High Water Content Foods Help Hydrate and More

Posted on September 23, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

 


Your body is about 70% water. So, what happens when the average water content of the food you consume is less than 70%? Dehydration.

When you eat low water content food, your body must use its own water reserves to process it. This is a hidden, yet very common, cause of chronic dehydration. Although foods have many different effects on your health, its water content and hydration value should always be considered. Eating plenty of high-water food and avoiding low-water food is vital for optimal hydration and health.

Virtually all food has some water in it. The most natural whole foods have the highest water content. Fruit and vegetables are the concentration points of water and nutrients in a plant and contain 85% to 98% water. Eating dense vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, tomatoes, jicama, beets, carrots, celery, etc.) with a salad or meal or as a snack is one of the easiest ways to improve the hydration value of your meals. Hydration is another reason fruits and vegetables should be an important part of your diet.

Low water content foods are dehydrating and unhealthy, such as cookies, chips, dried snacks, pastries, and high fat and high sugar foods. Sugar, salt and pure fat have no water in them at all. (For a listing of over 600 types of food and their water content, see below.

Avoid Killer Salts

Table salt can be very dehydrating and toxic to the body. For every gram of excess sodium chloride, your cells use up to 23 grams of water to neutralize it. Processed and fast foods contain large amounts of processed salt. Restaurant soups are also very high in salt, MSG or other toxic flavor enhancers. Never eat soup from a restaurant, unless they make it from scratch. And replace all your salt with a good sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Balance is the key. It’s the average water content of your food that is important. If half your meal is 50% water content food and the other half has 90% water content, then the average is a healthy 70%. The more low water content food you eat (by weight) at a meal, the more vegetables, homemade soup or water you need to balance it out.

Food density is a factor here. For example, lettuce is very light compared to a cucumber, which can have as much as 16 ounces of water. Popcorn is much lighter than tortilla chips, so they it is less dehydrating by volume. Adding a dense vegetable is an easy way to improve the hydration value of a meal. Simply slice up a cucumber, tomato or jicama and add some freshly squeezed lime juice and Himalayan salt for a very hydrating and delicious snack or side dish. 

Food is a Natural Source of Water

Food is a natural source of water for the body, providing about 30% of your body’s water needs. The water inside natural whole foods contains an abundance of naturally balanced minerals that help to “structure” the water for easier utilization by the body.  People with a diet of primarily raw foods can satisfy even more than 30% of their daily water requirements with their food. In the desert climate of the Australian Outback, the Koala drinks no water at all. Their diet consists solely of leaves from Eucalyptus trees (90% water), which provides all the water then need.

Most dairy products are fairly high in water, with eggs containing about 74% water in their raw state. Meats are also high in water (70% to 80%) in their raw and unprocessed form. After cooking to a medium degree, most meats are 50% to 60% water. You can usually tell how much water a meat has, you just need to observe how dry or juicy the meat tastes. The more a meat is cooked or aged, the more water it loses. An exception to this rule is when you cook meat in a stew or a soup. Although the meat itself loses some water, the soup or stew is almost all water and very hydrating.

Chicken Soup for the Cells

Rich chicken broth is an ancient remedy handed down through the generations as traditional folk wisdom. Moses Maimonmides, the 12th-century physician, prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma. Modern research has confirmed that broth helps prevent and lessen the effects of infectious disease. One recent study showed that having a cup of soup before lunch or dinner will decrease the amount of calories eaten at the meal and help to lose weight.

In traditional cultures, soup has helped to keep families healthy for centuries. The nourishing values of homemade soups, stews and broths were a cornerstone of family meal preparation. Not only does rich soup broth contain an abundance of minerals and other nutrients, it helps improve hydration. This traditional wisdom from centuries of experience seems to be all but lost in America today. The convenience of modern appliances, fast foods, and processed and pre-packaged foods now dominate most of modern food preparation.

Providing homemade soups at your dinner table on a regular basis could be the single most effective thing you can do to improve your health. Soups are delicious and very satisfying for people of all ages. Soups and stocks made with vegetables and meats are extremely nutritious, containing nutrients and electrolytes that are easy for the body to assimilate. Add small amounts of vinegar while it cooks to draw out minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.  

Soup is a superior form of nutrition for the elderly. The gelatin contained in properly prepared broth aids digestion and has been used in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis and Crohn’s disease. Gelatin contains large amounts of amino acids arginine and glycine, which help the body more effectively utilize protein. This allows you to eat less protein and not lose muscle mass. Not only will this save you money, but it saves precious energy that would otherwise be needed for protein digestion.

Nourishing Traditions

If you want to benefit from the rich legacy of soups and traditional foods, we highly recommend Sally Fallon’s book, “Nourishing Traditions”. This unique book is a treasure trove of historical antidotes about the origin of traditional and healthy foods, as well as delicious recipes hundreds of traditional foods. It provides detailed instructions on how to culture vegetables, make soup, stock, etc. and can help bring more traditional foods back to your family’s meals. They will thank you!

An easy way to improve hydration with food is to make a simple vegetable broth. First, fill a stock pot half full with spring or purified water. Then add vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, broccoli stocks or any vegetable (except cucumbers which make it bitter). Boil for 30 minutes and the minerals come out in the broth. Add natural sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste and enjoy!

Every time you look at a food, think about its water content and hydration. Avoid low water food and keep meals balanced with plenty of high-water food. Your body’s first hunger signal should be answered with water or a high-water snack. Serving delicious soups, stews and broths not only improves hydration, it restores a healthy family tradition while satisfying taste buds and your desire for better health.

© 2008 Quantum Publishing, Inc.  All Rights Reserved           

 

 

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One Response to “High Water Content Foods Help Hydrate and More”

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I have been on Quantum’s products (Hydra Booster, Hydra water, Matrix Energizer, and QunatraBiotica. Immediately I saw a difference. I had more energy and no or little afternoon swoon. I have clearer focus, greater recall and acuity, and no more mental funks or fogs that could last into the afternoon. I sleep deeper at night and feel rested when I awaken; it takes a little longer to fully awaken in the morning, however.


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