How much water do we really need – and which foods are the best sources of water?

Hydration is one of the few primary needs of human beings – there’s no substitute for it. Water is vital for transporting nutrients around the body, removing waste products, and regulating body temperature. It also acts as a shock absorber and lubricant for the joints and eyes.

We get up to 20% of our fluid from food, but most comes from drink. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day.

There are many fruits and vegetables which can help soothe a thirsty body, though. Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food (97%), so are one of the most hydrating vegetables you can eat. Lettuce and radishes, too, are made up of more than 95% water. Grapefruit (87% water) and watermelon are obvious (92%) while the cauliflower might surprise you (92%). If you like carrots, go for the baby version rather than the full-size – the former contain 2% more water at 90%.


Images: Joe Cheng and Rebecca Siegel at Flickr Creative Commons

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