We often hear how important is to stay hydrated. But what really is hydration? It’s our body’s balance of fluid and electrolytes. On average, almost half our body weight is water. Electrolytes are charged particles found in our fluids along with other molecules. Some important electrolytes to know are potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate.
We are constantly losing fluids when we speak, breath, get sick, dance to our favorite music, and sweat while being outside during those hot summer months. Dehydration might lead to a feeling of exhaustion, weakness, muscle cramps, etc. Since we are constantly losing hydration, it’s important to maintain a balance by consuming throughout the day.
Everyone has different hydration needs, because it is dependent on our various lifestyles and activities. Get creative and make your own infused water. It’s a great affordable and healthy way to get fluids and electrolytes naturally. Have fun designing flavors with various herbs, or cutting shapes in fruits and vegetables available fresh at the Spinney Hill Farmer’s Market.
A great way to encourage the body to stay hydrated is eating well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain a wealth of water and electrolytes.
Cucumbers are plentiful during this time of year. They contain a good amount of magnesium and potassium. These minerals are essential in the right balance for healthy heart, nerve, and muscle tissue function. Kirby cucumbers make for great home made pickles. Their mild flavor pairs well with various salad ingredients. They complement sweet and savory flavors. Look for a firm cucumber with a nice green color. Cut off the ends and remove seeds for a more tender serving. Infuse water with fresh, thinly sliced cucumber and various citrus fruits and herbs. Cucumbers make a great base for smoothies, and can be juiced as a refreshing beverage.
Watermelon, a bright red fruit offers vitamin C, vitamin A, as well as a generous serving of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Phosphorus is part of our DNA and RNA, in addition to playing a roll in phospholipids. A watermelon ready to be picked will have a yellow spot and heavy for size. Roasting the seeds and tossing them with olive oil and seasoning can also offer up a small bit of iron.
Here’s a perfect hydrating summer salad recipe to share at your next outdoor BBQ!