Water and Chronic Diseases
Given that the body is more than 60% water, it is no wonder that our water consumption has a profound effect on our health. The body loses water every day, which needs to be replaced, on average, 2.9 litres for men, and 2.2 litres for women. Studies have demonstrated that people who do not consume an adequate amount of water are at greater risk for certain chronic diseases.
According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease are elevated by dehydration. It reports that drinking high amounts of water is as important as exercise, diet, or not smoking in preventing the disease.
In a recent study individuals who drank five or more glasses of water per day reduced the risk of fatal coronary heart disease by 46% in men and 59% in women. By contrast, the consumption of other fluids was associated with an increased risk.
Similar studies have found a link between hydration and certain forms of cancer. One such study found that the risk of breast cancer in women was reduced by 79% among women who regularly consumed adequate amounts of water.
Dehydration has been implicated in a number of conditions affecting the bladder, prostrate, and kidneys, including cancer and kidney stones. One study has found that patients commonly do not consume enough water (less than 2.4 litres of water per day). An investigation demonstrated that the risk of these forms of cancer diminished with each additional 240 ml of water consumed. Other forms of fluids were also studied, but none has as much impact as pure water.
Because drinking water is a simple lifestyle change that anybody can do, this simple practice has the potential of improving many people's quality of life and ultimately saving many lives.
Water and the Common Cold
The season of colds, coughs, and flu. Most adults are likely to suffer an average up to four times a year, and children even more frequently. Just think of the yearly economic burden through lost workdays - around 3 billion Euros! And there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?
The runny nose, fever, sore through, etc. are all familiar symptoms of the common cold, an ailment where doctors and pharmaceutical companies have still not made a miracle cure discovery. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The fact of the matter is that little can actually be done once a cold or flu virus sets in, except to ride them out.
The best way to fight a cold is to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. There are ways to prevent the flu and colds, including washing hands frequently, taking vitamins and avoiding people who have them. But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it. Dehydration, among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.
Water is obviously the fluid of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to a sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist air, possibly through a humidifier.
In natural medicine, colds are looked at as the body's way of detoxifying. During the autumn and winter, our bodies actually attempt to harmonize with the season. The body then condenses waste and cleanses excess mucus and congestions from tissue, which will improve circulation and get the blood pumping to keep us warm. However, this process gives flu like symptoms. Drinking more water will help the body detoxify. Exercise and sweating can also help keep the body clear of toxins.
In the way of coughs, drinking the proper amount of water will keep the mucus lining in the lung area thin and lubricated, making it easier to have a productive cough. Water will also help loosen phlegm, and just plain soothe an irritated throat.
Not only can water help prevent a cold, but it can also help sufferers feel better. More water in essence can build a stronger immune system, so drink up and stay healthy, and actually enjoy the cold season!