Archived Story

Consuming water rich foods

Published 10:23am Friday, January 27, 2012

When we speak of “water rich” foods, we’re talking more about fruits and vegetables. Other foods do contain varying amounts of water, but not in amounts large enough to be considered water rich. Milk, for example, consists of mostly water, but does  not behave in our bodies the same way water from fruits and vegetables does.
First, let us explore what water actually does in our bodies. Think of each cell in your body as a house. This means that a patch of tissue would be like a neighborhood.
By the way, the human body contains 50 trillion cells. That’s 50 million, million. Each one of these cells, or “houses” is healthy, and there’s lots of activity going on in them, because much like our homes, cells have many different activities going on inside them all the time.
Cells have little organs called organells, each with a specific function. Cells undergo “respiration” where they use glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, and other elements. There’s something that takes place in these cells, or “homes,” no matter what kind, size or shape. The trash has to be taken out. Even though our cells may be healthy, waste products do accumulate, and we need to get this trash out of there.
The way we do this, is with water. Now, while drinking water is important, it’s not enough. The way I explain it to clients is this: “Just drinking water is like having a thirsty pet, and instead of offering it water, you spray it in the face with a garden hose. Your pet may get some water in it, but it will get more water on it. When we eat “water rich” foods though, our cell undergo something called “endocytosis.” That’s just a fancy word for cell membranes engulfing food particles.
When this happens, the cells take more water in. That makes it easier for cells to rid themselves of wastes.
One thing is very important though. Make sure you chew your fruits and vegetables very well, even more than you think you should. The reason is that fruit and vegetable cells are surrounded by some thing called a cell wall. Many of these cell walls are made of something called “cellulose.” Cellulose is microscopically like little bits of wood. We can digest it some, but not very well.
By chewing more, we break open these plant cells, so we can get the nutrients and more of the water that’s inside. I recommend one’s diet consist of 65-70 percent fruits and vegetables, and because of the amounts of sugars in fruit, most should come from vegetables.
When it comes to drinking water, there is a caution. Drinking a very large amount of water at one time could be dangerous. If you were to sit and drink two gallons of water at one time, it could kill you, by making your brain swell.
You could break up your water consumption throughout the day, just make sure you get adequate electrolytes, like potassium, calcium, magnesium and some sodium, because too much water throughout the day will flush these out of your body.
Electrolytes carry the electrical charges that enable muscles to contract properly. Without them, muscles can “misfire” and cramp. I suggest adding an extra fruit and vegetable to your meals each day. It will definitely improve your health.
Diet or fitness question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and personal trainer for 25 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, Converse college equestrian team, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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