Humans have to drink water every couple of hours to support the body and help it maintain its functions. While the lion’s share of water intake is, well, drinking it, solid foods can also be a good source of liquid. Some vegetables are over 90% of water. Supplied in this form, water is absorbed slower, which makes it a good option to boost your daily fluid intake.Water is a known sustainer of body functions: if it wasn’t for water, cells would have been unable to carry out the processes they were designed to maintain. Losing as little as 1% of fluids contained in the human body can affect our health significantly and result in cognitive function impairment. Our “water content” may vary from 55% to 75% depending on age. Keeping your organs hydrated is of utmost importance regardless of geography or season, but it all the more so if you find yourself engaged in exercising or staying in hot places. Gardening implies being outdoors and doing physical activity, so even such benign chores can be contributing to water loss. As you sweat, it is not only water that you lose: electrolytes are leaking too, which can be dangerous – electrolyte balance is a tricky thing, be it overhydration or dehydration, and if it is disturbed, serious complications and even death may follow. If there is not enough water is the body, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, kidney problems, and other health issues and symptoms can develop. But is pure water the only source of fluid?
A solid solutionVegetables are another great source of water. Some of them are so fresh and bursting with fluid that their water content reaches the mark of 96.7%, as is the case with cucumbers. Other vegetables and fruits that can quench your thirst are the following:
Multiple benefitsNot only can having more fruit and vegetables on your menu help you supply your body with water, it also means you will get more nutrients, as these foods are laden with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats (say hello to avocados), and other chemicals. Healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean one, imply eating lots of vegetables and fruit, and it is no wonder they do: the health benefits such an approach brings are innumerable, and so are the ways you can cook these foods. To make the most of veggies, greens, berries and fruit, you can drink smoothies. As cocktails, smoothies do not require you to chew but embrace everything healthy and beneficial about the above mentioned foods. Since fibers are not eliminated, smoothies also aid digestion. If you are bored with your common tea or coffee–which also count as liquid after all–switch to smoothies, which combine food and drinks and are rich in both water and nutrients.
Other advantages of getting water from plantsWhile plants cannot provide you with enough water to support your body functions alone, getting some (!) fluid from plants has other benefits too. One of them is mentioned above, that is making your diet more nutritious and healthier. Others are predominantly pertaining to environmental issues. You may be wondering what consumption of plants has to do with ecology and pollution. There is a multi-faceted connection. First, as you start eating more veggies and fruit, you cut down on meat – you cannot eat everything you have in your fridge at once, can you? Since production of meat is responsible for a significant share of air, soil and water pollution and deforestation, eating less meat means leading a “greener” lifestyle. Second, you can use less plastic items, such as bottles and other disposable containers, like the ones used to sell and store processed food. With oceans and every nook and corner of our planet being littered, reducing waste as much as possible is a good idea.
Still, drinking enough water (around 1.5-2 liters) is a must, regardless of your consumption of plants, so don’t try substituting water with plants completely!
The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov