As the thermometer rises, so should your consumption of water and water-rich foods. Water is essential to all body tissues and plays a key role in keeping our body running correctly. Water and other non-caffeinated drinks are an obvious choice to keep hydrated in the summer months that bring increasing heat and activity, but in addition to water, there are several foods that help to hydrate us as well. Celery, cucumbers, raw cabbage, watermelon, broccoli, milk, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, oranges and apples all have over 80% water composition. Additionally, soups, smoothies, and low-fat milk are all 100% liquid. In addition to providing a hydrating boost, these water and nutrient-rich foods have been found (in one study) to help in the reduction of weight gain as well. Researchers at Penn State found that water-rich foods helped individuals eat less and thus, maintain a healthy body weight. They found that water incorporated into food, but not served with a food, was the key. Bottom line, keep your hydration levels up with plenty of liquids and plenty of nutrient dense fruit and veggies to keep your system in tip-top shape!
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