Using food to hydrate your body

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PHOENIX -- Staying hydrated is important, especially here in Arizona. But drinking water isn't the only thing needed to pump your body full of fluids.

“When you notice that you’re sweating, you can make that intuitive thought, ‘OK, I'm losing fluid and I need to replace it,’” said Bashas’ Family of Stores registered dietitian Barbara Ruhs.

Sweating is one thing you definitely do here in the Valley. But to stay hydrated, drinking water should be at the top of your list.
   
“If you’re even slightly hydrated a lot of things can go wrong,” Ruhs said. “So your blood pressure, circulation, your heart beating -- it affects everything.”

While H2O is needed to keep your body from breaking down, Ruhs said it's not the only way to stay hydrated.
   
“So fluids are definitely important, but the food that you eat is also a great contribution to fluid and hydration status,” Ruhs continued. “In fact up to 20 percent of our hydration status is derived from food.”

That's right, eating fruits and vegetables can also be a great source of water. Some examples include watermelon, lettuce, citrus, and cantaloupe. But eating these foods does more than just keep your body full of fluids.
 
“Of course we know they keep us healthy, help prevent disease, but they also provide very important nutrients,” Ruhs said.

It's those nutrients that Ruhs said can benefit everyone all year round.
 
“I always say pay the farmer, not the doctor,” Ruhs said. “And good nutrition is always in season in the produce department.”