What to eat to beat the heat: 15 foods with high water content

Stock up on these high-water fruits and vegetables now to stay hydrated [Photos: Getty]
Stock up on these high-water fruits and vegetables now to stay hydrated [Photos: Getty]

In case you weren’t aware: Britain is blimmin’ boiling at the moment. With the extreme heatwave we’ve been experiencing, it’s important too take care of your health, whether than means reapplying the sunscreen hourly or looking in the toilet bowl to check your dehydration levels.

Dehydration is more prevalent than ever, so taking steps to keep your water-levels up could save you from experiencing symptoms like fatigue and nausea. But there’s more to it than glugging a load of water: if you want to ensure your body is running at its optimum hydration, you should consider what you’re eating.

While the temptation to eat 25 Magnums a day is strong, the best way to cool your body through food is to eat foods with a high water content.

So, which foods should you be packing in your beach bag?

It will come as no surprise that watermelon contains a hell of a lot of, well, water – 91.5 percent, in fact. But the food with the highest water content – of any solid food – is cucumber.

The green veg is so water-packed that it is made up of 96.7 percent water (read: a lot), so stock up on cucumbers for your next summer shop.

Following closely behind is Iceberg lettuce, which contains 95.6% water. Use the hydrating lettuce in Caesar salads, chicken sandwiches or grilled for a delicious barbecue side dish.

Here are the 15 most hydrating foods according to their water content, via Health.com:

  • Cucumber 96.7%

  • Iceberg lettuce 95.6%

  • Celery 95.4%

  • Radishes 95.3%

  • Tomatos 94.5%

  • Green peppers 93.9%

  • Cauliflower 92.1%

  • Watermelons 91.5% water

  • Spinach 91.4% water

  • Star fruit 91.4% water

  • Strawberries 91.0%

  • Broccolli 90.7%

  • Grapefruit 90.5%

  • Baby carrots 90.5%

  • Cantaloupe 90.2%

What about the foods to avoid in the heatwave?

To rule is to avoid food that take more effort to digest, such as foods high in protein, fibre, sugar and highly processed foods like bread, pastries and doughnuts.

As your body works to digest these foods, it will generate more heat.

It’s also not surprising that spicy foods will up your body temperature, so avoid curries and chillis during the hot period.

Ice cream might be doing us more harm than good in the heat. [Photo: Getty]
Ice cream might be doing us more harm than good in the heat. [Photo: Getty]

However, one food you might be shocked to learn to avoid is ice cream.

Sure, it might seem logical to eat cool foods when it’s hot out but ice cream could actually heat you up more.

This works because the digestive process has to work harder when you eat calorie-rich foods like ice cream, and this will lead to an increase in body temperature.

So there you have it: swap out the ice cream for cucumber to stay cool this heatwave. And you never know: your waistline might thank you, too.

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