In "Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal," water and fruit are essential components of a sensible diet plan. The Reader's Digest Association suggests an adult needs to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Water can come from decaffeinated tea, juices and even food such as fruit. Fruit provides other nutritional benefits through the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients it contains. Water and fruit can be part of a well-balanced diet that includes all your basic food groups.
Function of Water
The Reader's Digest Association says water is the most abundant substance found in the human body and is essential for bodily functions. It is used for digesting, absorbing and transporting nutrients from foods throughout your body. Water helps regulate body temperature, builds body tissues and lubricates various organs and joints. It aids in the excretion of accumulated wastes and toxins. You lose water through urination, perspiration and other bodily functions, so it is important to replace lost fluids to avoid dehydration.
Types of Water
There are several types of water available for drinking. In "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth," Dr. Jonny Bowden says tap water is the most common, but it can be easily contaminated with microorganisms and pollutants. Distilled water is purified by evaporation, which removes its minerals. Purified water has been sterilized and filtered. Spring water is taken from a natural spring and contains natural minerals. Sparkling water contains dissolved carbon dioxide to make it bubbly. Other types to try include club soda, mineral water and seltzer water.
Food Sources of Water
According to the Reader's Digest Association, most fresh fruits and berries are generally composed of up to 80 percent of water. Fruits that have high water content include watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruits, grapes, mangoes and blueberries. Some vegetables contain up to 95 percent water. Include cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes in your diet. Breads, dairy products, fish, poultry, meat and eggs contain trace amounts of water as well.
Types of Fruit
There are several varieties of fruit available to include in your diet. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, maintaining collagen and healing wounds. Fruits with orange or deep yellow flesh are excellent sources of vitamin A. The University of California at Berkeley suggests vitamin A promotes healthy vision, skin, teeth, mucous membranes and skeletal tissues. This group includes apricots, peaches, cantaloupes and mangoes. Grapes and watermelon contain pigments such as lycopene and quercetin that act as antioxidants. Other fruits include berries, apples, pears, bananas and avocados. All fruits are rich in fiber which aids in relieving constipation.
Significance of Antioxidants
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you should eat at least two to four servings of fruit a day. The USDA claims that people who eat the recommended amounts of fruits have a reduced incidence of cancer, heart attacks and strokes. The Reader's Digest Association claims that the prevention of these diseases is due to the high number of antioxidants found in fruits. Antioxidants act by preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are toxins produced within the body and from the environment. Eat fruits that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A and C. Try kiwi, melons, mangoes, papayas and oranges.
- "Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal"; The Reader's Digest Association; 1997
- "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth"; Jonny Bowden, PhD; 2007
- "The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition"; The University of California at Berkeley; 1992