Water and Health
We cannot imagine the life without water. Two strategic allies that contribute to quality life and sustainability are water and health. Water, life and health are interconnected and this has made possible the existence of living things on earth.
Water is not only found on earth but also in the whole universe. Nearly, 70% of the earth is covered with water. About two-thirds of a person's body is composed of water and approximately, 75% of the brain consists of water. Loss of water from the body is called 'dehydration'. Dehydration can result in 1% reduction of the total body weight. Water is lost from the body through lungs, skin (in the form of sweat), urine and stools. This water must be replaced by consuming fluids and food.
An adult requires about two liters of water everyday. Water can be obtained by consuming plain water, water in food, metabolism of food and consumption of other fluids like milk and juices.
The body may require excess water in conditions like excess physical activity, dehydration, high temperature, low humidity, and consumption of a high-fiber diet, alcohol or caffeine consumption.
Benefits of Water
Water is considered a "very essential ideal solvent" as it plays a medium to almost all functions taking place in the body. The human blood plasma consists of about 90% of water. Some of the benefits of water include the following:
- Digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients from one part of the body to another.
- Has a cooling effect and maintains body temperature when the body suffers from heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Acts as a lubricant for joints and provides a cushioning effect for vital organs and tissues.
- Carries waste products from cells and helps in the process of excretion.
- Prevents constipation, which is very important in reducing the risk of diseases related to colon.
Sources of Water
Many foods contain water. A balanced diet is required to maintain the body fluid needs. Some of the good sources of water include the following:
- Fruits and vegetables (contain 95% of water)
- Meat and cheese (contain 50% of water)
- Soups and juices
Keys to Fight Aging and Illness
One of the main thoughts of every individual to stay young and fit forever! There have been tales about people who have gone on requests for finding the secrets of life and also about those who have done extraordinary things to remain young forever! Alas, nobody knows whether they succeeded.
So what do we do? The answer is simple. A healthy lifestyle, which includes proper diet, regular exercise and a happy social and occupational life! These are the keys to remain healthy as long as we live.
Eat Balanced Diet
The importance of a good diet has been spoken of over the ages but is still being given the least amount of consideration. Unhealthy eating habits often lead to numerous illnesses. A proper or a well-balanced diet that consists of optimum levels of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, antioxidants and other substances is helpful in preventing you from developing most of the illnesses. A balanced diet consisting of 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day has been considered adequate to supply the antioxidant nutrients required by our body.
Drink Enough water
The role of water in better health has been proven over the ages. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water has been recommended for keeping the body well hydrated.
Antioxidants are Important
Some of the reasons for aging are the decreased functioning of the cells in the body and their increased destruction. As age advances, the cells and tissues in the body begin to slow down and also are destroyed at a faster pace. Aging is often made clearly visible by different signs such as wrinkling of skin, flaccidity of the muscle tissues, weak bones, etc. Antioxidants help in preventing or reducing the destruction of the cells thereby decreasing the signs of aging such as wrinkles on the skin. They also boost the immune system thereby making you less prone to infections and diseases. Furthermore, they are also said to have a role in prevention of cancers.
Numerous studies have suggested that antioxidants may have a beneficial effect on many age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, some neurodegenerative and eye diseases. A reduction of the incidence of such disorders results in improvement in life span and enhances the quality of life.
Do Regular Exercises
Regular exercise improves the lifespan of an individual. This is owing to the improved function of most of the organs of the body. Improved heart function helps in proper distribution of blood and oxygen to all the parts of the body. Proper pumping of blood increases the blood flow in the peripheries of the body (such as the arms and legs) and improved functioning of the cells lining the blood vessels. The risk of heart disorders is decreased in individuals who exercise regularly.
Regular exercise appears to have a positive effect in non-muscular tissues of the body wherein it enhances various antioxidant mechanisms and repair of damaged molecules. This helps in improving the performances of the various cells and tissues in the body that normally tend to slow down owing to increased age. Regular exercises also seem to decrease the incidence of a wide range of diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatic arthritis, Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and certain cancers.
pH Balance and Testing
What is pH?
pH refers to the system of describing acidity or alkalinity of a solution based on the amount of hydrogen ions present in that solution. Ions are nothing but electrically charged particles that have many roles in the normal functioning of different substances. The pH scale varies from 0 to 14; 0 denotes totally acidic and 14 denotes totally alkaline (basic). A pH of 7 is considered neutral (normal water has a pH of 7). Failing of maintaining an optimum acid-base balance results in a considerable diminish in the body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients. This in turn can lead to decreased energy production in the cells of our body, altered response to different functions, decreased cell repair and increase the susceptibility to illness.
What is pH Balance?
pH also used to refer the acid-base balance in the human body. Our body should be maintained at a precise pH for a healthy function of all the cells and tissues. Different organs such as the lungs, kidneys and various other tissues maintain the acid-base balance in the human body. Any alterations in this balance can lead to disturbance in the normal functioning of our body. These alterations can result from various conditions or disorders such as vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory failure, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, ingestion of toxic substances and others leading to life-threatening crises. The pH balance of our body can also be altered based on the stress we experience, the diet we follow and our lifestyle.
What is Normal Range of pH?
The normal pH of blood ranges from 7.35 to 7.45 while that of urine ranges from 4.6 to 8 with an average of 6.
Testing of pH
Litmus paper is commonly used to measure the pH of any liquid. The litmus paper turns blue if placed in an alkaline/base solution and red in an accident solution. The pH of urine and blood are commonly measured if there is a suspicion that the pH balance in the body has been altered.
What are the Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are dietary substances including some nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and selenium. Antioxidants are available both naturally and artificially (available as capsules, creams etc.). Fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts are the natural sources of antioxidants.
How do Antioxidants Work?
Antioxidants work by significantly reducing or preventing the oxidative damage of the cells and tissues in our body. The oxidative damage is carried out by substances known as free radicals that cause the cells to function abnormally. The role of such free radicals has also been established in the occurrence of heart disorders and other disorders such as diabetes.
What is Oxidation?
Oxidation refers to causing damage to the cells and tissues in the body through oxygen. Oxygen can be used by our body in both constructive and destructive ways. Providing excessive oxygen to the cells can be destructive and the body uses this function to destroy cells that it feels is not functioning properly. But, during this process, some of the normal cells in the surrounding areas are also destroyed. The role of antioxidants is to prevent such damage.
Role of Antioxidants
Consumption of an optimum amount of antioxidant-rich food and substances including drinking ionized water helps prevent damage from the oxidation process and also aids in the repair of damaged cells. Antioxidant can improve the body's resistance to diseases by boosting the immune system.