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Opinion

Water does the body good when the heat is too much to bear

The heat wave is upon us, with temperatures that can sometimes seem almost unbearable. The humidity and heat index also add to the misery that swells our body temperature and forces us to seek relief.
 
 Dr. Timothy Moore

The heat wave is upon us, with temperatures that can sometimes seem almost unbearable. The humidity and heat index also add to the misery that swells our body temperature and forces us to seek relief.

Water is needed to quench one’s thirst and keep the body temperature from rising. It also keeps the body from dehydrating. Dehydration must be taken seriously; it is a silent destroyer. You may not know, realize, or be aware when you’re having a problem.

What is dehydration? Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in. The body is very dynamic and always changing. Therefore, the body has to maintain a certain level of water in order to function optimally.

I’m amazed when I hear people say they don’t like water or don’t drink it at all for whatever reason. Water is key to survival. Your body is made up of 75 percent water.

If you don’t like to drink water, that’s OK. When you’re planning a meal, think of food choices that can help the body to stay cool. You can get water from other sources: bok choy, spinach, greens, salads, cabbage, broccoli, celery, and other leafy green vegetables. If you choose this route, you’d have to eat them mostly raw to extract more water out of them.

If you like fruit, you’re good to go. They’re full of juice, which can be converted to water. Fruit choices that can provide the body with proper hydration include watermelon, kiwi, apples, grapefruit, coconut, strawberries, and other kinds of berries as well.

Eating soup can also hydrate the body; water is used in soup recipes. Any soup you choose would be great for the body. Just get it into your system.

There are signs to look for if you’re dehydrated. One sign is a dry mouth. If you’re taking medication, make sure it’s not your medication that’s keeping your mouth dry. If you’re not sure, read the label on the medicine bottle for possible side effects. You might be surprised at what you’re reading. The other signs are muscle cramps, not being able to sweat, light-headedness, weakness, nausea and vomiting.

If you have to come in contact with the heat, remember to use common sense. Keep cool. And if you don’t know your neighbors, get to know them and see to it that they have something cool to drink and a place to stay cool. If not, offer to help them in some way.

It won’t be long, I believe, before school is in session. At any rate, schools should serve more balanced meals instead of fast food. In doing so, children will be more alert and effective with their academics. When nutrition is provided, the benefits speak for themselves.

Let me add something here about the healthcare system: If we are going to turn it around, we must teach what good nutrition means and how it helps in the long run in reducing outrageous healthcare costs. That means you and I will have to eat healthy to avoid going to the doctor’s office.

There’s nothing like preparing your own meals with fruit and vegetables that can be purchased at your local farmers market or grown in your own garden. Take control of your health. It’s time to take charge and realize that your health is all you have. When you lose your health, you have nothing at all.

Even though it is awfully hot these days, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of pure water. Also remember to exercise at least 30 to 40 minutes a day and get plenty of rest. Meditate if you need to and don’t be stressed by the things you can’t control. Learn to enjoy life.

Just in case you missed the point I made earlier about hydrating your body, let me reiterate: drink plenty of water. It does the body good.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at cheftimothy @wnm.net or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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