Staying Hydrated. What's at Stake:
Your hydration affects almost every aspect of your body's functions. Comprising a whopping 60 percent of your body weight, water helps transport oxygen, fat and glucose to your working muscles, regulates your body temperature, digests food and eliminates toxins. Besides water, certain fruits and vegetables also fulfill your fluid requirements, in addition to providing healthful nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Studies have proven that people who are consistently well-hydrated throughout their life live longer - YEARS longer - than their less water savvy counterparts.
Watermelon contains about 92 percent water per volume. Researchers have found that eating a serving of watermelon after a workout may help you hydrate twice as effectively as a glass of water. This is because the water-rich fruit also packs natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins that are lost in exercise.
Grapefruit boasts a remarkable 91 percent water per volume, making it about as effective as watermelon in the rehydration department. A serving of this fruit has been shown to hydrate you more effectively than water or sports drinks, replenishing your body without all the artificial colors and flavors commonly found in sports drinks.
Peaches hit the scale with about 88 percent water per volume, and they have the added benefit of being exceedingly portable. It's not hard to throw a peach in with your lunch and much on it at the office. Just be sure to bring a napkin! Peaches pack many of the same benefits as watermelon and grapefruit. Their high water content makes them low in calories but high in terms of the "feeling of fullness" that they provide. Even better, peaches are chock full of vitamin C and nutrients that promote healthy skin and reduce anxiety. In fact, peaches are often known as "the fruit of calmness."
TIPS: Looking for a few more water-packed options? Check out strawberries and cantaloupe!
Cucumbers hold an impressive 96 percent water per volume. If you're really looking to bump up your hydration, consider putting this vegetable together with a high-water content fruit. Cucumbers and watermelon make the ultimate hydration power couple.
Celery is the often touted veggie when it comes to minimal calories, but it might be more appropriately known as the rehydrator. Celery is composed of roughly 95 percent water, filling you up without weighing you down. A serving of celery (bonus: you can pretty much eat as much as you want here) can get your body's water systems moving again. Not a fan of celery? You can swap this veggie out for zucchini instead. Both have equal water contents, and their own unique health benefits.
Radishes also bring an impressive 95 percent water per volume to the table. On top of that, these veggies boost the immune system, support the health of connective tissue, blood vessels, and teeth, and protect against cancer. If you're worried about the spiciness of radishes, fear not. All you need to do is place these beauties on the grill, roast them in the oven, or add them to a soup. Cooking radishes brings out the texture and the nuttiness of the vegetable. Check out our recipe from this week here!
TIPS: Still not seeing something that wows? Go for lettuce, green and red cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, spinach, or broccoli. All of these veggies are high in water and filled with good-for-you nutrients.
When I'm grilling vegetables, I like to keep it simple. You'll see a lot of recipes out there that favor heavy spices or lots of oil, but by the time you've applied all that, you've almost completely lost the flavor of the original produce. To add a little zing to my meal, I add a splash of balsamic vinaigrette, and a bit of salt and pepper sprinkled over the top. Sometimes less really is more. Here are a few extra tips to get you going in the grilled-veggie department.
1. Grilled Asparagus
Look for fat spears to put on the grill—their meatiness works well with grilling and they're easier to manage on the grate (and less likely to fall through!). Grill until tender with grill marks, 8 to 10 minutes total.
2. Grilled Beets
Yes, you can grill beets! The hot fire of the grill brings out the earthy sweetness of beets with an added hint of smoky flavor and an almost candied coating. Slice the beets. In general, creating more surface area will help speed along the grilling process. Leave over heat until tender.
3. Grilled Cabbage
Cabbage is delicious grilled! The sweetness of the vegetable is drawn out, and the crispy, blackened edges give your meal a soft, crunchy texture. Cut the cabbage into wedges and either place them on skewers, or just directly on top of the grill. Cook for 10 to 15 min.
What can't you grill, really? Some of my other favorites include tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, spring onions, and certainly peppers! Any veggie you can imagine, it's probably delicious fresh off the grill. Just follow a few simple tips:
Otherwise, load up the grill with confidence, and when the veggies come off, just enjoy!
This delicious recipe includes one of our favorite, hydrating veggies. Not only do these pink-tinted beauties pack a zing, they fight free-radicals, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. You couldn't ask for much more from a dinner. Roast, eat, enjoy!
· 1 ½ pounds radishes, trimmed, scrubbed, and halved
· 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
· 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lime juice
· 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
· ½ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
· ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
· Pinch of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl toss radishes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the radishes in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan or a pre-heated cast iron skillet. Roast, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once.
2. For chive vinaigrette, in a screw-top jar combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the wine vinegar, chives, mustard, pepper, and salt. Drizzle vinaigrette over radishes; toss to coat.