Human beings can survive without food for thirty to forty days – but without water, we would only last around three to five days.
The average human body is composed approximately 70% water. This water supply is highly important in just about every bodily process from digestion and absorption to circulation and excretion. The body is so reliant on water that even a touch of dehydration can result in a disruption to these normal processes of the body. When fluid levels are low, blood volume decreases, signaling the hypothalamus, the brains thirst centre, to send out the demand to drink.
Inadequate water intake can result in damage to the kidneys, effectively poisoning our body with our own metabolic waste products. Furthermore, inadequate intake can also contribute to excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive problems, poor functioning of vital organs and water retention. On the flip side, adequate consumption of quality water can slow the ageing process, improve or prevent arthritis, kidney stones, digestive issues, obesity and diabetes amongst many other diseases.
Water needs are different for every individual. Remember, the more active you are, the more water you must consume to keep your body’s water levels in balance. Most people need around 8-10 glasses daily.
Eat your water…
- Cucumbers have the highest water content at 97%.
- Although not the most nutritious, iceberg lettuce contains 96% water.
- Celery contains 96% water amongst folate and vitamins A, C and K.
- Radishes contain 95% water as well as high antioxidant content.
- Tomatoes contain 95% water as well as being high in lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
- Red, yellow and green capsicums all contain around 92% water.
- The cruciferous vegetables cauliflower and broccoli contain 92% and 91% water respectively, amongst other nutrients.
- Watermelon is around 92% and can thank lycopene for its red hues.
- Spinach contains 91% water as well as being high in fibre, folate, lutein and potassium.
- Berries contain around 80%, with strawberries taking out first prize at 91% water content.
- Pineapple contains around 85% water as well as bromelain, a potent enzyme involved in protein breakdown, which helps promote good digestion.
- Grapefruit and oranges contain 80-90% water as well as being vitamin C powerhouses and grapefruit having the added benefit of fat-burning enzymes.