March 17, 2014
“Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet, but one of the most vital.” –Julia Child
Water is essential for life and one of the most important nutrients for our bodies. An adult could live up to six weeks without food but no more than a week without water. Water makes up about 75 percent of a person’s body weight and is involved in most bodily functions.
Water helps our bodies in many ways:
• It keeps our body temperature stable at 98.6 degrees
• It carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells and carries waste out of our bodies
• It keeps our blood volume constant and lubricates our joints and tissues
• It helps us stay fuller longer, manage food portions, and maintain a healthy weight.
The amount of water a person needs depends on their age, weight, and gender. The climate a person lives in as well as their activity and overall health affects water requirements as well. Drinking water is not the only way to replace the essential nutrient. Water is very high in most fruits and vegetables.
In general, children and teens need between 6-8 cups of water a day in addition to eating fruits and vegetables to stay well hydrated. Water requirements increase with physical activity, illness or fever, heat or humidity, traveling, and altitude.
Nutrition Challenge: Replace one sugary beverage with a cup of water or water flavored with fruit.
Try these ideas to flavor-up your water.
Toss in a little fruit! Fruit adds disease-fighting vitamins and antioxidants and jazzes up your beverage.
• Add slices of fresh lemon or lime.
• Slice an orange and squeeze in the juice. Toss in the squeezed slices for extra flavor.
• Mash a cup of strawberries or raspberries with a fork. Toss the mashed fruit into your water and stir.
• Chop up a few leaves of fresh mint and cut some slices of cucumber. Toss the mint and cucumber into your water for an extra refreshing taste.
Follow the link below for more fun and tasty fruit flavored water recipes:
http://www.healthiersf.org/Nutrition/RYD/documents/BANPAC water recipes ENG.pdf
Healthy Bites from mdanderson.org & choosemyplate.gov