Importance of Water-Rich Foods

18 Mar 2019
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Water has been identified as a vital nutrient in recent times, the nutritional importance of which has remained elusive among the nutrition fraternity due to its ubiquitous nature. Water intake has been stressed upon of late, as its usage has dropped considerably among urban Indians due to hectic lifestyles and erratic work routines. Decreased water intake has a contributing role to play in increasing incidences of obesity, renal stone disorders, cancers, etc. due to the fact that the busy working Indian opts for sweetened, caffeinated, carbonated or synthetic beverages over plain water.

Plain water has never been too appealing to convince people of increasing its intake, despite its numerous health benefits. It’s often the case with most of us and having it just skips the mind. And when we diligently count the number of glasses we drink per day, we may be amazed to find that most of the times it never exceeds beyond 4-5 glasses!!!

Is there a healthy, appealing alternative to this?? Is there a way by which we can ensure that we can fill ourselves with an adequate amount of fluids at the same time provide nutrition to our body??

There is a novel way to induce people to up their fluid intake, apart from drinking plain water. There are several foods called water-rich foods which have water as the major component.

Water-rich foods comprise mainly of fruits and vegetables, which are oozing with antioxidants, vitamins and mineral-rich juices. Staying hydrated doesn't just have to mean drinking a lot of water— try eating some of these water-rich fruits and veggies! They are nature's unique gifts which provide the dual benefit of hydration as well as nutrition to the body, that few of the other foods do.

With summer around the corner, dehydration is not an uncommon Phenomenon in a tropical country like India. The human body is about 66 percent water, so it’s easy to see water and hydration play

such a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling, and elimination. It’s just as important at the office or home as it is at the gym. And proper hydration does more than just keep you from getting thirsty. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated.

The ideal water intake varies based on a person's age and level of activity. An approximate calculation of water intake is estimated as being 1 litre for every 25 kgs of weight. Considering this, it is 2.5 to 3 litres for people weighing around 60-70 kgs leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Here are a list of fruits and vegetables which are loaded with fluids as well as vitamins and antioxidants:

Fruits

Percentage of Water

Watermelon

92

Oranges

87

Peach

86

Apple

84

Grapes

81

 

Vegetables

Percentage of Water

Cucumber

95

Tomato

94

Green Cabbage

93

Spinach

92

Broccoli

91

 

It differs to 3 to 3.5 litres for the same age group leading a moderately active lifestyle.

Other Benefits

• Water-rich foods also function as detox agents, which help in cleansing the body of the accumulated toxins through various metabolic processes.

• Foods low in water, mainly protein and fat-rich foods like meat and meat products, cheese, nuts and oilseeds, etc. require high amounts of water to be metabolised and excreted which can be done effectively by incorporating fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Water rich foods also help prevent tiredness and fatigue as they contains a good amount of fructose and fibre which maintains a steady flow of sugar in the bloodstream.

• They help a great deal in controlling insulin secretion diabetics, hence preventing the occurrence of hyperinsulinemia.

Ways of Incorporating Water-Rich Foods In The Diet

• Excellent as a mid-meal snack or as brunch (especially fruits).  

• Appetizer as salads or soups before main meals.

• A good ingredient for evening snacks of chaats or bhels.

• As an accompaniment with breakfast or as a bedtime meal.

• Refreshing chilled juices during summers.

 

Refreshing Lemony Melon (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

3 slices of watermelon

1 cup cold water

2 teaspoons lime juice

4 sprigs of mint leaves

1 cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Method:

Place the watermelon and mint leaves in a blender and puree until smooth. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer this to a pitcher or bowl, add lemon juice, cinnamon powder and cold water. Stir well to combine and pour into a serving glass, top it with ice cubes and garnish with a lemon slice. Serve immediately.

 

Cool Cucumber Saga (Serves 4)

Ingredients

3 large cucumbers

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

1 cup water

2 large (or 3 medium) lemons

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Method:

Slice the lemons very thin and, in a bowl, mix with sugar. Mash with a potato masher until a thick syrup forms. Strain into a pitcher, pressing the lemons to extract as much juice as possible. Peel and chop the cucumbers and puree with mint leaves. Strain this mixture into the pitcher as well. Add water and sugar to taste. Serve over ice with cucumber slices or rosemary sprigs as garnish.

 



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