14 Water-Rich Vegetables That Help You Stay Hydrated | Summer Veggies With High Water Content

14 Water-Rich Vegetables That Help You Stay Hydrated | Summer Veggies With High Water Content

Human body is made up of about 70% water, and it needs this water-balance to be maintained, in order to perform its various functions. So we need to continuously replenish the water we lose in summers, because otherwise, we can suffer from dehydration, a serious condition that can cause various health problems, such as headaches, tiredness, confusion, irritability, constipation, dizziness, fainting, and even death.

With temperature already over 40 degrees Celsius, it is peak summers here in India. Even indoors, in the afternoons, it feels like we'll just evaporate! No matter how much water we drink, we are still thirsty! That is why, we need to include water-rich foods also, in our daily meals during summer. Luckily for us, we have plenty of high water content fruits and vegetables available in summers, to keep us hydrated and refreshed.

While fruits are more preferred by most, because we can eat them raw, or make cool summer juices, smoothies, and shakes with them, there are many of us who can't eat that much sugar on a daily basis. Not even the natural sugar in fruits. For them, we have a huge variety of water-rich vegetables, many of which have even higher water content than fruits.

Here's a list of 14 summer vegetables, with the highest water content, to help you beat the heat and stay hydrated during these scorching summers.

14 Water-Rich Vegetables That Help You Stay Hydrated In Summers

  1. Cucumber

    Cucumbers are an excellent source of water during summers. With around 96% water content, they are low in calories and rich in nutrients, like Vitamin A, C, K and folic acid, and a storehouse of minerals, like Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. They promote weight loss and bowel regularity, may lower blood sugar, are high on antioxidants, and good for the skin. Their skins are a rich source of fiber. And they are super easy to eat. Their cool, crunchy, juicy taste is very appealing in summers.

  2. Bottle Gourd

    Bottle Gourd, or lauki or doodhi, as it is known in India, is considered by some to be a "magic food". With 96% water content, this humble vegetable has many health benefits. Its high water content, fiber, and alkali content, help in relieving constipation and acidity. It helps fight inflammation of the liver and kidneys, has an overall cooling effect on the body, and keeps your heart healthy. It is a natural detox food, promotes weight loss, reduces stress, helps in treating insomnia, and prevents premature graying of hair. Bottle Gourd can be taken in the form of juice, or soup or cooked as a dish. For the more adventurous, here's my Bottle Gourd (Lauki) Kofta Curry Recipe.

  3. Lettuce

    Lettuce is the leafy green thing you'll find in your burger or salad when you eat out. Made up of 96% water, it is crunchy, refreshing, and has a neutral taste. It is not so rich on fiber, but has significant amounts of Vitamins A, K, and C, and also Potassium, Calcium and Folate. Adding lettuce to your daily meals is easy. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and toss into your favorite salad, or throw a couple of leaves in your sandwich. It can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a week, loosely bagged in plastic. If wilted, soak in ice water for about 15 minutes to make it crisp again.

  4. Celery

    Celery is a marshland plant, with fibrous stalk that tapers into leaves. With about 95% water, celery is an excellent source of dietary fiber, and a storehouse of a wide-variety of minerals and vitamins. It helps to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, promotes Urinary Tract health, improves heart health and immunity, detoxifies the body, and has anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer effects, as per this study. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22320960) Add it easily to your salads and soups. Note: Celery is NOT recommended in pregnancy.

  5. Radish

    Radishes are a root crop, available in various shapes and colors (white, red, black, purple). With about 95% water content, radishes can be juicy, sweet or pungent in taste. They are rich in a lot of nutrients, including the B-Vitamins (thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B6). They are good for stomach and liver, are natural detoxifiers, promote immunity, and help relieve symptoms of piles/hemorrhoids. They are diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-congestive and anti-carcinogenic. Radishes may be eaten raw, or pickled, or cooked.

  6. Zucchini

    Zucchini is a summer squash that can grow up to 1 meter long, but is usually harvested at about 20cm. With about 95% water, zucchini is rich in fiber and contains zero fat. It has significant amounts of Vitamins C, K, B6, Folate, riboflavin, and minerals, like Potassium and Manganese. It has good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and assists weight loss by keeping you full on hardly any calories. You can eat it raw, sliced or shredded in your salad, or you can cook it. Try to avoid storing it in the refrigerator for more than 3 days, as it can't stand cold temperatures.

  7. Tomatoes

    With 95% water, minimal carbs and calories, tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, K1, Potassium and Folate. Knowledge about their laxative properties has been passed down to us through generations. Their vibrant color and flavor can turn the most boring food into a mouth-watering delicacy. Tomatoes are such a vital part of our kitchen that I can't imagine a single day without eating tomatoes in some form or the other. Salads, soups, sauces, chutneys, lunji, curry, sandwiches, bhelpuri... the list is endless!

