Why is hydration important?
You’ve probably heard it before, but us humans are made up of 60% water.  This means it’s important for us to replenish the water in our body more often (and quicker!) than we lose it. We don’t just lose water from sweating and exercising. We lose water through everyday duties such as breathing, urinating, digesting our food, and so much more. Water is a key ingredient to keeping our bodies healthy and functioning. Our cells need it, and our cells help power everything from speaking to sleeping!
Our 10 Favorite Hydrating Plants
This list is not a complete list of hydrating plants, but it’s made up of some of our favorites! We know you’ll find some you love and can start eating, too.
Most people think of sunburns when they see or hear about keeping aloe in the house. Aloe is actually very water-dense, and is great for preventing and improving hydration. You can purchase aloe water, and dilute it with regular water, or even add it into juices and smoothies. One study showed that aloe vera can also help with IBS symptoms, such as constipation.  You can usually find aloe vera juice at a local health food store, or purchase online.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are surprisingly useful when hydrating. It may seem odd, since chia seeds are known to soak up liquids, like when making chia pudding. However, they actually help prolong the hydration process, and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  This is an essential fatty acid that helps fight inflammation and can help to improve hydration. You can add chia seeds to your water, or as a double-whammy, add it to your aloe water!
3. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm is a part of the category of plants called demulcents. These particular plants are great for their moistening and soothing actions. For example, when you experience a cough or sore throat, hydrating the body with demulcents such as slippery elm can help soothe dry or inflamed areas in the body. They help relieve the irritated mucous membranes in the throat, in other words. Slippery elm can also help aid in restoring the gut lining via hydration. This is especially useful to know after a stomach flu, when we lose a lot of water.
Most often known for being high in probiotics, kefir is actually great for hydration, and is often used as an alternative to electrolytes and sports drinks. This is thanks to the high mineral and enzyme content found in kefir. Kefir is also known for its high B vitamin count, and also its calcium content. You can make kefir at home or purchase it in stores in various forms, such as yogurt, milk, or even as a starter to more easily make your own.
Well-known for its high water content and hydrating effects, cucumber was a must for this list! Not only is it delicious and so versatile, but it’s incredible for hydrating. Like radishes, cucumbers contain around 95% water, and like chia seeds, are loved for their anti-inflammatory properties. You can add cucumbers to your water, eat them raw, or even use them as a chip replacement for dips like hummus or even tuna salad. Yum!
As delicious as they are nutritious, oranges contain around 88% water content, making them another wonderful hydrating plant. They’re also high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Oranges can be consumed in so many ways, from consuming them whole to juicing them, to adding slices into salads or smoothies. You can’t go wrong with adding oranges into your diet!
7. Marshmallow Root
Not the fluffy, sugar-packed marshmallows. Marshmallow root is an herb known for its healing properties. It can be used topically to help the skin retain hydration, or as a tea or tincture to internally help repair the internal lining of the gut, as well as improve digestion. If you’re not able to find marshmallow root by itself, you can usually find it in stores in tea blends. Specifically, look for it in cold season teas or digestive relief teas.
8. Basil Seed
While less common, basil seeds are another powerful demulcent plant that quite resemble chia seeds. They’re similar in the sense that they are small seeds that can absorb liquid and create a gel-like layer. This hydrating plant also contains prebiotic soluble fiber which is key to supporting a healthy gut.
Licorice root (not the candy!) is a great plant to have on hand for hydration, inside and out! Licorice is a common skin-hydrating plant. It can help reduce the signs of aging, improve fine lines and wrinkles, and help to reduce dryness.  You can drink licorice root as a tea for its internal hydrating effects, and use skincare with licorice root in it for the externally hydrating effects. Win-win!
10. Irish Sea Moss
If you’re new to the world of sea moss, prepare to be amazed! This powerful plant is known for its immense ability to hydrate the body, as well as retain skin moisture more than most plants. It also has antibacterial properties, and like slippery elm, it can help to soothe a dry cough. This is because it is also a demulcent plant, and can help moisturize and hydrate the inside lining of the throat.
If you loved learning about these hydrating plants, let us know! Tag us on social @drinkgoldthread.