Dehydration and Foods That Help Fight It
Dehydration occurs when a person uses or loses more fluid than is consumed, and the body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. It is especially important that seniors pay attention to keeping hydrated since it can lead to delirium, infections or worse. Staying hydrated for seniors can be simple and may help prevent the need to go to the hospital.
Our body is composed of up to 50 to 75 percent water; the body uses water for almost every function: it carries oxygen and nutrients, transports hormones, moistens tissues, protects organs, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, helps metabolize prescription medication and uses it to eliminate toxins through the colon, skin, and bladder.
When you don’t take in enough water, your body can become chronically dehydrated. Chronic dehydration can cause symptoms that include lack of energy, migraine, or other chronic pains such as joint pain, difficulty concentrating, lack of mental clarity, and insomnia. Even anxiety and depression have been linked to chronic dehydration. According to preliminary research, chronic dehydration can also slow the body’s metabolism.
Our body loses water every day through breathing, sweating, and digestion, and above all, by eliminating toxins through urine. Daily water loss varies from person to person; it depends on your body weight, activity level, diet, climate (temperature and humidity), and water intake.
Special attention must be paid if you’re experiencing any illness that may enhance your water requirements, including high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. You’ll likely require more water on hot, humid days or during vigorous exercise.
Foods with High-Water Content
According to the old rule of thumb, you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water per day (and some experts recommend even more). Many people don’t like to drink plain water, or just don’t have the habit of doing such a daunting task day in and day out, but here’s the catch: You don’t have to drink all that water. Roughly 20% of our daily water intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables. You can ensure proper hydration by drinking other fluids and by eating foods that have a high-water content.
Below is a list of foods and their water content that can help you stay hydrated.
Cucumbers – 96% Iceberg Lettuce – 95% Radishes – 95%
Tomatoes – 94% Green Peppers – 93% Cauliflower – 92%
Grapes – 92% Watermelon – 91% Spinach – 91%
Strawberries – 91% Broccoli – 90% Grapefruit – 90%
Baby Carrots – 90% Cantaloupe – 90% Oranges – 87%
Blueberries –85% Apples – 84%
Remember that these fruits and veggies are better consumed raw because they lose their water content when cooked or broiled. You may also want to include bananas in your diet because they have high potassium and magnesium levels, which helps regulate fluids in your body.
It’s still important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in summer, but you can also quench your thirst with these super hydrating foods.