  8. Bell Peppers

    Sweet bell peppers, or capsicums, contain up to 94% water, and are also an excellent vegetarian source of Vitamins C, A, E, K1, B6, Folate and Potassium. Available in different colors (green, red, yellow, orange, purple), most of their calories come from carbs. Green ones are the unripe variety. So they are not as sweet in flavor as the rest, and are also cheaper than the other colors. Bell peppers are especially good for skin and eye health. They can be eaten raw (finely chopped/shredded in salads) or cooked. Here's one of my favorite recipes for bell peppers... Stuffed Capsicum in Microwave.

  9. Cabbage

    Cabbage has been one of my favorite vegetables for the last 2-3 years. Earlier, we used to get it only during winters, but now it's available practically all the year round. With 93% water content, cabbage is amazing for weight loss. It is extremely low in fat and calories, and a storehouse of Vitamins C, K, B1, B5, B6, and minerals like Potassium, Iron, Manganese and Magnesium. A natural antioxidant, cabbage helps reduce inflammation and improves immunity. I find it a bit too chewy eaten raw in salad, but I love it cooked (stir-fried, or in soups or various dishes), or even as sauerkraut.

  10. Okra

    Known as Lady Finger or bhindi in India, Okra is also a high water content summer vegetable, with about 93% water. This green, finger-shaped vegetable, with a mild taste and characteristic viscous juice, is another good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects on our body. It promotes heart health and gastrointestinal health. Fresh okra has a slight fuzz on the outside surface. It should be stored dry, and can be cooked in different ways. Most people don't like its slimy texture after cooking, but that can be avoided by cooking it without a lid, or in a microwave oven. Here's my recipe for Microwave Bhindi/Okra.

  11. Cauliflower

    Cauliflower is yet another nutrient-packed vegetable with about 92% water. Until a few years ago, it was not to be seen in the Indian vegetable markets after Holi. But now, we get it for quite a few months into the summers as well. Cauliflower is a weight-loss friendly, high-fiber food, that promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. It is a good source of antioxidants and can serve as a low-carb alternative to legumes and grains. It can be steamed, boiled, baked, roasted, stir-fried, stuffed, and even deep-fried as cauliflower fritters. You can grate it, to make cauliflower rice, or replace your mashed potatoes with cauliflower mash.

  12. Spinach

    Popeye's super-food, spinach, needs no introduction. We all know that this leafy-green vegetable is loaded with proteins, vitamins and minerals, especially iron. Spinach is, presumably, the richest vegan source of iron. But with 92% water content, it is also an excellent hydrating vegetable in summers. That is, if you can find it in decent quality in summers. I mostly get wilted/wet spinach here, which rots very quickly, so I avoid them in summers. Crisp, dry ones, like in the picture, are the best. Make soups, smoothies, dips, and fritters. Eat spinach raw, or sautéed, or cooked. Make spinach white sauce, and add it to your pasta or noodles or rice. Or make the popular Indian dish palak-paneer.

  13. Eggplant

    Eggplant, or aubergine, or brinjal, or baigan, as it is known in India, is another summer vegetable with about 92% water content. Low-fat, high-fiber, good source of Vitamins B1 and B6, and Potassium, Copper, Magnesium and Manganese, eggplants help manage weight and cholesterol levels, and are good antioxidants. They are a highly versatile food. Can be easily stewed or roasted or stuffed or baked. My personal favorite eggplant recipes are baigan ka bharta (roasted, peeled, mashed eggplants) and baigan ke pakode (eggplant fritters).

  14. Broccoli

    Broccoli belongs to the same plant group as cauliflower and cabbage. I personally don't like it, because it looks like a fungus-ridden cauliflower to me. But, it has some amazing health benefits too, along with roughly 90% water content. Until a few years ago, I had never seen Broccoli in India, but now, it is quite common at most vegetable shops. Rich in a wide variety of Vitamins and minerals, and also in omega-3 fatty acids, broccoli aids in digestion, prevents chronic diseases, and reduces allergies. It boosts metabolism and immunity, and has anti-inflammatory and detox effects on our body. Like cauliflower, broccoli can also be steamed, roasted, boiled or sautéed. Add it to your soups, salads, stews and curries.

14 Water-Rich Vegetables That Help You Stay Hydrated | Summer Veggies With High Water Content
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So this was my list of the top 14 high water content vegetables. Make these summer veggies a part of your daily diet, and they will help you stay hydrated and fresh. Note: Most of these water-rich vegetables are also a rich source of Vitamin K, which can interfere with your anticoagulant medicines. So please consult your doctor, if you are on blood-thinner medication, before taking these. Which of these do you include in your regular meals during the summers? Which ones are your favorite from this list? How do you like to eat them?

I share food tips, ideas, stories, and recipes, every Friday. You can sign-up for my FREE Weekly Newsletter below to receive them directly in your inbox.
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