19 Water-Rich Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated
Written by Brianna Elliott, RD on August 9, 2017
Proper hydration is extremely important for your health.
What’s more, prolonged dehydration can lead to serious complications like organ failure (1Trusted Source).
Experts generally recommend drinking several glasses of water per day to meet your hydration needs.
But while drinking water is very important, you can also get it from foods. There are many healthy foods that can contribute a large amount of water to your diet.
This article discussed 19 water-rich foods that will help you stay hydrated.null
Water content: 92%
Watermelon is very healthy and one of the most hydrating foods you can eat.
A 1-cup (154-gram) serving contains over a half cup (118 ml) of water, in addition to some fiber and several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium. It is also quite low in calories, providing only 46 calories per cup (2).
Because of their high water content, watermelons have a very low calorie density. That means that a relatively large portion of watermelon contains very few calories.
Furthermore, watermelon is rich in powerful antioxidants, including lycopene.
This compound has been studied for its ability to reduce oxidative damage to cells, which has been linked to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes (5Trusted Source).
You can add watermelon to your diet by consuming it as a refreshing snack or side dish. It’s also commonly used to make salads.
Watermelon is a hydrating, nutrient-dense fruit that may provide several health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic illness.
Water content: 91%
Strawberries have a high water content, making them a very hydrating food.
Because about 91% of strawberries’ weight comes from water, eating them will contribute to your daily water intake.
Eating strawberries on a regular basis has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can help protect against heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and various types of cancer (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
It is easy to include strawberries in your diet by blending them into smoothies or incorporating them into salads. They also make for a unique addition to sandwiches and wraps.
Strawberries are very healthy and contain lots of water. Plus, the nutrients they provide may deliver a number of health benefits.
Water content: 90%
Cantaloupe is a melon that’s extremely nutritious and may boost your health in several ways.
One cup (177 grams) of cantaloupe is composed of about 90% water and delivers more than a half cup (118 ml) of water per serving (11).
Additionally, cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A, providing 120% of your daily needs in a 1-cup (177-gram) serving. Studies have shown that vitamin A may boost immune health by protecting against infection (11, 15Trusted Source).
You can consume cantaloupe plain or add it to salads, smoothies, yogurt or salsa. It also makes a great side at breakfast.
Cantaloupe is a healthy fruit that provides a significant amount of water and many health-promoting vitamins and minerals.
Water content: 89%
Peaches are a very nutrient-dense and hydrating fruit.
Close to 90% of their weight is water. They also provide several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium (16).
Furthermore, eating peaches with the skin on may also contribute disease-fighting antioxidants like chlorogenic acid to your diet (17Trusted Source).
Peaches’ water and fiber contents are why they are so filling and low in calories, with only 60 calories in a medium peach (16).
It is simple to add peaches to your diet. They are commonly combined with smoothies and salads and also make a great addition to cottage cheese and yogurt.
Peaches are rich in water, fiber and antioxidants, in addition to several vitamins and minerals that may promote hydration and provide many other health benefits.
Water content: 88%
Oranges are incredibly healthy and may provide a number of health benefits.
There is almost a half cup (118 ml) of water in one orange, along with fiber and several nutrients (18).
Additionally, regularly eating citrus fruits like oranges may protect against kidney stones. This is because the citric acid they contain can bind with stone-forming calcium oxalate, helping flush it out of the body (24Trusted Source).
Proper hydration is another important factor in preventing kidney stones, which the high water content of oranges can help promote (24Trusted Source).
Oranges are a great source of water, fiber, antioxidants and several nutrients and may help prevent kidney stones and several illnesses.
Water content: 91%
Skim milk is very nutritious.
It’s made up of mostly water and provides a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and potassium (25).
Not only does milk help with overall hydration, but it may also help you rehydrate after strenuous exercise (26Trusted Source).
This is partly due to milk’s electrolytes and protein content, which may help replace body fluid losses (27Trusted Source).
Because milk is widely available and quite cheap, it’s easy to incorporate into your diet.
Milk is rich in water, vitamins and minerals, and has been shown to help people maintain proper hydration, especially after exercise.
Water content: 95%
Cucumbers are another healthy and hydrating food to include in your diet.
They are made up almost entirely of water and also provide a small amount of some nutrients, such as vitamin K, potassium and magnesium (28).
Compared to other water-rich vegetables, cucumbers are one of the lowest in calories. There are only 8 calories in a half-cup (52-gram) serving, and their water content makes them very refreshing (28).
You can eat a relatively large portion of cucumbers without adding a significant number of calories to your diet, which is helpful for maintaining your weight (12Trusted Source).
It’s easy to incorporate cucumbers into your diet. They are commonly added to salads and sandwiches, but they can also be included in cooked dishes like stir-fries and soups.
