Healthy Eating Article
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WHAT'S IN SEASON?
Ways To Stay Refreshed, Energized & Hydrated
There's no denying it: consuming sufficient amounts of water every day is an absolute imperative for good health. As the principal chemical component of the human body, water is needed to keep every system of the body functioning properly.
When the body does not have enough water, and more fluid is lost than taken in, dehydration occurs. Dehydration prevents the body from performing correctly. While thirstiness is a sign of dehydration, it's best not to wait until you're feeling thirsty to drink water, as it's an indicator that dehydration may have already occurred. Other symptoms of dehydration can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue and lightheadedness. Because water performs such imperative duties, ranging from carrying nutrients to cells to flushing out toxins from vital organs, a lack of it can have potentially life-threatening consequences.
Heat and humidity causes the body to sweat, so it's not unusual to lose more water during the summer months than other times of the year. However, it's crucial to consume sufficient amounts of water all year long, as cool-weather conditions such as indoor heated air can cause dryness and a loss of moisture in the skin, also leading to dehydration.
While factors such as weather and others, ranging from exercise to specific health conditions, may necessitate an increase in your consumption of water, most research shows that the average adult, in good health and in a temperate climate, needs about 2 liters of water or other beverages a day to replace the fluid that is lost. Because it is readily available and free of calories, water is your healthiest, and best bet for staying hydrated, yet other options including tea, juices and sports drinks are also good choices. And when it comes to your diet, certain foods are more effective hydrators than others.
About 20% of fluid intake comes from the foods that we eat. In addition to drinking sufficient amounts of hydrating beverages, eating foods such as sauces, soups, salads, and fruits and veggies that are full of moisture can really help keep you refreshed, healthy and energized; starchy vegetables, breads and other dense, dry foods are a few to avoid.
Two of the most refreshing foods for summertime snacking are healthy, delicious, and perfect for helping you stay hydrated.
Juicy and sweet, watermelon is a favorite during the summer season. Fat free and low in calories, it contains key nutrients and vitamins, including vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as cancer-fighting lycopene. Watermelon is made up of more than 90% water, making it a moisture-rich fruit that can help keep you cool and refreshed.
Due to their high moisture content, cucumbers have a moist texture and cooling taste that is fantastic during the summer season. A source of both fiber and water, adding slices of crisp, crunchy cucumber to a summer salad is a simple, easy, and fantastic way to both nourish, and hydrate, your body.
Consuming sufficient amounts of water does more than keep you healthy—it can help you look better, too! Water keeps skin looking healthy and young, as proper hydration leads to more efficient sweating. Drinking enough water can keep your skin clean, soft, clear, and more youthful in appearance.
So drink up! Keep things fun and get creative by adding fresh sprigs of mint or slices of lemon, orange or lime to ice water, or mix it up a little bit with sparkling waters, flavored waters, or mineral waters. Enjoying a glass of chilled water in between meals, and during every meal, is a great way to keep track of your daily water intake, helping you stay healthy and refreshed all summer—and all year—long!