Written by Kathryn Standing
Student Assistant, ISU Dietetics
Summer in Iowa always makes me think of trucks selling produce by the side of the road. They showcase fresh corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, and more. The grocery store produce department seems to be much more colorful, as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are in season. I never have a hard time finding vegetables and fruits that look appetizing in the summertime. An added benefit to loading up on vegetables and fruit in the summer: their water content.
It is recommended to consume the equivalent of 9-16 (8 ounce) glasses of water a day (depending on age, gender, and activity level) to stay hydrated. This can come from both beverages and foods. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet providing fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are also high in water content. This means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables reduces the amount you need to drink from water and other beverages. Food on average contributes 20% of your hydration needs. Most foods have some water content and therefore contribute slightly to your daily hydration needs. Other foods, such as oatmeal and soup, contain a lot of water and are good sources of hydration. Below is a list of some fruits and vegetables with high water content. While other produce provides hydration, these are some of the most common.
|Food||Serving Size||Amount of water as percentage of food weight|
|Lettuce, green leaf, shredded||1 cup||95%|
|Celery, raw||1 medium stalk||95%|
|Tomato, raw||1/2 cup||94%|
|Grapefruit, white||½ medium||91%|
|Watermelon chunks||1 cup||91%|
|Broccoli, raw, chopped||½ cup||89%|
|Carrot, raw, strips||½ cup||88%|
|Apple, with skin||1 medium||86%|
Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 5th Edition
It’s a good idea to eat water-rich foods and drink fluids at every meal to help you to stay hydrated.