Eat to lose: Water-rich foods

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    “If you want to lose weight, drink water before, during and after a meal.” This was one of the most popular diet tricks practiced by my mother’s friends when I was growing up in the 70s. Their idea of eating to lose consisted of drinking more water in order to eat less. But, did it work? No. Studies show that drinking water with meals is not an effective way to lose weight. Eating more water-rich foods, however, can help reduce those calories and will help you feel more energized.

    Fruits and vegetables high in water are also low in calories and makes us feel full and satisfied eating less. Our diet automatically improves because we are eating healthy calories packed with enzymes and nutrients.

    Why water-rich foods are good for your health?

    Water-rich fruits and vegetables offer the same benefits as water, plus a few more. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables with high-water content:

    • It’s a diet rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
    • It keeps the body hydrated, preventing tiredness and fatigue.
    • It helps to flush waste and toxins out of the body. Water-rich foods are popular in detoxing and cleansing diets.
    • It reduces water retention.
    • It decreases the need for insulin in the body.

    What water-rich foods should I eat?

    Most water-rich foods include fruits and vegetables with about 85 to 98 percent of water. Here is a list of some of the best ones:

    Vegetables with a water content of 90 percent or more

    • Bell pepper
    • Broccoli
    • Celery
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Pumpkin
    • Radish
    • Spinach
    • Tomato
    • Zucchini

    Fruits with a water content of 85 percent or more

    • Apricot
    • Blueberry
    • Cantaloupe
    • Grapefruit
    • Orange
    • Pineapple
    • Strawberry
    • Watermelon

    Water-rich recipes in the Latino diet

    The most delicious water-rich recipe in the Latino diet is gazpacho, the traditional Spanish cold tomato soup. My fellow food blogger, Laura Carbonell, makes a delicious one that is completely authentic. If you want to prepare a water-rich meal Spanish-style try her recipe.

    You can also taste my variation of the traditional tomato gazpacho, prepared with the top water-rich vegetable: cucumber.

    Cucumber and avocado gazpacho

    Ingredients

    Water-rich foods, watermelon gazpacho

    Watermelon Gazpacho made with cucumbers, watermelon, yellow peppers and garnished with fresh thyme. (Shutterstock)

    • 6 cucumbers, seeded, peeled and chopped
    • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 1/ 4 cup mint, finely chopped (extra for garnish)
    • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (extra for garnish)
    • 1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
    • 6-10 almonds
    • salt to taste

    Optional ingredients:
    Beets, watermelon, celery and tomatoes.

    Directions

    Place cucumbers, avocado, onions, green bell pepper and garlic in blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth.

    Add olive oil and white vinegar and blend. Add mint, cilantro, basil and almonds. Puree again until very smooth. Season to taste and mix.

    Transfer the soup to a bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with almonds, fresh mint leaves, avocado and cilantro.

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