10 Snacks That Can Actually Satisfy Your Thirst
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2015
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Getting in those eight glasses of water a day can be difficult, right? But whether it's because you get so busy during the day or you're one of those people who “hate” the taste of water, hydrating properly is important for muscle performance, cell function, alertness and sleep. While the recommended amount is 91 and 125 fluid ounces (2.7 to 3.7 liters) of water per day, you can actually get some of that liquid nourishment from food. Though you likely can’t eat your way to an entire eight glasses, if you're dehydrated, the following foods can actually slake your thirst. Read on to find 10 snacks loaded with water and, in many cases, packed with dietary fiber and beneficial vitamins.
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WATERMELON SALAD WITH MINT AND FETA
You know it’s a good watermelon when it runs down your chin from the first bite -- that means it’s not only ripe, but it’s also loaded with water. This power hydrator has one of the highest water content levels of any fruit at 141 grams per cup, according to San Diego-based nutritionist Joel Detjen. “Your average watermelon can be 90 percent water, making it a great way to add fluid without drinking extra glasses,” he says. Watermelon doesn’t have to be relegated to dessert, either. Paired with refreshing mint and feta cheese, also high on the scale of water content at 83 grams a cup, it makes for a sweet-and-savory salad that goes great with baked chicken or fish.
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PLAIN LOW-FAT YOGURT OR KEFIR
Nutritionists like Detjen love the power of probiotic-containing foods like yogurt and kefir. Since a serving of low-fat yogurt contains 208 grams of water and kefir even more, they are unexpected sources of water you can add to your diet and are also great weapons for intestinal health and bloat reduction. These items promote the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut, reducing excess gas that can be uncomfortable and the cause of bloat.
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While iceberg lettuce also carries a lot of water, it’s not as high on the vitamin scale, making romaine lettuce the perfect choice. This juicy green packs a nutritional punch, being high in folate, vitamin C and beta carotene, says Detjen. And how can you go wrong with a classic Caesar salad? Well, one way you can is by smothering your lettuce with high-fat, high-sodium salad dressing -- a major hydration fail. Don’t overdo it with the cheese or croutons and instead let those greens really shine through and rehydrate you. One head of romaine lettuce contains nearly 600 grams of water (about 20 ounces).
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Chilled veggie soups based on tomatoes and cucumber are popular around the world, and it turns out that they can also be great for hydration. A cup of peeled cucumber contains 129 grams of water, and a cup of tomatoes contains 149 grams. In fact, a 2009 study out of the University of Aberdeen Medical School looked at cucumber water and found that it can rehydrate you almost twice as fast as plain water. According to researchers, this option might even hydrate better than a sports drink, despite containing a lot less water. In a blender combine tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper with a bit of garlic, onion and lemon juice for an incredibly refreshing snack that keeps well refrigerated for a couple of days.
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Apples are a great way to add some water to your diet without a sip, and they’re also loaded with fiber, making them a great digestive aid and allowing you to feel full longer. “The fiber in apples is a great dietary tool to not only stay hydrated, but also for weight management, as you are less tempted to overeat when you have fiber in the stomach,” adds Detjen. A sneaky way to get apples into your diet without biting into one is to add applesauce, which offers 215 grams of water per cup, to your daily meal plan, perhaps making a parfait with fruit and nuts. Be sure to look for natural varieties with no added sugar for maximum benefit.
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A simple snack of a hard-boiled egg is a great choice for energy on the run. Turns out nature’s perfect little “protein to go” package can also add water to your daily total. Egg whites are almost 90 percent water, and what’s fascinating is that you don’t lose the water when you cook them. In fact, as the egg cooks the proteins housed within it expands, allowing a single hard-boiled egg to contain 101 grams of water.
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A hydration champ that is lean on calories, one cup of cantaloupe averages only about 60 calories but contains 160 grams of water. A tasty option is to slice some melon wedges and wrap them with thinly sliced prosciutto (opt for the lowest in sodium that you can find) for a hydrating snack that also gives you some protein to hold you over until evening.
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Soup before a meal can not only help stave off overeating tendencies, but also up your overall daily fluid intake. One of the hottest current trends is bone broth, an ancient choice now popular with celebrities and professional athletes. However, most commercially made broth and stock is high in sodium, taking away from the hydrating benefits. Your most nutritious option is to make it yourself by buying bony chicken parts like wings and legs or beef knuckle and marrow bones, covering them with filtered water in a large stock pot and simmering on low for eight to 12 hours, adding aromatics like carrots, onions, celery and herbs in the last three to four hours. To create a super-hydrating soup, use a bone broth as your base and add high-water-content vegetables like greens and cauliflower.
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HUMMUS WITH CELERY
Most know that celery in and of itself is a vegetable with a high water content, but did you realize cooked beans can also be very hydrating? Everyone’s favorite healthy dip, hummus adds water as well as fiber and protein, making it a powerhouse of hydration and nutrition. Despite its thick consistency, a serving of hummus has 164 grams of water, even more than watermelon, so add some celery and other crudites for a super snack.
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OATMEAL WITH STRAWBERRIES AND SOAKED ALMONDS
Powering up with a satisfying breakfast loaded with fiber and protein is key for a good nutritional start to the day. Adding hydrating foods to the mix steps it up a notch. Consider oatmeal tomorrow. That’s right: This thick, grain-based staple is actually loaded with fluid. Thanks to the way it retains liquid, a serving of cooked hot oatmeal has 193 grams of water. Add another hydrating fruit like strawberries, and toss in some almonds after soaking the nuts overnight so that they not only contain more water, but are also easier to digest.
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