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Quality Nutrition

 
Water

From Prescription for Nutritional Healing

By: Phyllis A. Batch, CNC & James F. Balch, MD.

Human beings can survive without food for thirty to forty days - about 5 weeks - but without water, life would end in about three to five days. The average person's body is composed of approximately 70 percent water, although the water content varies considerably from person to person even from one body part to another. The body's water supply is responsible for and involved in nearly every bodily process, including digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion. Water is also the primary transport of nutrients throughout the body and os is necessary for all building functions in body. Water helps maintain normal body temperature and is essential for carrying waste material out of the body. Therefore, replacing the water that is continually being lost through sweating and elimination is very important.

A drop in the body's water content causes a decline in blood volume. The lowering of blood volume in turn triggers the hypothalamus, which is the brain's thirst center, to send out the demand for a drink. This causes a sligh rise in the concentration of sodium in the blood. These changes quickly trigger a sensation of thirst. Unfortunately, people often consume only enough liquid to quench a dry or parched throat, not enough to cover all of the water loss. As a result, they can become dehydrated. As we age, the sense of thirst is dulled. At the same time, we have a lower percentage of reserve body water than we did when we were younger. This is why it is important to drink water even when you do not feel thirsty.

Water quality is beneficial for virtually all disorders known to humankind. Bowel and bladder problems, as well as headaches can be reduced by drinking water. If not enough water is consumed, toxins can build up in the system, causing headaches. Water flushes these toxins out. Anxiety attacks, food intolerance, "acid stomach" and heartburn, muscle pains, colitis pain, hot flashes, and many other discomforts and disorders can be eased quickly by drinking a full glass of water. Chronic fatigue syndrome is another disorder that necessitates consuming plenty of quality water daily to flush our toxins and other substances that contribute to muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

Without adequate water, we would poison ourselves with our own metabolic wastes. The kidneys remove waste products, such as uric acid, urea, and lactic acid that must be dissolved in water. If there is not enough water available to remove these substances effectively, they may cause damage to the kidneys.

Digestion and metabolism also rely on water for certain enzymatic an chemical reactions in the body. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells through the blood and is involved in the regulation of body temperature through prespiration. Water is especially important for people who have musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, or who are athletic, as it lubricates the joints. Because the lung tissue must be moist to facilitate oxygen intake and carbon dioxide excretion, water is essential for breathing. Approximately one pint of liquid is lost each day through exhaling.If you do not take enough water to maintaina fluid balance, every bodily function can be impaired. And the more active you are, the more water you must consume in order to keep your body's water level in balance.

Inadequate water consumption may contribute to excess body fat; poor muscle tone; digestive problems; poor functioning of many organs, including the brain; joint and muscle soreness; and, paradoxically, water retention. Consuming plenty of water can slow the aging process, and can prevent or improve arthritis, kidney stones, constipation, arteriosclerosis, obesity, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and many other diseases. It is not expensive and you should feel a difference quickly, but you must drink eight to ten full glasses of quality water daily.

Obtaining quality water would seem an easy matter. However, due to the numerous types of classifications water is qiven, the average consumer is easily confused about what is available.