Hydrating Recipes for the Summer Heat

— Written By Alyssa Anderson
en Español / em Português

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It is the time of year where heat and humidity are high. Even a few minutes outside can leave you feeling thirsty, which makes it an especially important time to think about hydration. It is best to take a preventative approach when it comes to staying hydrated because by the time you are thirsty, you may already be experiencing other symptoms of dehydration.

There is no one size fits all approach to staying hydrated because needs are different between people and are influenced by many different factors. For instance, air temperature, humidity, activity, age, weight, and certain health conditions all impact how much water your body needs. The best way to keep hydrated is by drinking water. However, foods can also be a great source of extra water! Especially foods like fruits and vegetables. Whether on their own or included in a dish, these refreshing foods are also are full of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that help to nourish the body. Try some of these foods and recipes to help stay hydrated this summer!

Melons: Cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew all come to mind when I think of summer. All have a water content of around 90%, making them a great food to eat during the heat. Melon and feta salads are full flavor with a sweet and salty taste. To make this, try mixing your choice of melon with fresh feta cheese, chopped mint leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, lime juice, and a dash of ground pepper.

Cucumbers: Local and home-grown cucumbers are a great summer staple. Cucumbers are almost entirely water with a water content of about 95%. This high-water content also makes them a great way to add bulk to a recipe while keeping the total calorie content low. Cucumber gazpacho soup is a delicious way to cool off on a hot day. Many variations of this recipe exist which makes it easy to adapt to your taste preferences! Simply blend and chill a variety of ingredients such as garlic, jalapeno peppers, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, Greek yogurt, sour cream, and olive oil.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are full of flavor and nutrients! Tomatoes have a water content of about 94%. Fresh chopped salsas are a great way to enjoy them during the summer months. Simply mix chopped onion, cilantro, and tomatoes together with a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of salt and pepper. Want to mix up the flavor? Try adding some cucumbers or melons to the mix!

Additional fruits and vegetables that are high in water include strawberries, peaches, zucchini, celery, and peppers. If you would like more ideas on flavorful recipes that use fresh fruits and vegetables, visit medinsteadofmeds.com.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s goal is to provide the residents of the community with research-based knowledge. For more information on food safety, wellness, and nutrition in Lee County please contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Alyssa Anderson, MS, RDN, LDN, at 919-775-5624.