Summer is here and the heat is on. When the temperature rises so does our need to hydrate. If you’re feeling thirsty it’s not just a sign that you’re on the verge of becoming dehydrated, it actually means your body is asking to be rehydrated ASAP because it’s already dehydrated.
And the best way to avoid dehydration happening in the first place is to keep those water levels topped up at all times.
While water is your ideal hot weather companion, I know – drinking plain water all day long can become a little boring.
So, here are some food ideas to help you mix things up on the staying hydrated front.
Strawberries are reminiscent of long-sunny summer days. This sweet fruit is not only hydrating but also a great source of vitamin c, fibre and phyto-nutrients.
Enjoy: Succulent strawberries can be thrown into smoothies, desserts and salads or even a glass of filtered water with mint, lemon and other water-abundant fruits. If you’ve never had a smoothie bowl before (as in the blog image), I highly recommend doing so. They’re such a light, delicious and nourishing meal or snack. Just perfect for the hot weather.
If you’d like to have a go at making one, check out my Blackberry Smoothie Bowl recipe hereYou can use other fruits instead of blackberries if you prefer.
Cucumber is super cooling for the body and with a 95% water content, juiced, it’s almost as hydrating as a glass of water.
Enjoy: Put half a cucumber through the juicer (peeled, if it’s not organic). Drink by itself or juiced with carrot and celery. Or for plant-based hydration heaven, juice a few slices of watermelon with your cucumber juice.
When chia seeds are soaked they absorb 10 times their weight in water, making them perfect for hydration. If you don’t soak chia seeds before eating them they will dehydrate you, as they consume your bodily fluids.
Enjoy: soak chia seeds in water overnight and add them to your smoothie, yoghurt or fruit dish the next day. You don’t need a lot of chia seeds – soak in a bowl 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water. This is plenty for 1 serving.
Bananas are not only delicious, but they contain potassium which replaces lost electrolytes in the body from sweating, and magnesium which helps balance plus regulate the fluids in your body. They’re also energising, which is an additional bonus if the hot weather is draining you.
Enjoy: homemade banana ice-cream by cutting slices of a peeled banana and freezing them in a tub for at least six hours. Then, pulse the frozen slices in a food processor until the banana has reached an ice-cream texture. You can add a little filtered water or coconut water (for extra deliciousness).
Drinking coconut water is a wonderful way to stay hydrated. It’s contains four times the amount of potassium as a banana, plus B-vitamins, electrolytes and magnesium. Make sure to buy 100% coconut water with no other added ingredients.
Enjoy: on its own, in smoothies or make coconut water ice cubes to add hydration to a glass of filtered water.
Watermelon is ideal for hydration, but if I’m honest it’s not my favourite melon to eat alone. If you feel the same or want to mix things up cantaloupe melon has a 90% water content.
Enjoy: cut up as a snack or for breakfast and in a fruit salad
This semi-aquatic plant is full of moisture and nutrient power.
Enjoy: Add this peppery flavoured superfood to all types of salads. Watercress tastes particularly delicious when combined with cucumbers, a touch of fennel and a sweet lime dressing – olive oil, lime, fresh mint and honey. Consider using sweet fruits, such as pear in a watercress salad to balance watercress’s peppery taste.
Top Tip: Remember to buy all your fruit and veggies as fresh as possible. Your local market probably sells some of the best produce to be found.
Here’s to a long, hot summer.