Cucumbers are high in water but very low in calories. This combination is beneficial for several aspects of your health, including hydration.
Water content: 96%
Lettuce has several health-promoting properties.
One cup (72 grams) of lettuce provides more than a quarter cup (59 ml) of water, in addition to 1 gram of fiber. It also provides 5% of your daily needs for folate (29).
Folate is important for pregnant women, as it can help prevent neural tube birth defects (30Trusted Source).
Furthermore, the combination of water and fiber in lettuce makes it very filling for a low number of calories. There are only 10 calories in a 1-cup (72-gram) serving (29).
You can easily add lettuce to your diet by using it to make salads. Additionally, you can use it as a “bun” for burgers or wrap instead of a tortilla to substitute for less-hydrating grains.
Lettuce provides a few important nutrients and fiber, as well as a high amount of water, which may help keep you hydrated.
Water content: 92%
Broths and soups are usually water-based and have the potential to be very hydrating and nutritious.
For example, 1 cup (240 grams) of chicken broth is made almost entirely of water, which contributes a decent amount to your daily hydration needs (33).
Consuming water-rich foods like broths and soups regularly may also promote weight loss due to their low calorie content.
Many studies have found that those who consume soup before the main course of a meal eat fewer calories and therefore end up with a lower daily calorie intake (34Trusted Source).
In one study, participants who ate two servings of low-calorie soups per day ended up losing 50% more weight than those who consumed the same number of calories from snack foods (35Trusted Source).
You can significantly increase the nutrition content of broths and soups by adding lots of vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Summary: Broths and soups are rich in water and therefore excellent foods to include in your diet to promote hydration.
Water content: 94%
Zucchini is a nutritious vegetable that may provide several health benefits.
A 1-cup (124-gram) serving of chopped zucchini contains more than 90% water and provides 1 gram of fiber. Both these components are great for keeping you full (36).
And as a result of its high water content, zucchini is fairly low in calories by volume, with only 20 calories in 1 cup (124 grams) (36).
Eating zucchini will contribute several nutrients to your diet, especially vitamin C, since 1 cup (124 grams) of it contains 35% of your daily needs (36).
Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and may help protect against a number of diseases (37Trusted Source).
To include zucchini in your diet, eat it on its own as a side dish or add it to soups, salads and stir-fries. You can also cut it into strips to create “noodles” that you can use as an alternative to regular pasta.
SUMMARY:Consuming zucchini will contribute a significant amount of water and nutrients to your diet. It will help keep you hydrated, and it’s beneficial for your overall health.
Water content: 95%
Celery is a very healthy and hydrating food to include in your diet.
It’s made mostly of water, providing close to a half cup (118 ml) of it in a 1-cup serving.
This contributes to its low calorie content of just 16 calories per cup (38).
Like other water-rich vegetables, celery may be a beneficial weight loss food due to its high water content and low number of calories (3Trusted Source).
In addition, celery contains some fiber and lots of important nutrients.
It’s particularly high in vitamin K and potassium, which may protect against heart disease, certain types of cancer and bone-related diseases like osteoporosis (38, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).
It’s quite simple to incorporate celery into your diet, as it can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add it to soups and salads, or eat celery sticks along with a healthy dip such as hummus or Greek yogurt.
SUMMARY:Celery is low in calories and an excellent source of water and nutrients. These properties can promote several aspects of your health, including proper hydration.
Water content: 88%
Plain yogurt contains lots of water and nutrients that may boost several aspects of your health.
A 1-cup (245-gram) serving of plain yogurt is made up of more than 75% water. It also provides several vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium, all of which are known to help promote bone health (19Trusted Source, 41, 42Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).
Eating yogurt on a regular basis has been shown to promote weight loss, an effect that’s largely due to the appetite-reducing effects of its high water and protein contents (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).
To reap the full benefits of yogurt, eat plain rather than flavored yogurt varieties.
This is because flavored yogurt is typically high in unhealthy added sugar, which should be limited in your diet due to its role in promoting diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes (47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Plain yogurt is a great source of water, protein and some important vitamins and minerals. It may provide hydrating effects, along with many other health benefits.
Water content: 94%
Tomatoes have an impressive nutrition profile and may provide many health benefits.
One medium tomato alone provides about a half cup (118 ml) of water.
It also provides a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, including immune-boosting vitamins A and C (51).
The high amount of water in tomatoes contributes to their low calorie content, with only 32 calories in a 1-cup (149-gram) serving (51).
Additionally, tomatoes are rich in fiber and some disease-fighting antioxidants, including lycopene.
You can enjoy tomatoes cooked with soups, sauces and several other dishes. They are also often added to salads and used to make salsa.
