On my most recent birthday my husband gave me a beautiful, lush potted plant that I simply adored. A week later I took off for a three-week trip to Africa, leaving my daughter to care for my new plant while I was away. Imagine my dismay when I returned home and found a mass of dry, crumpled leaves slumped over the sides of the pot that had once been full of verdant life. Though that experience was a hard lesson for me (that’s the last time I’ll leave my daughter in charge of my plants!), it vividly reinforced a very vital truth: water is essential to life!
Approximately 70 percent of Planet Earth is covered with water. Similarly, about 60 percent of our bodies are comprised of water. Our brains are about 70 percent water, and our blood is about 83 percent water. Of all the components that are necessary for a healthy life, water is certainly one of the most important.
Water has a number of amazing properties. Here are just a few ways this miracle of nature can help you look and feel your best:
You’ll lose weight more easily.
If, like me, you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggles with maintaining a healthy weight, water can be your best friend. Water can help you lose weight in several ways. First, it helps your body to function optimally, aiding in digestion and absorption. Water also creates a sense of fullness and can help curb the urge to reach for unhealthy snacks. By keeping your body hydrated, you’ll also have the energy you need to stay active—another important aspect of weight management. And according to German researchers, water can boost the metabolism within 30 to 45 minutes of drinking it.
You’ll get an energy boost.
Drinking water gives you an extra shot of energy by helping to transport oxygen to the cells. If you find yourself experiencing an energy lull during the day, try drinking water rather than reaching for a cup of coffee. It works!
Your skin will look younger.
Drinking adequate water helps your skin stay moist, supple, and youthful. And remember: not any liquid will do. Some beverages, such as colas, coffee, tea, and alcohol, actually dehydrate you. As beverages go, nothing beats the health benefits of pure water.
You’ll keep things moving.
Constipation is one of the most common ailments in America. No doubt it’s because we simply aren’t drinking enough water. The food we eat travels to the large intestine, or colon, after being processed in the small intestine. If our bodies don’t have enough water, the large intestine soaks up water from the food waste, resulting in hard stools that are difficult to eliminate. So toss out the laxatives, save your money, and chug down eight or more glasses of water every day.
You’ll get a much-needed detox.
Adequate water helps your kidneys and liver better do their jobs of eliminating toxins from the body. And your muscles, skin, and digestive tract all reap the benefits. Start each morning with a glass of water with fresh lemon squeezed into it, and see what a difference it makes.
Your headache might just go away.
If you suffer with occasional headaches, it could well be a sign of dehydration. In fact, some physicians, such as F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of Water for Health, for Healing, for Life, believes that many of the ailments we suffer from today have their root cause in dehydration. Next time you experience a headache, try drinking eight ounces of water every hour until you get some relief. This remedy, coupled with a hot footbath and a cold cloth on your forehead, could be just what the doctor ordered!
Pat Humphrey is a freelance health writer and wellness coach who has a passion for helping others live healthier lives.