Grenada and the rest of the Caribbean have been experiencing extended periods of excessive heat over the past several weeks. This has affected the daily lives and well-being of many, and it has become difficult for some to cope in this dry and hot environment.
Grenada celebrates World Food Day from 16–20 October 2023 under the theme: “Water is life, Water is Food, leave no one behind” which focuses on various aspects of water, its importance to human existence and how it can be properly used and conserved.
“We eating water” is the theme for Tuesday, 17 October where specific emphasis will be placed on ways water can be consumed through foods. The Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC) advises on a few ways that you can beat the effects of the heat and promote your holistic wellbeing by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Staying hydrated by drinking adequate water daily will help the body to keep itself cool and keep the organs of the body functioning as they should. Hydration is the key to many factors of human health. Drinking water also prevents infections and lubricates the joints. Drinking water consistently throughout the day will help the body to properly cope with heat. It is advised that adult men should drink at least 16 cups of water while women should consume 11 cups. Teenagers between the ages of 14 to 18 should drink up to 8 cups, while children between 9 and 13 should drink up to 6 cups and younger children between the ages of 4 and 8 should drink 5 cups of water.
Drinking this amount of water may be difficult because it may seem unappealing, however, your drinking water can be flavoured with vegetables and fruits such as cucumbers, limes or lemons, oranges and even cherries. This would also help to minimise the amount of sugar that one would normally consume from carbonated beverages and juices.
One can also stay hydrated in extreme heat by consuming water-rich fruits and vegetables that can be found in the backyard or in the market. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit not only contain high levels of vitamin C, but also have fibre and nutrients that are very good for the body. With a water content of 88% which equates to about half a cup of water, oranges are essentially superb for hydrating the body and reducing the likelihood of kidney stones as they also contain properties that help flush them out of the body.
Another food that can be consumed to assist the body with staying hydrated is cucumbers. This vegetable is almost 100% made up of water and can be consumed by children and adults in different ways. It can be eaten raw, added to your water for more flavour and it can be made into juices by itself or with other fruits with no added sugar. Additionally, tomatoes are another food that can help hydrate the body. It is filled with nutrients, fibre and antioxidants that help the body to fight diseases. Tomatoes can also be consumed raw or in salads, or made into juices and soups. Other fruits such as watermelon and cantaloupe which are loved by most children are also a great source of water as they are almost entirely made up of water. Watermelons and cantaloupe are very low in calories and contain fibre, nutrients, vitamins C and A. These can be enjoyed in slices, fruit salads and smoothies.
To conclude, one of the most hydrating tropical fruits that can be consumed is coconut. The water of the coconut is super hydrating because it contains high levels of electrolytes and other minerals like sodium, chloride, and potassium. Coconut water can be enjoyed at any time and can be added to other drinks, and smoothies and can even be used in food preparation.