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10 Summer time favorites to keep you hydrated

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:57 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:19 a.m. CDT

Everyone knows that drinking plenty of water is important, especially when you’re out in the summer sun. Water helps digest our food so it can provide us with energy, it helps to transport waste out of the body, and it is important in controlling body temperature. But if you’re one of those people who find it difficult to drink water, it’s good to know that up to 20 percent of our bodies total water needs comes from food. Many fruits and vegetables are comprised mostly of water. Here are 10 summer time favorites that will help keep you hydrated this summer, and because of their high water content, they’re also low in calories.

• Watermelon — 92 percent water. Nothing tastes better than cool, juicy watermelon on a hot day. Its very name suggests thirst quenching capability. A single large wedge contains 1 cup of water, providing all of the juice doesn’t drip down your elbows! Enjoy watermelon straight off the rind, or in a big bowl of fruit salad. For a refreshing flavor add chopped mint and squeeze of fresh lime juice to cut up watermelon.

• Strawberries — 90 percent water. While local berries aren’t available this time of year, strawberries are still plentiful in the grocery store. Add them to cereal or yogurt. Strawberries also make a great snack or a refreshing sweet treat at the end of a meal.

• Cantaloupe — 90 percent water. Like watermelon, this juicy melon is great off the rind for a healthy snack or make a quick lunch by slicing a small cantaloupe in half, removing the seeds and filling one half with low fat cottage cheese. Sprinkle the cottage cheese with granola for an extra treat.

• Peaches — 88 percent water. Ripe, juicy peaches are at their very best this time of year. Sliced or chopped peaches will discolor if not eaten right away. To prevent browning, squeeze in a little lemon juice.

• Cucumbers — 96 percent water. Swap crisp cucumber slices for the cheeses in your next sandwich for a healthy crunch.

• Tomatoes — 94 percent water. Red, ripe and juicy; just slice and eat. Use a serrated knife with a sawing motion to get uniform slices. Cherry tomatoes can be added to almost any summer salad.

• Zucchini — 95 percent water. They’ll soon be invading your garden and farmer’s market, why not put them to good use quenching your thirst? To get the benefits of all that water, add raw sliced zucchini to your next vegetable platter or cold pasta salad. With only 15 calories per cup, munch on raw zucchini for a healthy, low calorie snack.

• Salad Greens — 93 percent water. Not only are the greens high in water content, so are most of the other seasonal vegetables you can toss into your salad bowl, making cool summer salads hydrating and healthy.

•Broccoli and Cauliflower — 91% percent water. Wash and eat. How easy is that? Keep these vegetables on hand for a quick, on the go, summer snack.

To beat the heat, include plenty of these water packed fruits and vegetables for nutrition and hydration!

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