You ate a healthy breakfast and an hour later, you’re ready for lunch. Is it hunger, boredom or are you just thirsty?
Being thirsty can disguise itself as hunger, so before you reach for a snack or another serving, chew on this. Your ‘starvation’ may be dehydration. In addition to drinking at least 2 liters of water per day, eating a diet rich in foods that will keep you hydrated and satisfy your hunger is essential for ensuring those afternoon sugar cravings don’t get the best of you. Here are some foods and serving ideas that will help you feel hydrated and satisfy your hunger.
With a water content of 95%, a cup of cucumbers provides a refreshing way to stay hydrated with the food you eat. Cucumbers also provide 6% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Try using cucumbers as a dipper for hummus, in your water, or in your green smoothies.
Dark, green and leafy to quench your thirst
The health benefits of eating leafy greens are endless. Not only are they low in calories (2 cups of salad greens are approximately 15 calories), but they are also more than 90% water. Adding leafy greens to your salads, stir-frys and smoothies are easy ways to increase your water intake and reap the benefits of eating lotsa’ green veggies.
Did you know strawberries have the most vitamin C of all berries? They also provide folate which promotes the healthy growth of new cells, are 91% water and are considered a low glycemic fruit, so if you’re diabetic or watching your sugar intake, you can still enjoy them. You can eat them whole or cut them up into a smoothie or salad.
Watermelon is 92% water and contains an antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene can help protect against heart disease so you can rest assured that you’re not only staying hydrated by eating watermelon but you’ll also get a healthy dose of antioxidants. Try watermelon in a salad with leafy greens, mint, a balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of feta for a tasty twist. Look for yellow and orange varieties of watermelon and see if your friends can figure out what you’re eating!
You can stalk me, celery…
Celery is 94.5% water and, like the foods above, are very low in calories at just 6 per stalk. With a healthy dose of fiber in each serving, celery will also keep you fuller longer. Other benefits of eating celery include its natural ability to neutralize stomach acids, which can help relieve heartburn and acid reflux. Try celery in a green smoothie or with your favorite nut butter.
Peppers ring my bell every time…
Containing 92% water, bell peppers pack an extra punch as they’re rich in vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, and folic acid. Just like with cucumbers, you could cut mini bell peppers in half and fill with hummus or guacamole, enjoy waw in a salad or, cut in half and bake for 30 minutes before stuffing with a healthy combination of grains and protein.
Eating a variety of the hydrating foods here will help you stay satisfied and help to satiate your hunger so you’re more likely to make consistently healthy food choices. Before you enjoy your fresh fruit and veggies, be sure to wash them with our award-winning Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash first.
Tell us your favorite hydrating and hunger-busting combinations in the comments below!
Written by Nicola Smith with Healthline.com, Edited by Eatcleaner.com