5 September 2007

The "forgotten nutrient"

Seeing the heading you might be wondering what i will be telling you today, it is nothing but the main solvent of our body that is water. It is generally overlooked until it becomes a problem such as during scarcity so it is termed as the forgotten nutrient.

Water makes up 50-70% of weight of human body. Lean individuals have a higher percentage of body water than the overweight individuals. Men have a higher proportion of body water than women in asuch as even women of normal weight have more adipose tissue. The young have a higher ratio of water than older individual.

Water is essential for various functions of the body :
  1. Digestion
  2. Regulating body temperature
  3. Acts as a body lubricant-the saliva that makes possible the swallowing of food, the mucous secretion of the gastrointestinal , respiratory tracts etc.

It is generally met by intake of water and beverages, the water content present in foods and the water resulting from oxidation of food stuffs.

Ordinarily, thirst is an accurate guide in supplying the neccessary amount of water. Under ideal conditions including very low -solute diet, a minimum of physical activity and absence of sweating, the water need for the adult is about 1.5 liters. It includes from beverages, food and water of oxidation. The daily requirement is about 1ml/Kcal for adults and 1.5ml/Kcal for infants.

So, I strongly recommend that for every normal individual a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water is neccessary for maintaining good health. Consuming so much water at once is not possible so divide it throughout the day. Consuming reasonable amount of water will help in good bowel movement and also regulates the body temperature. It is always better to maintain balance between water excreted and water consumed so that our body does not get dehydrated.

For people who want to control their eating habit, try drinking a glass of water before eating. It will give fullness and decrease your apetite to certain extent. Drinking two full glasses fo water in early morning preferably on empty stomach helps to clean our bowels properly. Make this a habit eveyday. During summer usually the requirement of water is more for every individual since water loss is more due to sweating so drink sufficient water and maintain good health.

I hope you will try drinking more water now that you know the importance of water. Remember atleast 6-8 glasses is a must. Make this a practice and let me know what your experience has been.

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