10 water-rich foods to help you stay hydrated

profile picture of Cecilia Jaarsma
Specialist Dietitian at Cromwell Hospital
05 May 2021
Next review due May 2024

Did you know that roughly two-thirds of your body is made up of water? So it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to help you stay well hydrated. But it’s not only drinks that can help you top up your fluid levels. Lots of fruit and vegetables are also great sources of water. In fact, around a fifth of your daily fluid intake comes from the foods you eat. Here I'll share 10 water-rich fruit and vegetables to consider including in your diet.

person juicing an orange

Cucumber, 96% water

Cucumbers are made up of around 96% water – that’s the highest water content of any food. They’re also low in calories, and a source of vitamins and fibre.

Tip: Add cucumber to your salads, snack on cucumber vegetable sticks with hummus or blend cucumber with mint and lime to make a refreshing drink.

Water rich foods - cucumber

Tomatoes, 95% water

Tomatoes are made up of about 95% water. Whether you enjoy small sweet cherry tomatoes, large juicy beef tomatoes or prefer your tomatoes on the vine – there’s a huge variety to choose from. Tomatoes are also a good source of Vitamin A, which is important for keeping your skin, eyes and immune system healthy.

Tip: Add tomato slices to a sandwich, salads or scramble them into eggs. Or make your own homemade pasta sauce by frying tomatoes with garlic and herbs. You can then blend and freeze them for another day.

Water rich foods - tomatoes

Spinach, 93% water

Spinach is made up of around 93% water, and is good for hydration. Spinach is also a good source of iron. Iron is essential for helping to transport oxygen around your body, and for keeping your immune system healthy.

Tip: Use spinach as the base of a fresh summer salad or add a handful to your smoothies. Make your own spinach and basil pesto, and freeze it in ice cube trays ready to add to wholemeal pasta dishes when needed. You can also buy bags of frozen spinach which are perfect for adding to soups, chillis and casseroles.

Water rich foods - spinach

Mushrooms, 92% water

Mushrooms are made up of roughly 92% water. They’re also a good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is important for your skin and nervous system. Vitamin B2 also helps to reduce tiredness and releases energy from the food you eat.

Tip: Fill two large portobello mushrooms with chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of low-fat cheese. Then cook in the oven to create a delicious pizza alternative with a rich meaty flavour. You can also add chopped mushrooms to bolognese, chillis, soups, stews and casseroles.

Water rich foods - mushrooms

Yellow melon, 91% water

It’s no surprise that yellow melons - like the honeydew variety - are made up of around 91% water. Melons are also low in calories and sugar, and a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to keep your blood pressure healthy and your nerves and muscles in good working order.

Tip: Cut a melon into triangles and top with berries to make melon pizza slices, or make colourful fruit kebabs using different varieties of melons.

green melon

Broccoli, 90% water

If you’re a fan of broccoli, you’ll be glad to hear that these florets are made up of around 90% water. Broccoli also contains lots of important nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, calcium and folic acid.

Tip: Try roasting broccoli with flaked almonds and sesame oil for a delicious nutty flavour. Or make a batch of warming broccoli and cheddar soup.

Water rich foods - broccoli

Brussel sprouts, 86% water

Love them or hate them, this Christmas dinner staple consists of an estimated 86% water. Brussel sprouts are a great source of folic acid (folate). This is essential for your body to make red blood cells, and important for the development of babies during pregnancy. Folic acid also helps your immune system to work well and reduces tiredness.

Tip: Give your vegetable stir-fry an extra boost by adding brussel sprouts to other traditional wok ingredients like peppers, pak choi and beansprouts.

Water rich foods - brussel sprouts

Oranges, 86% water

Oranges contain about 86% water. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, clementines and satsumas are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps look after your muscles, bones, tendons, arteries and skin. It also plays a part in making sure your immune and nervous systems work properly, and helps your body to absorb iron from food.

Tip: Peel and slice 2 oranges and 3 carrots and mix with rocket, avocado and olive oil to make a tangy carrot, orange and avocado salad. Or add orange segments to a fruit salad, and top with yoghurt and seeds. Don’t forget – one small glass of orange juice (150ml) also counts as one of your 5-a-day.

Water rich foods - oranges

Apples, 86% water

Apples are made up of roughly 86% water. So it’s no wonder that – as the saying goes – an apple a day helps to keep the doctor away. There are thousands of different varieties of apples grown all over the world. They’re also low in calories, and a source of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.

Tip: Cut an apple into slices and enjoy as a snack with a tablespoon of nut butter. Or stew them with cinnamon and pour them over porridge for a delicious warming breakfast.

Water rich foods - apples

Blueberries, 85% water

Blueberries have become a popular health food in recent years. As well as being a source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, blueberries are also about 85% water. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, which help to protect your cells from being damaged.

Tip: Pour a handful of blueberries over your morning cereal or add them to your smoothies. You can also enjoy them with some yoghurt and a sprinkling of chopped nuts and seeds for a delicious after-dinner treat.

Water rich foods - blueberries

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profile picture of Cecilia Jaarsma
Cecilia Jaarsma
Specialist Dietitian at Cromwell Hospital

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    • Folic acid. British Dietetic Association., updated August 2019

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