The Importance of Water

Water is an essential nutrient, more important to life than any of the others.  The body needs more water each day than any other nutrient.  You can survive only a few days without water.

Water constitutes about 60 per cent of an adult’s body weight and a higher percentage of a child’s.  Water makes up about three quarters of the weight of lean tissue and less than one quarter of the weight of fat, so a person’s body composition influences how much of the body’s weight is water.

In the body, water is the fluid in which all life processes occur.  The water in the body fluids:-

Carries nutrients and waste products throughout the body

Maintains the structure of large molecules such as proteins and glycogen

Participates in metabolic reactions

Serves as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids, glucose and many other small molecules so that they can participate in metabolic activities

Acts as a lubricant and cushion around joints and inside the eyes, the spinal cord and in pregnancy, the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in the womb

Aids in regulation of normal body temperature, i.e. evaporation of sweat

Maintains blood volume

Percentage of Water in Selected Foods

100% Water
90 – 99% Strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, broccoli
80 – 89% Fruit juice, yoghurt, apples, grapes, oranges, carrots
70 – 79% Prawns, bananas, corn, potatoes, avocados, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese
60 – 69% Pasta, legumes, salmon, ice-cream, chicken breast
50 – 69% Minced beef, hot dogs, feta cheese
40 – 49% Pizza
30 – 39% Cheddar cheese, bread rolls, bread
20 – 29% Salami, cake, biscuits
10 – 19% Butter, margarine, raisins
1 – 9% Biscuits, cereals, pretzels, taco shells, peanut butter, nuts
0% Oils, sugar

So drink more water and eat more prawns!

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