We’re entering some of the longest, hottest, sweatiest days of the year. And while you should be drinking more water to stay hydrated, there are a variety of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content and can also give you much needed energy to make it through these steamy days.
Here are several fruits and vegetables that you should grab on your next trip to the store, as well as some ideas on how to incorporate them into your daily meals.
The water content in cucumbers is 96% — the highest of any solid food. They’re also in season in summertime, meaning you or someone you know has a cucumber plant that’s producing quite well this time of year.
- Try this healthy Greek-style cucumber salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes and feta. You can even add cubes of watermelon (learn more about that fruit below).
- Asian-style cucumber salads are all the rage on TikTok, incorporating an accordion-like cutting technique for the cucumbers that makes them fun to eat and pretty to display.
- There are lots of variations on quick pickled cucumbers, like this one. But from our experience, dousing sliced cucumbers with your favorite type of vinegar plus salt and pepper will do the trick and keep in the fridge for a week.
The hint is in the name — this melon is about 92% water. It’s also sweet, delicious and adds a pop of color to any summertime dish.
- Make a simple watermelon smoothie with lime juice and water or add cucumber for a doubly refreshing smoothie.
- Get the kids involved with assembling a watermelon pizza topped with yogurt and fresh fruit.
- Perfect for topping tacos or serving with tortilla chips, this watermelon salsa recipe is loaded with color and flavor.
Zucchini and Summer Squash
The good news is that whether you eat zucchini and squash raw or cooked, they still retain their water content, which is at around 94%.
- Cut them length-wise and put them on the grill for an easy and savory summer side dish. Try this recipe.
- Make zucchini noodles and eat them raw or cooked in this zesty zucchini pesto pasta recipe.
- Another fun dish to make for the family: Zucchini pizza boats loaded with pepperoni, cheese and tomatoes.
You’d be surprised to know that tomatoes have the highest water content of any fruit at 94%. All the more reason to add it to your summer menu.
- Make a refreshing tomato gazpacho using this recipe that comes with the stamp of the American Heart Association.
- Wow your dinner guests with a fresh tomato and mozzarella Caprese salad. You can layer it for a pretty presentation like this recipe does, or chop your ingredients for a Caprese salad bowl.
- Avoid the heat of the stove with this no-cook summer tomato sauce.
Not only are strawberries 92% water, they are also loaded with fiber and Vitamin C. They are perfect for snacking but can easily be added to a variety of refreshing dishes.
- Start your day — or start your brunch — with a simple strawberry-avocado toast.
- Use an immersion blender to get the right consistency on this strawberry basil lemonade.
- Sliced strawberries are the star of this salad recipe, but it also features spinach, which (surprise!) is also 92% water.
Remember that just eating fruits and vegetables like these aren’t enough to keep you hydrated this summer. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Pro tip: Hydration is important for your digestive and colon health, too. Hear from two of our colorectal surgeons about the importance of hydration to your colorectal health.