Most of us hear early on that we should drink water for good health, but some of us may not know why it is so important.
More than two-thirds of our bodies is made of water. It helps lubricate our joints, and without water, our organs could not properly function. Water is also essential in helping us remove waste from our bodies.
If you don’t consume enough water, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, fever, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and kidney problems among others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests adults consume between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water each day on average. Individuals who choose water when they are thirsty and at mealtime usually have no problem drinking enough daily. Water may also be consumed through healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your daily intake amount can fluctuate depending upon your weight, age, sex, activity level and certain medical conditions. You will also need to consume more water if you are in a hot climate, are physically active, running a fever, or losing fluids through vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Below are some suggestions on how to increase your and your family’s fluid intake.
• Keep a bottle of water with you.
• Eat more foods with high water content like fruit and vegetables.
• Add fruit to water for flavor.
• Give children water when they are thirsty.
• Choose water over sugar sweetened beverages when eating out. Not only will you consume fewer calories, but water is free in most restaurants.
Here is a recipe from Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud that could help you increase water intake.
Strawberry Green Tea
Ingredients: 13 cups water; 13 green tea bags, regular size; 1 pound fresh strawberries; 1 cup honey; 1 lemon, optional.
Yield: 16 eight-ounce servings
Directions: Wash strawberries and remove the tops. Chop the berries with a hand chopper in a large pot. Add water to the chopped berries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 5 minutes. Add tea bags and submerge. Steep tea for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth lined colander into a 1-gallon pitcher. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Chill and serve. Garnish with a lemon slice or fresh strawberry if desired.
Nutritional Analysis: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 0 g protein, 30% Daily Value for vitamin C
For more information on healthy living, contact the Letcher Cooperative Extension Service at 633-2362.
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