By: Valerie Mey, MS, RDN, CD –Owner of Nutrition Breakthru, www.nutritionbreakthru.com
Staying hydrated is key during the summer season. Getting your 8 cups of water every day is the first step but adding some of these fruits and vegetables can give you an added boost of hydration and vitamins and minerals. Enjoy!
- Cucumbers– Staying cool as a cucumber sounds wonderful during a hot summer day. Cucumbers are 95% water and packed with Potassium. Suggestions: Snack on cucumbers and hummus, throw into a salad or pair with tomatoes and feta cheese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a great side dish!
- Zucchini – Spiralized Zoodles are all the craze now for noodle lovers and pasta cravings! Zucchinis are 95% water and high in Vitamin A and Magnesium. Suggestions: Make some Zoodles or fries out of Zucchini, bake into muffins or breads or add to any stir-fry dish.
- Watermelon- What is better than watermelon on a hot summer day! Watermelon is 92% water and high in Vitamins A, B6 and C. Suggestions: Use to flavor water or puree into make a healthy Popsicle or create a watermelon salad with goat/feta cheese and basil.
- Celery – Lean, green and a cancer-fighting machine. Celery is 95% water and high in Lutein, a flavonoid that has the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth. Suggestions: Eat celery with your favorite nut butter, add to soups, stir fry’s and salads or just munch on with a great veggie platter!
- Carrots– Very important for great vision both during the day and night. Carrots are 90% water and high in Fiber. Suggestions: Add them to a veggie platter with celery, dip them in hummus or guacamole or add them to a salad.
- Cantaloupe – Crisp and refreshing especially when you add to your morning breakfast routine. Cantaloupe is 90% water and a good source of Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. Suggestions: Add to a fruit salad, a tropical salsa or make a kebab with cantaloupe, cheddar cheese and red grapes.
- Tomatoes- Are great all year round but really come into your diet during the summer season. Tomatoes are 95% water and high in Potassium, Lycopene to fight against cancer and Vitamin A and C. Stick to the fresh tomatoes though as canned or sauces can be high in added sugars and salt! Suggestions: Add to salads or combine with mozzarella and basil to make a caprese salad or slice and grill with Olive Oil for a great side dish.
- Strawberries– Are the most hydrating berry of the bunch. Strawberries are 92% water, full of natural sweetness and Vitamin C. Suggestions: Double up with hydration and add strawberries to water with mint, add to a spinach salad for a great summer twist or make a delish mixed berry fruit salad and top with fresh whipped cream for a healthy dessert!
- Radishes- Not usually on the radar but a great root vegetable to add to your summer menu. Radishes are 95% water and are known for their cooling effect as it can help alleviate excess heat in the body. Suggestions: Add to salads, snack on them in a veggie platter with carrots and celery or add to coleslaw recipes.
- Peaches- Stay happy as a peach this summer! Peaches are 88% water and rich in Potassium and Fiber to help lose weight. Suggestions: Snack on a peach, add to a salsa or salad or indulge after dinner with a fresh ripe peach to satisfy those sweet cravings.