It’s Good for What Ails You
By Lynise Anderson, N.D.
Next to air, water is the most essential element to our survival. Water truly is everywhere. Still, many people take its importance for granted. Water makes up more than two-thirds of the weight of the human body, and without it, we would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95 percent water; lungs are 90 percent and blood is 82 percent. A mere two-percent drop in the body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, daytime fatigue, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print
Water can prevent and alleviate many symptoms of illness. In addition to assisting in the daily maintenance activities of the body, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent and bladder cancer by 50 percent, and it can potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer. Adequate hydration has been shown to help prevent or alleviate symptoms of the following conditions: coughs, colds, allergies, asthma, dry eyes, dry skin, high blood pressure, gout, constipation, insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, headache, fever, heat stroke, arthritis, menopause, PMS, muscle cramps, diabetes, back pain, fatigue and more.
Can other beverages replace water?
Those people who always have a can of soda at their desks may want to think about taking a trip to the water cooler instead. Not only can soda pack on the pounds, it can deteriorate the body as well.
The sugar in soda, sometimes as much as nine teaspoons per serving, can compromise the immune system for up to 12 hours. Caffeine is another major issue for soda drinkers (and coffee and energy-drink buffs as well). Caffeine consumption can cause dehydration and, when not consumed, terrible headaches, shakes and irritability.
While a morning soda boost may not have serious long-term effects, constant consumption can take a toll on the body. Another important reason to steer clear of sodas is mineral depletion. The acid in sodas has to be neutralized for the body to process it. So, when we drink sodas, our bodies’ precious minerals, such as calcium, are being used to process the soda instead of what they are intended for. The long-term effects of drinking sodas can be devastating to the body.
Water and senior citizens
As we age, the balance between our need for water and our thirst for water shifts. In fact, the less water older people drink, the less thirsty they become, leaving them open to the risk of serious
dehydration and other complications. In addition, the ability to differentiate between hunger and thirst lessens as we get older, making it even more important to conscientiously drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day. At the very minimum, a person should consume one cup of water for every 20 pounds of body weight daily. That’s about six to eight glasses for the average person.
The evidence is crystal clear.
Water is involved in every bodily function: digestion, assimilation, elimination, respiration, maintaining temperature (homeostasis) integrity, brain function, hormone regulation and the strength of all bodily structures. In order to keep the body functioning at an optimum level, drinking water is vitally important.
Keep water with you at all times. Drink water throughout the day. You will find that your overall health and well-being will rise to even greater tides.
Lynise Anderson, N.D., is a certified nutritional consultant, co-owner of The Healing Tree Wellness Center in Floyd and COO of The Wellspring Organization, a nonprofit organization providing high-quality health and wellness education. For more information about The