With temperatures and the heat index climbing into the extreme ranges, the topic of hydration is a "hot" one.
Water is essential for life. Water comprises from 75% body weight in infants to 55% in elderly. Water, or its lack (dehydration), can influence the following;
Gastrointestinal function (Constipation)
Heart and kidney function
And while many chronic diseases have several contributing factors, there is evidence that mild dehydration may play a role.
Despite its importance in health and nutrition, however, available research for determining requirements for water or fluid intake is limited [compared to most other nutrients]. Water needs vary from person to person based on differences in metabolism, environmental conditions, and activities. Additionally, when we speak of water and educate our clients on proper hydration, we need to consider that we get water not only directly as a beverage but from food. In the United States it is estimated that about 22% of water comes from our food intake. Being hydrated means the water you consume from beverages and foods is in balance with the water your body loses from perspiration, respiration, elimination, and other body processes.
Water Content Range for Selected Foods
Google "hydration salad" and the results seem endless. These salads include a variety of combinations of “hydrating” foods such as melon, lettuce, cucumbers, papaya, yogurt, oranges and strawberries, which contribute to fluid intake. Get creative in the kitchen this summer concocting your own hydration salad, kabob, smoothie, or popsicle—a delicious, no-cook meal or snack to keep you refreshed. Fresh herbs like mint and basil are perfect for jazzing up these ingredients. Additionally, eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories.
WATERMELON VIDALIA ONION SALAD
7 cups cubed Georgia Watermelon
1 cup thinly sliced Vidalia Onion
1 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and toss. Serve immediately.
Makes about 6 servings
Featured on Meals from the Field- http://www.gfb.org/recipes/default.html
- Contributed by Kelly Schriver, MS RDN LD, Georgia Academy Executive Director