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Staying Hydrated Through the Hot Summer Months

During the hot summer months the best way to check your hydration level is to keep track on how often you do not go to the bathroom and if the colour is dark.

Your body is made up of 60% water and drinking only when you are thirsty is not enough to support your hydration needs. Common signs that you are dehydrated are: dry or sticky mouth.

There are many different ways to keep cool and hydrated through the heat. Here are some ideas to help. Stay away from sugary drinks such as soda and some fruit juices. Sugar makes you more thirsty and therefore does not help the body to hydrate itself. Coffee and tea are also drinks that cause more dehydration because of the caffeine. Freeze water in a water bottle. Wrap in a towel to prevent water condensation forming. As well as drinking water use it as a spritz. Fill a spray bottle with pure water and place in refrigerator. When you feel hot spray a mist over face and body to cool you down quickly. You can also run cool water on your wrists for a few minutes but remember It also helps to keep your head and the back of your neck cool. Drinking water is the best way to keep your body hydrated but using certain foods is also the other way to go.

Foods that you should avoid because they will cause you to dehydrate are: eating junk food, it lacks healthy nutrients and is often hot and greasy. Eating meat and protein are heavy foods and during the heat can increase metabolic heat production in your body which in turn adds to loss of water.

There are many ways and different foods to eat to help keep you hydrated through the hot months of summer. Foods can keep you cool provided you make the right choices. The right foods to eat are fresh raw food such as fruits, vegetables and salads, eat cold soups, do meals or foods that require no cooking to avoid heating up the house and include frequent small meals such as low fat dairy and cold fruit.

Research has shown that eating foods high in water helps to keep you satisfied.

Here are some foods and what their percentage of water is:

Cucumbers: 95% water, they also supply you with fiber, and they can be pumped up higher for the hydrating factor if mixed with yogurt.

Salad Greens: 90% water, supply you with folate, fiber and antioxidants.

Strawberries: 91% water, supply you with folate, Vitamin B and C.

Raspberries: 85% water

Blueberries: 85% water

Watermelon: 92% water, supply you with Vitamin C and the red version has more lycopene that tomatoes, lycopene helps to protect against heart disease and prostate cancer.

Papaya: 88% water, supply you with fiber.

Cantaloupe: 90% water, supply you with Vitamin A and C.

Yogurt: plain 85-88% water, supply you with calcium and probiotics.

Butternut Squash: 88% water, supply you with Vitamin A which is important in eye health and Vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

Iceberg Lettuce: 95% water, can use them for wraps and hamburger buns as well as in a salad.

Celery: 95% water, supply you with Vitamin A, C and K, neutralizes stomach acid as well and is a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux.

Radishes: 95% water, supply you with antioxidants and has a crunchy spicy/sweet flavour for different dishes/salads.

Tomatoes: 94% water, a great food for snacking especially the cherry tomatoes.

Green peppers: 94% water, the green ones are the highest in water content. Can use for snacks and pre-dinner foods as well as salads and stuffing them with rice, and other ingredients.

Cauliflower: 92% water, it also helps to lower cholesterol and fight cancer.

Spinach: 91% water, it does have a higher water content than iceberg lettuce and is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber and folate.

Broccoli: 90% water, supply you with fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and C.

Grapefruit: 90% water, watch if you are on medicine as this interferes with these.

Baby carrots: 90% water, these are more hydrating then the big ones.

Gwen Cottingham, Registered Nutritionist
905-778-9998  g.cottingham@hotmail.com

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