Hydration is critically important for overall health and wellbeing because water is essential for virtually every function and process in the body.
That’s why doctors advise you to drink eight glasses of water (and healthy fluids) each day to maintain good health.
Dehydration can trigger a range of physical symptoms that closely resemble symptoms experienced during periods of anxiety or panic.
This may include:
- Increased heart rate. Dehydration can lead to a rapid heart rate (tachycardia). This increased heart rate can be mistaken for the heart palpitations often associated with anxiety or panic attacks.
- Dizziness. Dehydration can cause dizziness or light-headedness, which can be misinterpreted as symptoms of anxiety or panic.
- Muscle tension and cramps. Dehydration can result in muscle tension and cramps, particularly in the legs. These physical discomforts can be interpreted as physical manifestations of anxiety.
Given these physical symptoms, it's not uncommon for people who are dehydrated to misinterpret their body's signals as signs of anxiety or panic, which can, in turn, increase feelings of anxiety.
This can create a cycle where dehydration leads to heightened anxiety, and anxiety, in turn, can worsen dehydration as it often leads to increased sweating and fluid loss.
Therefore, staying properly hydrated supports not only your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing.
Water isn’t the only way to keep hydrated – water-rich foods like cucumbers and watermelons can also ramp up your hydration levels.
Struggle with drinking enough water? Keep reading to discover seven water-rich foods to add to your diet. As well as helping you meet your daily fluid requirements, these foods also provide your body with essential nutrients.
A popular among most people's kitchen ingredients, cucumbers hold the top position in the list of water-rich foods. The hydrating veggie is a great addition to salads and refreshing snacks for hot days.
Besides its content being more than 90 percent water, the cucumber is also packed with antioxidants helpful in maintaining overall wellbeing – from vitamin C to flavonoids and saponins in sea cucumbers.
Why not try pairing it with a dip such as hummus, tzatziki or guacamole?
At around 92% water content, biting into a juicy slice of watermelon can be incredibly hydrating! A classic summer fruit, it's rich in vitamins A and C and has plenty of natural sugars for energy.
Pair it with feta cheese for a super tasty snack! The saltiness of feta cheese complements the sweetness of watermelon beautifully.
Iceberg lettuce is known for being approximately 95% water. It has one of the highest water contents of all lettuce varieties, which makes it very refreshing and hydrating.
However, it's also relatively low in nutrients compared to other types of lettuce like romaine, leaf lettuce, or spinach. While iceberg lettuce can add crunch and hydration to salads and sandwiches, it's a good idea to also incorporate a variety of leafy greens into your diet to ensure you're getting a wider range of nutrients.
Berries are brimming with hydration thanks to their high water content. They're also bursting with nutrients like vitamin C and fiber, which make them superbly healthful snacks.
Furthermore, nutrients in berries such as flavonoids are believed to boost brain function and promote overall mental health.
Celery is about 95% water by weight.
Adding it to your diet can boost hydration and provide a considerable amount of fiber and minerals like potassium and vitamin K.
Its crisp texture and fresh flavor can significantly elevate salads or serve as a healthy, crunchy snack when paired with hummus or nut butter.
Oranges aren't just known for their signature tang – they're also about 86% water.
Eating oranges can offer a refreshing burst of hydration along with vitamin C to boost immunity. Just one medium-sized orange typically provides around 116% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C!
This fruit is also rich in fiber and contains various important minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Tomatoes have a water content of about 94%. They’re incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into your diet in various ways, from salads to sandwiches and sauces, to everyday snacks!
Tomatoes are also rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and the antioxidant lycopene.
Lycopene has been shown to provide some protection against UV radiation from the sun. While it's not a substitute for sunscreen, consuming tomatoes may help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage caused by UV rays.
The Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Beyond just quenching your thirst, staying hydrated plays an integral part in your overall wellbeing. Benefits of hydrating for better health include:
- Supports mental wellbeing. As mentioned in the introduction, dehydration symptoms can mimic anxiety and panic symptoms. Ensuring adequate hydration prevents you from experiencing these uncomfortable sensations.
- Sustained physical performance. When you’re well-hydrated, you perform better physically as dehydration can lead to reduced motivation and increased fatigue.
- Optimal brain function. Proper hydration ensures optimal brain functioning leading to better concentration, alertness, and short-term memory.
- Boosts skin health. Drinking enough water moisturizes your skin from within, giving it a healthy and radiant glow.
- Weight management. Hydration can aid weight management as drinking water potentially increases satiety and promotes metabolism.
- Flushes out toxins. Water aids the body's detoxification process by flushing out waste products from the cells and keeps kidneys healthy.
All these benefits underscore how crucial it is to drink enough water or consume water-rich foods daily for your health and overall wellbeing.
Staying hydrated is more than keeping thirst at bay. It's about nourishing your mind and body, maintaining your energy, and contributing to overall wellbeing.
Remember that both water and water-rich foods can work together to keep you hydrated.
Water-rich foods you may want to add to your diet include:
Stay healthy, stay hydrated!