SUMMARY:Tomatoes provide lots of water, nutrients and antioxidants, which are beneficial for hydration and protect against several diseases.
Water content: 92%
Bell peppers are another incredibly healthy vegetable with a variety of health-promoting effects.
More than 90% of the weight of bell peppers comes from water.
They are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and potassium. Bell peppers also contain carotenoid antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers and eye diseases (55, 56Trusted Source).
What’s more, bell peppers contain the highest amount of vitamin C, compared to other fruits and vegetables, providing 317% of your daily needs in just one cup (149 grams) (55).
Not only does vitamin C benefit your immune system, it also helps your body absorb iron more effectively, promotes bone health and protects your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals (37Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).
Because of their high water content, bell peppers are very low in calories, providing 46 calories per cup (149 grams). That means you can eat large portions of them without feeling like you’ve gone overboard (55).
There are several ways to include bell peppers in your diet. They can be eaten raw in salads, included in sauces or added to stir-fries.
SUMMARY:Bell peppers may provide a number of health benefits due to the high amounts of water and nutrients they contain, particularly vitamin C.
Water content: 92%
Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable to include in your diet, since it is very nutritious and hydrating.
One cup (100 grams) of cauliflower provides more than one-forth cup (59 ml) of water, as well as 3 grams of appetite-reducing fiber.
Its high water content contributes to its low number of calories, with only 25 calories per cup (58).
Additionally, cauliflower consists of more than 15 different vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is not found in many foods. Choline is an essential nutrient for supporting brain health and metabolism (58, 59Trusted Source).
You can use cauliflower as a replacement for less-hydrating grains by chopping it finely into “rice” or using it to make a cauliflower-based pizza crust.
SUMMARY:Cauliflower provides a significant amount of water, fiber and nutrients, and it’s a good substitute for grains that are less hydrating.
Water content: 92%
Cabbage is an impressively healthy cruciferous vegetable (60).
It is quite low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients. It is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and several trace minerals that may have a variety of health-promoting effects (3Trusted Source, 60).
For example, vitamin C is well known for its role in reducing inflammation and has been shown to lower the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease (37Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Eating cabbage may help several aspects of your health, including hydration. This is due to its water, nutrient and antioxidant contents.
Water content: 88%
Grapefruit is an exceptionally healthy citrus fruit with many health benefits.
In half a grapefruit (123 grams), there is close to a half cup (118 grams) of water, which contributes a decent amount of water to your daily hydration needs (65).
Additionally, grapefruit is rich in fiber, antioxidants and several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, potassium and folate.
It’s especially high in immune-boosting vitamin C, providing 120% of your daily needs in half a grapefruit (123 grams) (65).
Several studies have shown including grapefruit in your diet may help boost weight loss, as well as reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels (66Trusted Source, 67Trusted Source, 68Trusted Source).
You can easily include grapefruit in your diet by eating it plain, blending it in with smoothies or adding it to salads.
SUMMARY:Grapefruit may promote hydration due to its high water content. It’s also rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may have a number of health benefits.
Water content: 95%
Coconut water is a super healthy beverage that will keep you hydrated.
Not only does it have a very high water content, it’s also rich in electrolytes, including potassium, sodium and chloride (69).
Drinking coconut water after exercise is a much healthier option than drinking a manufactured sports drink, since many sports drinks are loaded with added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
SUMMARY:Drinking coconut water is especially helpful for hydration because it’s rich in water and electrolytes.
Water content: 80%
Cottage cheese is another healthy and nutritious dairy product with hydrating properties.
About 80% of the weight of cottage cheese comes from water.
It also contains 25 grams of protein per 1-cup (225-gram) serving, which is 50% of your daily needs (73).
Additionally, cottage cheese has an impressive nutrition profile, providing 36% of your daily needs for phosphorus, 19% for calcium and 31% for selenium in just 1 cup (225 grams) (73).
Furthermore, cottage cheese is a great source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and vitamin B12, which are necessary for brain health, metabolism and keeping your bones healthy (76Trusted Source, 77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source).
It is easy to incorporate cottage cheese into your diet. You can mix it with fruit, use it as a spread, add it to salads or eat it with an omelet.
Summary: Cottage cheese contains lots of water and protein, in addition to vitamins and minerals that may provide health benefits.
Staying hydrated is extremely important for your overall health.
Health experts often recommend drinking several glasses of water per day to meet your hydration needs, but the water content of foods is often overlooked.
While drinking water is important, you can consume a significant amount of water by including a variety of water-rich fruits, vegetables and dairy products in your diet.
This is why most people don’t necessarily have to drink a lot of water.
As long as you’re eating plenty of water-rich foods and drinking water when you feel thirsty, you won’t have a problem staying hydrated.
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