Great Health Guide - - NUTRITION - Words: Justyna Kalka De­sign: Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Great health and longevity is our de­sire, how­ever most of us take very lit­tle ac­tion which would help ful­fil the achieve­ment of op­ti­mum health. Our bod­ies are in­tri­cate ma­chines of mag­nif­i­cent de­sign and ex­perts agree that nour­ish­ing the body with the proper fuel greatly in­creases our chances of good health and helps ward off dis­ease. In ad­di­tion to a bal­anced diet how­ever, there is one more im­por­tant piece of the health puz­zle that we must re­mem­ber if we want to thrive: the body needs wa­ter! Since the hu­man body com­prises 66% wa­ter, in­clud­ing your blood, in­tra­cel­lu­lar and ex­tra­cel­lu­lar flu­ids, it is no sur­prise that it is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial to hy­drate well ev­ery day. Ev­ery sin­gle bod­ily func­tion needs wa­ter. The health and func­tion­ing of all or­gan sys­tems within your body rely closely on proper hy­dra­tion. Con­sider your di­ges­tive sys­tem for ex­am­ple, if you find your­self de­hy­drated, you prob­a­bly will suf­fer con­sti­pa­tion and your gas­tro in­testi­nal tract will have a hard time ab­sorb­ing and as­sim­i­lat­ing the nu­tri­ents from your diet. Thus all your ef­forts to im­prove your eat­ing habits are wasted if you don’t top up your wa­ter in­take as well. Detox is the trendy buzz­word of the mo­ment, we are told that we must spring clean our bod­ies and de­tox­ify if we are to be healthy. In fact, our bod­ies are suc­cess­fully detox­i­fy­ing 24/7 through the liver and kid­neys with­out us even think­ing about it. How­ever, there is only one thing our body asks of us to per­form the im­pres­sive func­tion of detox­i­fy­ing and elim­i­na­tion… you guessed it, it’s drink wa­ter! So grab a glass of wa­ter and help your body clean out your sys­tem of all the wastes and tox­ins.

Ways to de­ter­mine de­hy­dra­tion: 1. Be­ing thirsty

Stud­ies show that most of us are fre­quently de­hy­drated. Chronic states of de­hy­dra­tion have been linked to most ma­jor dis­eases, in­clud­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, di­a­betes, obe­sity and can­cer. Ev­ery time you wait un­til the strong sen­sa­tion of thirst kicks in be­fore you reach for a glass of wa­ter, you al­low your body to de­hy­drate. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you have reached a state of de­hy­dra­tion. So have a drink of wa­ter be­fore you reach that point. Make a habit of



top­ping up your glass at home or at your work desk and watch your en­ergy lev­els sky­rocket. Your men­tal func­tion and clar­ity of thought also im­prove dra­mat­i­cally when you are well hy­drated.

2. Urine quan­tity, qual­ity & color

The urine is a vi­tal in­di­ca­tor of de­hy­dra­tion. In a healthy per­son, if you pass urine less than twice a day, then it is likely that your wa­ter in­take is too low. An­other sim­ple way to tell how well you are hy­drated is to pay at­ten­tion to your urine qual­ity. Healthy urine is clear and odor­less. If your urine tends to be dark yel­low with a strong odor, that’s your sign to in­crease wa­ter in­take. There are two ex­cep­tions to that state­ment. First, urine passed upon ris­ing in the morn­ing is nat­u­rally darker be­cause your body has been work­ing hard at detox­i­fi­ca­tion while you were asleep. It is an ex­cel­lent habit to drink a big glass of wa­ter upon ris­ing. Sec­ond, if tak­ing sup­ple­ments that con­tain B vi­ta­mins, your urine will be a bright yel­low color and that’s to­tally nor­mal. As a warn­ing, when you first start to in­crease your wa­ter in­take it is nor­mal to feel as if you need to visit the toi­let ev­ery five min­utes! Stay with it, how­ever, be­cause it takes two to three weeks on av­er­age for your kid­neys and uri­nary sys­tem to ad­just to the in­creased amount of avail­able fluid. The need will soon sub­side but the nu­mer­ous health ben­e­fits of good hy­dra­tion habits will re­main. Justyna Kalka is a qual­i­fied nutritionist for Zak aus­tralia. She is de­voted to ed­u­cat­ing oth­ers about the true vi­tal­ity that comes from a care­ful bal­ance of real food, the right mind­set, healthy ex­er­cise and the im­por­tance of proper nour­ish­ment for growth and de­vel­op­ment. She is a pro­fes­sional speaker & health ed­u­ca­tor.

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