What a great time to discuss this element. The Sun is now in watery Pisces and it seems so appropriate to dive into this topic. Today I was reminded that where I live, Los Angeles, is a very dry area of the U.S. Specially compared to the high humidity of Miami, FL where I used to live. Everyone that comes to visit me from Miami always complains about L.A.’s dryness. And yeah, we’re actually experiencing a major drought! However, up until today I had forgotten how dry it can get in this environment because my skin has not shown many signs of dryness. In fact, I think I used to have dryer skin in Miami, before I changed my diet.
How can this be? Well, the popular advice we commonly hear to stay hydrated by drinking lots and lots of H20 doesn’t work too well. Just because the human body’s dry weight is made up of protein, many assume we should stuff our bodies with protein rich foods (which is a totally outdated idea). And just because we are made up of mostly water, we are told to guzzle tons of water. The laws of nature are just not that simple.
Science is finally starting to understand that high protein diets have detrimental long term effects on the body. So what can we say about drinking 8 glasses of water per day? When a person’s body contains a high quantity of toxins, water definitely helps to dilute them and helps the kidneys filter them out. But this is definitely not the optimal way to hydrate the body.
I’ve noticed that I don’t get as thirsty as I used to get before. This is because the body absorbs the most perfectly structured H20 from fruits and soft leafy greens 10-20x more easily than the water we drink. Fruits and vegetables are also Nature’s perfect water filters! Eating lots of cooked, low water content foods, and trying to make it up by drinking water is virtually impossible.
Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is that my skin is not quite as sensitive to the sun as it was before. When I’m playing outdoors for hours, my non raw vegan companions burn up much faster and easier than me, and they are always much thirstier. Perhaps this has something to do with our difference in diet and hydration levels.
Through my observations and research, I’ve found that the very best way to get hydrated is by focusing on high-water content foods. By doing this you will be far better off!
These 13 fruits and vegetables are highest in water content and are at least 90% water by weight:
• Celery – 95.4% water content
• Cucumber –96.7% water content
• Radishes – 95.3% water content
• Tomatoes – 94.5% water content
• Bell Peppers – 93.9% water content
• Cauliflower – 92.1% water content
• Watermelon – 91.5% water content
• Spinach – 91.4% water content
• Star Fruit – 91.4% water content
• Strawberries – 91 % water content
• Broccoli – 90.7% water content
• Grapefruit – 90.5 % water content
• Cantaloupe – 90.2% water content
These are some of the staples in my diet and I know they supply my body with ample amounts of living water.
Industries are thirsty for your money
The obsession with “hydration” has given birth to an entire industry of water bottles, drinking water filters and energy drinks. But according the the Institute of Medicine, most people actually do get plenty of fluids. Their verdict is, drink when thirsty and instead of gulping water, reduce salt intake (not to be confused with sodium from natural foods such as celery). On the raw food lifestyle, we (ideally) do not get any salt, so we are rarely thirsty. Perhaps drinking free water is unnecessary in this lifestyle.
So…don’t drink water?
Now I’m not telling you to not drink water, not at all. If you eat ANYTHING, from which water has been removed, you must drink a large measure of good, clean water. I’m just sharing my experience (and many other raw foodists) that demonstrates that my body is hydrated in a very dry land and I don’t drink anywhere near 8 glasses of water per day. I drink about 32-74 oz. of water on days that my body is asking for it. My skin has never been this soft and vibrant. The only moisturizer I use is a little bit of coconut oil about 3-4 times per week. After my hot yoga classes, while everyone is hot red and guzzling down their water, I am delightfully quenching my thirst by enjoying a fresh juice or a melon mono meal filled with repleneshing minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.
Listen to your body and observe how you feel, pay attention, it will tell you what it needs. A visual sign of dehydration to watch out for is the color of your urine. It should be clear or at most a light yellow. If you haven’t just taken vitamins that contain riboflavin, and your urine is a bright to dark yellow, you very well may be dehydrated. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda contribute to dehydration, as well as sugar and alcoholic beverages of all kinds. If you’re overweight, and you are sluggish, or depressed, your body might be telling you to make some dietary changes, and raw foods might be one way to offset your water shortage. After you begin eating more raw foods, with their higher fiber and moisture content, you may start to lose weight and feel more energy.
Careful with your water source
If you do drink water, there are several factors to consider. Water from pure springs, lakes or wells introduces a lot of inorganic minerals into your body that in time will form cement-like deposits in your joints, gallbladder and kidneys and may clog your arteries. Most bottled water is simply tap water run through filters or special treatments. Bottled water may also contain carcinogens that leach from plastic containers. Bottled waters are legally allowed, under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, to contain the same levels and types of contaminants as tap water.
Distilled water should be a viable alternative. But there is evidence that it is basically “dead” water because distilling causes it to lose its structure. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a living foods advocate who writes on page 509 of his book ‘Conscious Eating,’ states that “distilled water is dead, unstructured water so foreign to the body that one actually gets a temporary high white blood cell count in response to drinking it.”
However turning dead water into living water is only a matter of exposing it to sunlight for several hours or adding a few drops of fresh-squeezed juice. Or you can buy one of those $4000 alkaline water machines, if you have that kind of money. I personally find it healthier, more natural and affordable to make my diet consist of mostly water-rich, organic, local foods. Nature’s best source of H2O.
I hope you see in this general recommendation one more proof: the miracle is in raw foods! If even a drop can restore water, why not restore yourself with a whole glass of fresh juice or smoothie? If you don’t eat raw foods, you can never drink enough free water to hydrate your body. If you eat only raw food, free water is not important because everything you eat is composed of at least 80% of the most biologically active water.
Stay healthy and hydrated! If you enjoyed this article by all means, please share and link back to my site. Thank you!