If you really are what you eat, would you qualify as a hydrophile? Translated from ancient Greek, the word literally means “loving water.” In terms of food and nutrition, it describes water-loving foods that can be very satisfying owing to their capacities for attracting and retaining water. In other words, they fill you up in a healthy way because they fill up first.

Hydrophilic foods are packed with soluble fiber that attracts water and forms a gel-like substance that slows down digestion. As a result, these foods convey a sensation of fullness for a longer period of time than other foods and, thus, can be beneficial for weight control. Another advantage to slower stomach emptying is keeping blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in check, which may help control diabetes. The soluble fiber in water-loving foods can also help lower LDL cholesterol by interrupting the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

10 hydrophylic foods (among many) to add to your shopping list: agar, barley, Brussels sprouts, chia seeds, kidney beans, oatmeal, okra, oranges and pears.

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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