.
Could it get any simpler than chopping various types of fruits and putting them together in a bowl? Pick your favorite fruits from the grocery store, like apples, bananas, berries, melons, nectarines, kiwi, pineapple, starfruit, or even coconut (which can be classified as a fruit!), chop them into chunks, and mix together. Serve the fruit as is, or skewer them to make fruit kebobs. Fruit salad can be a perfect go-to for a work snack or for big barbeque gatherings. Spice up your fruit salad by adding shredded coconut and lemon juice to keep the fruit bright. Fruit has one of the highest water concentrations out of all the food groups, so load up on fiber-filled, antioxidant-rich fruit salad.
Shave raw zucchini with a vegetable peeler and spread your favorite hummus, guacamole, Greek yogurt, or tahini on the zucchini. Layer with vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, or celery and roll. These roll-ups are a delicious no-cook option to stay cool and refreshed during these summer months.
This Mediterranean favorite is a must have to stay healthy and hydrated over the summer. Combine seedless cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, and low-fat feta cheese with Greek dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano) over a bed of mixed greens. The high water concentration in the cucumbers and tomatoes will be sure to keep you hydrated, and the heart-healthy fats in the olives will keep you fuller for longer.
High in vitamin C and manganese, pineapple salsa a perfect summer side dish go-to. Replace pineapple for tomatoes in your pico de gallo salsa recipe, by blending red onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and lime juice. Use this as a dip for big parties, on salads, or on top of your fish or chicken for extra flavor and texture.
Essentially “Nature’s Candy”, frozen grapes are a cooling dessert during the hot summer months. Grapes are loaded with polyphenols, or antioxidants that can help rid your body of harmful toxins. Simply wash your favorite grapes, either red, green, or black, and stick in the freezer overnight. Eat these as is or stick them in your drinks to keep them cold and prevent them from being watered down.
Want to share your hydrating creations with the world? Tag me @SkylarGriggsRD so I can see your delicious food!
- Staying hydrated is key to good health, with women needing approximately 2.7 L of fluids a day and men needing 3.7 L of fluids.
- Fruits and vegetables are great ways to eat your fluids due to their high fluid concentration.
- Staying hydrated doesn’t have to be hard- these simple recipes are quick and healthy, perfect for the hot summer months.