There is more water in our bodies than any other substance. At birth we consist of up to 80% water and with age we dehydrate to about 65%. We depend on water to function. Every cell in the body is surrounded by and filled with a watery fluid, enabling the transportation of metabolic substances and communication between cells. Proteins and enzymes vital to life function more efficiently in solutions of lower viscosity (more watery). Waste in the body is diluted by water making it less toxic and easier to remove.
Drinking plenty of water helps concentration, memory, stamina, eyesight, kidney health and increases longevity. A lack of water can be a major factor in pressure headaches, frequent colds, digestive disease, hormonal problems and even depression. A 2% loss of water can result in a 20% decrease in energy levels. In short, this fluid we evolved from is vital to our lives!
How To Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of pure water (about 4-6 pints or 2-3 litres per day) with no added squash, flavourings or sweeteners as these are not hydrating. Drinks containing caffeine such as tea and cola encourage water to leave the body.
Try drinking water when you feel hungry as sensations of hunger and thirst are generated simultaneously by the hypothalamus in the brain. Often the need for water is mistaken for hunger and we eat rather than drink (with obvious implications for weight gain.) If you still feel hungry 20 minutes after drinking, then you can eat.
Include essential fatty acids such as hemp seed oil, in your diet, which allow the body to absorb water more effectively. Most modern diets are low in these.
Invest in a good quality carbon filter water jug to remove some impurities and chlorine (linked to cardiovascular disease) from your tap water. Alternatively a distiller removes 99.9% of dissolved toxins including heavy metals and residues from herbicides and medications such as the contraceptive pill.
Eat plenty of hydrating foods such as fresh fruits, steamed vegetables, soups and porridge.
Ulmus fulva (Slippery elm): This powdered bark can be mixed with soya milk or hot water to make a soothing, nutritive and hydrating drink. It is particularly healing to the digestive tract, assisting in restoring mucous membranes and healing ulcerated surfaces.
Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel): Fennel seeds strengthen a weakened digestive system, restoring the digestive fire without overheating the body and creating dryness. They can be used for indigestion and are calming to the nerves.
Examination of the iris by a trained iridologist can reveal the internal condition of the body. Signs of dehydration include a lack of tears, a film over the conjunctiva, a sensation of dryness of the eyes and eyestrain.
© Extracted from a weekly radio broadcast 2010
Published in ‘Labyrinth’ magazine in June/July edition, 2011
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.