The importance of eating water-rich foods
Published 2:50 pm Friday, December 3, 2010
When we speak of “water rich” foods, we’re really 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’s explore what water actually does in our body. 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. The cells in our bodies undergo daily “respiration” where they use glucose, amino acids, fatty acids and other elements.
There is also 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 your cells may be healthy, waste products do accumulate, and we need to get this “trash” out of there. The way we do that is with water.
Now, while drinking water helps, 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 hit 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 you eat “water rich” foods, though, your cells undergo something called “endocytosis.” This is just a fancy word for the cell membrane engulfing large food particles and bringing them inside. When this happens the cell takes more water in, too. This makes it easier for the cells to get rid of their wastes.
One thing is very important. Make sure you chew your fruits and vegetables very well. Even more than you think you should. The reason for this is that fruit and vegetable cells have something around them called a “cell wall.” These cell walls are made up 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 them. I recommend that a person’s diet consist of 65 to 70 percent fruits and vegetables, and because of the amount of sugars in fruits, most should come from vegetables.
When it comes to drinking water, there is a caution. Drinking a very large amount in one sitting can be very 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 drinking through the day – just make sure to get adequate electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and some sodium, because too much water will flush these out. These electrolytes carry the electrical charges that enable muscles to contract, and without them muscles can “misfire” and cramp.
I suggest adding an extra fruit or vegetable to each meal a day. It will definitely improve your health.
Fitness or nutrition question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fitness4yourlife.org
David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team,
USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show. David also served as lead trainer to L.H.Fields Modeling Agency.