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Hydration: A Pillar of Health

Every organ and cell in the body relies on adequate levels of water for proper function. This requires regular consumption of water-rich foods and non-caffeinated fluids. Low levels of water in the body can lead to decreased energy, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, confusion and low mood.

There are many sources of water that will help you meet your body’s needs. Filtered drinking water is an obvious choice.

Other healthy options include non-caffeinated herbal teas, 100% natural fruit or vegetable juices, coconut water, and fruits and vegetables.

Although all fruits and veggies are generally high in water, those especially high include all melons, such as watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, as well as cucumber, tomatoes, celery, citrus fruits, lettuce, broccoli and carrots.

Coconut water, fruits, vegetables and 100% fruit and veggie juices also include healthy vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, which provide additional health benefits. Coconut water comes packaged for easy use and can be found at many grocery stores. These are better sources than soda or energy and sports drinks, which often have a lot of unhealthy added sugars and preservatives.

Coffee and other caffeinated beverages are also not great choices, since caffeine promotes loss of water through increased urine production.

A great way to start the day is by drinking one to two 16-ounce glasses of filtered water, preferably with half a lemon squeezed into each serving. This replaces fluids lost during the night and flushes out toxins your liver removed from your body while you were sleeping.

One helpful way to tell if you are getting enough water is based on the color of your urine. Urine that is pale yellow in color indicates healthy levels of water in your body. A darker color usually means you need to increase your consumption of water-rich foods and non-caffeinated beverages.

Note: People with certain health conditions, such as kidney or heart disease, have special needs regarding water and should follow advise from their healthcare provider.

Knowledge is power. Here’s to your holistic health!

Karen M. Gutierrez, PhD, RN, Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certified


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