We all know that drinking plenty of water a day is beneficial, but do you know why? Water is actually an essential nutrient with tons of benefits and makes up about 60% of the body! In addition to hydration, water fills the spaces in and between cells and helps form structures of large molecules such as protein and glycogen. Read on to learn about the numerous health benefits and natural food sources of Water!
This week’s Nutrients by the Alphabet: Water
That’s right, in this new series – Nutrients by the Alphabet – you will learn all about important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), their health benefits, and easy and delicious ways to get more of the good stuff with a fun recipe to try each week (courtesy of my awesome student-intern from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School – Shelby Persechino)!
So, what are the health benefits of Water?
Water increases energy and relieves fatigue. Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus, and concentrate better and be more alert. Water promotes weight loss by having zero calories, raising your metabolism, reducing hunger, and removing by-products of fat. Water flushes out toxins through sweat and urination which boosts your immune system and reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s. Water also improves skin complexion by moisturizing your skin, keeping it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Water maintains regularity by aiding in digesting your food and preventing constipation. Water acts as a natural headache remedy since dehydration is a common cause of headaches. Water prevents cramps, sprains, and strains by keeping joints lubricated and muscles elastic. Water helps maximize physical performance by improving body temperature control, motivation, decreasing fatigue and makes exercise feel much easier, both physically and mentally. Furthermore, water puts you in a good mood and helps your body function at its best. Wow, now I didn’t realize how awesome water is!
So, how much Water do you need and where can you find it?
When you wake up after a long night’s rest, you should consume 8-16 fl oz of room temperature water since your body is dehydrated after sleeping. In general, you should consume approximately half your body weight of water a day (in fluid ounces). So, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should consume 65 fl oz of water a day. The good news is that you can find water practically everywhere! Some fruits that are high in water include watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple, cranberries, orange, raspberries, blueberries, plums, apricots, apples, pear, cherries, grapes, banana’s. Some vegetables that are high in water include cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, radish, celery, tomatoes, green cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green peas, and white potatoes. When it comes to drinking water, make sure your water is filtered or bottled (without any added chemicals or toxins)!
Looking for a healthy tasty recipe to increase your water intake? Try this Perfect Summer Fruit Salad from AllRecipes.
Now that’s a perfect snack to welcome the warmer Spring weather!