How to combat chronic dehydration naturally?
Babies and small children’s bodies contain approximately 75-78% water, while the elderly have only 50% body water. Is this a natural process of aging or the result of chronic dehydration that gets worse as we age?
Often we are chronically dehydrated without being aware of it. This can occur without feeling thirsty, or even when we drink a lot of fluids throughout the day. The body is not always able to properly absorb the liquids we drink, and we also lose a substantial amount of water due to toxins, radiation, viruses and dehydrating food. Even showering or swimming in a pool that contains chlorine can contribute to a chronic state of dehydration.
When we become dehydrated our blood thickens, just like any other liquid that is lacking water. The thicker our blood becomes, the harder the heart has to work to draw blood up from the liver, and the less oxygen our organs receive. This can give rise to numerous health issues.
Some of us enter this world in a state of dehydration, while others become dehydrated as they age. The longer we remain dehydrated, the thicker the blood becomes. This is why it is so important to learn what we can do to remedy the situation.
A diet high in protein is usually a diet high in fats. Animal protein and products are high in fats and can lead to dehydration faster than other foods. A diet rich in animal products can lead to health issues such as a stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), heart attack, liver and/or kidney problems, and high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. The risk for cancer and other health problems rise as our blood becomes thicker, due to the lower oxygen circulating throughout the body, and an inability to properly detox.
Dehydration and Viruses
Certain viruses, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, thrive in thick blood and a body suffering from chronic dehydration. For anyone dealing with viral conditions such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or MS, it is vitally important to remain as hydrated as possible.
Dehydrating Beverages and Salty Food
Often we are not aware of how dehydrating the beverages we drink can be. Beverages such as coffee, diet soda (which is by far the worse) and alcohol are extremely dehydrating. Processed food and most restaurant foods contain a lot of salt and additives that can also contribute to dehydration. We need sodium in our diet which we can get from mineral rich vegetables such as celery and leafy greens. Refined salt is not good for us, and contributes to dehydration. If you choose to drink these beverages every so often, be especially aware of bringing in more hydrating foods and drinks to keep your blood thin and body running smoothly.
A diet composed of mostly cooked food can perpetuate a state of chronic dehydration. In order to properly digest cooked food, the body needs to “borrow” fluids from the different organs and cells. This doesn’t mean that cooked food is not healthy for us, it just means that when we eat cooked food, we need to be more aware of eating plenty of hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Hydration and Detoxification
When we are well hydrated, the body can successfully remove toxins from the liver, kidneys and other organs. A great way to hydrate and also assist in detoxification is by drinking the heavy metal detox smoothie daily, which is based on wild blueberries and cilantro (or parsley for those who have a hard time with cilantro).
Panic, Anxiety and Depression
Panic, anxiety, depression and other situations that require intense mental activity need ample hydration for us to continue to function well. When we have thick blood, it is much harder to cope in any situation, especially situations such as these. If you are dealing with any neurological problem or are under intense stress, good hydration is critical. When feeling stressed, make sure to graze on raw food throughout the day, and limit dehydrating beverages like coffee or alcohol to a minimum.
A diet rich in animal protein, and low in fresh fruit vegetables, not only leads to dehydration, but can also lead to the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. This doesn’t’ mean that you shouldn’t eat animal protein, but rather lower the amount of animal protein, and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. All fruits and vegetables assist in removing gallstones, but figs, grapes, lemons & limes, oranges, pomegranates, artichokes, leafy greens, ginger, burdock root and cranberries are particularly helpful. There are those who recommend drinking olive oil with lemon juice to try and dislodge a gallstone. This is not advisable, and could end in a disaster.
How to Prevent Dehydration
When trying to prevent dehydration, we often think of drinking a lot of water. Drinking water can be hydrating, but not in all cases. Water often contains traces of chlorine, which can be extremely dehydrating. In addition to this, most of our drinking water stands in pipes or bottles which neutralizes the electrical charge within the water, preventing proper absorption.
One of the best ways to recharge the water is by adding the juice of half a lemon or lime to the water before drinking. This is best done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. On days where you feel you need extra hydration, drinking 16 oz of cucumber juice will do wonders. Other good hydrating beverages are coconut water, and as we already mentioned, fruit and vegetable juices. Fresh spinach soup is also a great recipe when looking for a well hydrating dish.
Herbal tea is not hydrating, nor is it dehydrating. Herbal tea does have has many medicinal advantages, but an herbal infusion is a great option when looking for a hydrating beverage. An herbal infusion is made by putting fresh herbs in water, and leaving them on the countertop to steep for approximately 6 hours. Lemon balm, lemon verbena, and peppermint are my favorites.
In regards to teas – black tea, green tea and Earl Grey are not considered herbal teas, and are dehydrating beverages.
Can we drink too much water?
We believe that more is better, but this certainly is not true when drinking water. Excessive water consumption can flush out vital nutrients, flood the kidneys and lead to excess water in the brain cells, and even lead to death.
My recomendation is to try and drink 2 liters of water a day, in addition to consuming lots of fruit and vegetables.
The Magic of Water
Water is life giving, and is capable of holding information and memories. The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto grants a wonderful insight to the influence we have on water, for better or for worse. We are largely composed of water, and every word, thought and emotion we have changes the structure of the water within us. This understanding has profound implications, for when we change our thoughts, the water within us emulates these changes immediately, transforming our physical body. It is important to be kind to ourselves and to others – it literally changes who we are.
Information in this article is based on Anthony William's work The Medical Medium
To better understand the water element within us, go to The Cosmic University - The Water Element