7 refreshing foods to help you stay hydrated

Up your water intake with these hydrating foods.
EatingWell // EatingWell

It’s important to stay hydrated and it can be easy to fall behind in your water intake. In addition to water and other healthy drinks, you can eat foods, such as cucumbers or strawberries, that can contribute to your fluid intake, helping to prevent the headaches and sluggishness caused by dehydration. Another good reason to eat water? Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. Here are seven of our favorite foods with water.

Nicci Micco and Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.

Related: How Much Water Do You Need?

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1. Cucumbers

At 95 percent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Cucumbers also provide a little fiber and some vitamin C (about 6 percent of the Daily Value per cup). Don’t limit your cucumber consumption to tossing slices into green salads; get inspired to make refreshing cucumber recipes: dips, soups and—yes!—pickles.

Related: Easy Cucumber Recipes

Related recipe from EatingWell: Chilly Dilly Cucumber Soup

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2. Salad Greens

Part of the reason that 2 cups of salad greens has fewer than 15 calories is that greens are more than 90 percent water. They are also packed with nutrients, such as folate, vitamin C, fiber and the antioxidant beta carotene, which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Plus, having a salad for lunch (or dinner) is a great way to bang out a couple of veggie servings.

Related: Healthy Recipes for Foods for Hydration

Related recipe from EatingWell: Simple Green Salad with Citronette

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3. Strawberries

Strawberries deliver the most vitamin C of all berries and also provide folate, a B vitamin that’s essential for the healthy growth of new cells. And, since they’re 91 percent water, they’ll contribute significantly toward your overall fluid intake. Eat them straight up or try them in a new strawberry recipe: they’re special in everything from salads to baked goods.

Related recipe from EatingWell: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops

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4. Watermelon

Ninety-two percent water (hence the name), watermelon is a good source of vitamin C and, when it’s red (some are orange or yellow), also has lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Enjoy fresh wedges (go ahead and see how far you can spit the seeds) or, better yet, get creative with watermelon recipes.

Related recipe from EatingWell: Watermelon Salsa

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5. Yogurt

Depending on your preferred type, regular plain yogurt is 85 to 88% water (surprisingly, there’s more water in fuller-fat yogurt). You’ll also get calcium, some B vitamins (namely B12 and riboflavin) and, to be sure you’re getting some good-for-you probiotics, look for a yogurt that carries the “Live & Active Cultures” seal.

Related recipe from EatingWell: Peach Frozen Yogurt

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6. Papaya

At 88 percent water, this fruit will help you stay hydrated. Better yet, 1 cup delivers 3 grams of fiber for just 55 calories.

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7. Butternut Squash

This sweet and nutty squash is 88 percent water. A cup of cooked butternut squash also boasts over 400 percent of your Daily Value for vitamin A—a key nutrient for eye health—as well as healthy doses of vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

8 of 9 Photo: Bryan McCay