19 Foods That Will Quench Your Thirst

Bored with water? Beat the intense summer heat with seasonal fruits and vegetables that are not only healthy, but also high in water content.

August 3, 2011

Heat got you off balance? A bowl full of tomatoes can be just as hydrating as a glass of water.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—We're officially knee-deep in the dog days of August, and yet another heat wave is making its way across the country. At this point, you've probably tried every way possible to stay cool, including drinking far more than that recommended eight glasses of water per day. Drinking water is certainly a healthy way to stay hydrated, much more so than sugary sodas or sports drinks, but if you're starting to get bored with all that H2O, you may be surprised to find that you don't really need to get all your water from, well, water. For most of us, food (usually fruits and vegetables) makes up 20 percent of our total water intake, because some fruits and vegetables contain more than 90 percent water by weight. When you start to feel the need for a little variety, along with a heavy dose of water, try one of these 19 fruits and veggies that have a high water content.


Watermelon: Its very name should clue you in that watermelon is 93 percent water. You don’t always have to eat your watermelon straight off the rind. In fact, there are tons of recipes that incorporate watermelon as part of the main dish. And if it's hot out, try freezing it in a tasty watermelon granita.

Cucumber: Along with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers contain more water per serving than any other vegetable—96 percent. Eating cucumber raw is the best way to get all that fluid into your body, so use cukes as crudité alongside your favorite homemade dips or in one of these cucumber recipes.

Zucchini: They’re invading your garden and local farmer's markets this time of year. Why not put them to good use quenching your thirst? Zucchini is 95 percent water, but most of us eat this squash cooked, and you lose a lot of the water content with roasting or sautéing. To get the benefits of all that water, shred some raw zucchini into a salad, or try eating it as crudité, the way you would cucumber. Some people even use raw zucchini as the "pasta" in pasta salads. The upshot? Thinly slice your zucchini to make ribbons, and then add whatever you like!

Radishes: Probably not a very common vegetable on your shopping list, radishes contain 95 percent water and are in season now, too. Need some dinner ideas? Try this recipe for Brown Rice Salad with Radishes and Snow Peas, which contains other water-filled foods like cucumbers, celery, and red bell peppers.

Salads: Speaking of salads, most ingredients you toss into your salad bowl contain enough water to equal at least a few glasses, from the greens themselves (iceberg lettuce, 96 percent, and spinach, 92 percent) to seasonal toppings like tomatoes (94 percent) and sweet bell peppers (91 percent). If you prefer coleslaw, add extra red cabbage (92 percent) and carrots (87 percent). Or combine all your favorite fruits in one summery fruit salad. Among "nature's candy," the real thirst quenchers (behind watermelon, of course) are:

Strawberries (92 percent water)
Grapefruit (91 percent)
Cantaloupe (90 percent)
Peaches (89 percent)
Raspberries (87 percent)
Pineapples (87 percent)
Apricots (86 percent)
Blueberries (85 percent)