The “drink eight glasses of water a day” is a common recommendation that we’ve been hearing for years. We know it’s good for our bodies, and essential to maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin—but it can be difficult to make the 2 litre minimum a daily habit. Well, here’s the good news: many of the foods you’re already eating can help contribute to your water intake and keeping you hydrated.
Well, this one’s a no-brainer—water’s right there in the name! Even though it’s 92% water, watermelon is a great source vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant that can help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. On Jenny Craig 1 cup of watermelon equals 1 Fruit serve, and it can also be counted as a Limited Free Food, where ½ cup equals 1 Limited Free Food serve. For a refreshing savoury-sweet Limited Free Food snack, try placing ½ cup of sliced watermelon into a small bowl and mix through some chopped cucumber, torn fresh mint leaves and a splash of lime juice.
These have an even higher water content than watermelon. And, with less than 100 kilojoules per cup, they’re an excellent Free Food choice. Use sliced cucumber in place of chips for enjoying hummus or salsa. For an easy throw-together Free Food salad, chop one medium-sized cucumber into slices and mix together with ⅓ cup of halved cherry tomatoes, ½ finely sliced red onion, 1 tsp of dill and 1 tbsp. of lemon juice.
Most salad greens are more than 90% water and extremely low in kilojoules. Typically, darker greens are higher in nutrients; spinach and cos lettuce are high in vitamin C, folate and the phytonutrient beta carotene, which helps support healthy eyes and skin. Leafy greens are a Free Food on Jenny Craig, so you can enjoy all the hydrating nutrition you want!
Legumes are also an uncommon source of water; one cup of cooked kidney beans, pinto beans or chickpeas is literally more than HALF water! They’re also a great source of carbohydrate, fibre and protein, which helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer and supports balanced blood sugar levels. On Jenny Craig legumes can be counted as both a Grain and a Meat serve (because they are high in both carbohydrate and protein), where ½ cup equals 1 Grain serve and ⅓ cup equals 1 Meat serve.
While these foods can be a great way to support your water intake, it’s still important to keep drinking water everyday to keep your body hydrated, particularly during the summer months. Food provides only about 20% of the fluid that our body needs, so it’s important to keep that glass or drink bottle of water close by! If drinking plain water isn’t your thing, you can also mix it up and get creative by infusing your water, and drinking herbal teas or soda water.