Foods with high water content have quite a few perks. They help keep you full, stave off cravings for the junky stuff, and keep you hydrated. Plus, your body really, really needs water. “Staying hydrated is essential to adequate health. With the majority of the body made up from water, even slight dehydration can suppress energy, concentration, and have a negative consequence on health,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. If you’re not one to knock back the recommended eight glasses of water a day, munch on these foods to sneak in some H2O.
“This sweet fruit is made up of 92 percent water, making it a great way to hydrate,” says Palinski-Wade. “In addition, a 2-cup serving of watermelon is a great source of potassium—an electrolyte essential for hydration and to prevent muscle cramping.”
Aside from being more than 90 percent water, these antioxidant-rich berries are packed with vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system. “With only 47 calories and 3 grams of fiber per cup, they are a great way to help you feel full and satisfied while taking in fewer overall calories,” says Palinski-Wade.
Iceberg lettuce gets a lot of flack because it can’t stack up against the likes of spinach and kale nutritionally. But you might want to reconsider it the next time you’re walking around the salad bar, as iceberg lettuce is 96 percent water and a great source of fiber. “With only 10 calories and 1 gram of fiber per cup, lettuce can be a terrific way to add volume to your meal without packing in added calories,” says Palinski-Wade.
Solid sources of both vitamins C and A, this veggie has the highest water content of any solid food. One cucumber will only cost you about 47 calories and will help prevent premature skin aging and help boost your immune system—a crucial point as we head into sniffle season.
Tomatoes are 95 percent water and rich in lycopene, a nutrient that may improve heart health and fight against certain cancers, says Palinski-Wade. Flag this veggie as a must-eat at least a few times a week.