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Water may be one of the greatest beauty ingredients on the planet. But to harness this life-giving nutrient, don't rely on solely drinking it—eat your water. Eat alive foods, where the water is trapped in an intricate phytonutrient web. This hydrates the GI tract while providing fiber, minerals, and vitamins necessary to strengthen cells and support collagen and connective tissue. 

To put into practice, Sakara Wellness Coach and avid plant home cook, Sasha Pagni, shares some meal ideas that take advantage of summer's bounty while hydrating the body on a cellular level. These plants heal the body two-fold; they "water" our body's organs and cells, but also strengthen the cell membranes and promote longevity with antioxidants and phytonutrients. As skincare visionary and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Howard Murad explains, "building beauty happens on the cellular level; it's about ingesting enough water, then keeping it where we want it, [which is] inside the cells." 

Whip up these simple recipes, then relish in the results. 


Shaved Melon Salad: Mix together melon, cucumber, mint, extra virgin olive oil (we love the options at CAP Beauty), and flaky sea salt. The addition of high-quality salt is important for two reasons; first, it elevates the flavor profile, making the modest and sweet melon now savory; and secondly, salt, minerals, and electrolytes are integral for proper cellular hydration and balance. Without minerals, the H2O imbibed would be like watering a bone-dry plant; the water slicks off the leaves but doesn’t seep in, effectively. For an especially delicious use of melon, salt, and herbs, check out the salad Bon Appetit Food Editor-At-Large, Carla Lalli, showed us how to make at her Brooklyn brownstone last summer. 

Water-Rich Gazpacho: Blend together brightly colored heirloom tomatoes—make sure to core them—peeled cucumber, basil, and a few cubes of honeydew or cantaloupe. Once blended, chill for 4 hours and enjoy flooding the body with phytonutrients and feeling refreshed. This deep verdant recipe is a Sakara favorite. Tomatoes are 95 percent water and have lycopene, an antioxidant incredibly effective at healing the skin. It’s often found in many skincare ingredient lists, and if you have some extra organic tomatoes at your disposal after making soup, you can even peel the skins as an inflammation-taming face mask. 

Roasted Grapefruit: Wrap a halved grapefruit in aluminum foil and drizzle raw or manuka honey on top. Place in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the honey is bubbling. Grapefruits are almost 90 percent water, and honey is a master at taming inflammation as it lubricates the digestive system.  

Dragonfruit Parfait: Start with a base of coconut yogurt (we prefer homemade, but you can also buy Anita’s or Coconut Cult). Then, cube pitaya, or hot pink dragonfruit, raspberries, sliced grapefruit, and almond butter. Pitaya is high in antioxidants that fight free-radicals. It also contains properties to cleanse the liver and kidneys. 

Watermelon + Fennel Salad: This classic water-rich fruit gets a culinary upgrade, thanks to a mix of microgreens and herbs. Cut watermelon into wedges, then sprinkle on rosemary, baby arugula, mint, shaved fennel, microgreens, and homemade cashew cheese. Watermelon, apart from being 92 percent water, is rich in vitamin C, as is fennel. Vitamin C is critical in collagen formation, the protein structure that helps maintain the integrity of cartilage and retain a strong water barrier. This aids skin’s hydration, and ultimately its elasticity.



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Filed Under: Recipes

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