In our modern world we have access to so much different food and drink from all over the world, the art of healthy living is to keep our eating and drinking simple and not fall into bad habits like overeating. It seems like we are programmed to eat every time there is food on the table, like an old instinct telling us to pick up food, just in case, for the bad times. In the ’western’ world we face the risk of overeating but still being undernourished. It is like we are starving while getting fat. Research has shown that more ‘primitive’ populations like nomads and the Hunza people, who only eat in moderation, are healthier and even live longer than other populations.
Our health detectives found a few common denominators for vibrant health and over the next couple of issues will provide their simple 7 step action plan for a healthier life.
4. Movement / Exercise
7. Emotional balance
With summer already upon us we start with the first chapter about hydration
Water makes up about 70% of total body weight, so in a 70kg person, almost 50kg is liquid, which is a lot. Water is needed to keep the body hydrated. Just a 5% drop in body fluids can cause a 25 – 30% loss of energy in most people. In fact, even mild dehydration can slow our metabolism down by 3% – when you consider this, you can see why re-hydrating can support weight loss! Proper hydration is essential for every function of the human body (if fluids drop by just 15% we die) and dehydration is the root cause of many symptoms. From simple thirst to depression, cancer, obesity, fatigue, bulimia, digestion problems, skin problems and so on, dehydration may not be the only cause but they can be the symptoms of repeated, daily dehydration.
This can be changed easily. Just the simple act of drinking enough water, on a daily basis, can have a profound effect on our life. Water will certainly help with weight loss, as it clears acidic toxins from our system and boosts our metabolism. Our body’s cry of thirst is also often mistaken for hunger, which can lead to overeating.
Most people need 3 – 4 litres per day, which might sound a lot but once into the habit is not too hard to manage. The amount is calculated by body weight: 1 litre of water per 18 – 20kg of body weight, so a 70 kg person needs 3,5 – 3,8 l a day.
If we drink this amount every day it is important that the quality is as high as possible. Drinking 3 – 4 litres of bottled water will still hydrate and give some benefit, but a mineral-rich, toxin-free, filtered water with a pH of above 7 (preferably between 8 – 9) is best.
When the water fits this description we can really see a difference. Most people have heard about filtered water being good or that they should drink a good mineral water. In earlier articles we have covered the alkaline- acid balance in the body (see Your Body as a Fish Tank at www.lachispa.net). Drinking water that is slightly alkaline makes a huge difference in boosting our health and clearing out waste and toxins.
As our body is alkaline by design and acid by function, our body HAS to keep the pH of our blood, cells and other fluids at a just slightly alkaline level (pH 7.365) and it will do ANYTHING it has to in order to maintain this pH balance. Our body calls upon its store of ‘alkaline buffers’, which it draws upon to neutralize the acids we ingest or create through bodily processes. This store of buffers is very easily depleted because most of us eat and drink such strong acidic foods. Furthermore, the pH scale is logarithmic – so pH 6 is 10x more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100x times more acidic than pH 7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic. As an example colas have a pH of between 2 and 3, so you can see how a diet filled with this and other acidic foods like meat, dairy, fizzy drinks and alcohol would quickly deplete these buffers.
If these buffers have been depleted and we still ingest more acids, the body is then forced to draw on alkaline minerals which means big trouble in the body – if the body is constantly drawing on calcium reserves to neutralize the acids we consume, then osteoporosis symptoms appear (hence the research linking drinking cola with osteoporosis). Another outcome is that the body also hangs onto excess fat to protect our body / organs from the damage caused by an acidic state. Also, if we ingest high levels of sugar, the sugar ferments in the blood, creating more acids, and more acid waste, which feeds the sugar, which ferments into bacteria, yeast and fungus, creating more acid wastes and so on in a vicious cycle of acid creation. This further depletes the alkaline buffers resulting in skin conditions like eczemas, fragile tissue, joint problems, yeast infections, mood swings, depression, problems with concentration and memory, emotional problems, diabetes and a whole heap of other symptoms.
So when we infuse our body with alkaline, mineral-rich water we help to flush out these toxins, rehydrate our system, detoxify the body of yeasts, fungus and moulds and actually raise the pH of our internal environment. Our diet and modern lifestyle will always lead us to consume more acid than alkaline and so by giving our body this gift of alkaline water, we help to neutralize the acids and retain our balance.
Back to the basics:
It is what we drink, eat, think and feel that makes the difference.
Have a healthy hydrating summer.
Dr PernilleKnudtzon MD, GP
Tel: 678 253 510
This post is also available in: Spanish