Nutrition and Hydration Week is officially upon us. Between the dates of Monday 11thand Sunday 17thMarch, organisations around the country are championing the benefits of a healthy diet, from glowing skin to a sunny disposition.
Of course, while we all have good intentions, sometimes, life gets in the way. Picking up a latte on the morning commute is far more appealing than spending hours with a juicer. So how can we find a way to look after ourselves that fits in with our schedules?
Life hacks to hydrate yourself better
This might shock you: there’s more to hydration than just sticking to your eight glasses of water per day. Here’s how to make sure your water intake is consistent with your body’s needs.
Get water from other sources
Ever wondered why guinea pigs and rabbits hardly seem to drink from the bottle? Our snuggly friends are likely getting their water from their diet. Watermelons, as the name suggests, contain 92% water, while iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes are all highly water-dense. Soups and smoothies are also a great choice, but avoid overly creamy, salty or sugary recipes.
Monitor your salt intake
If you’re partial to a cheeky takeaway, you’ve probably felt that thirsty feeling after eating a salt-heavy meal. When we consume too much salt, our bodies retain water to redress the sodium and water balance. This leads to dehydration, and worse still, bloating!
Other foods to be aware of include diuretics, such as tea, coffee and alcohol, which encourage us to go to the toilet more often. You might think you’re hydrating yourself, but you could be doing the very opposite! Trade caffeinated drinks for hot lemon water and stave off the hangover by drinking glasses of water between drinks.
Next time you have some “alone time”, take a look in the bowl. Urine should be a straw or pale gold colour, or occasionally lighter if you’ve had a lot of liquid. If it appears dark honey or brown-coloured, this is a classic sign of dehydration, so start topping up!
You can also perform a quick “skin pinch” test on your hand. If you skin returns to normal very slowly, this is also a common dehydration indicator.
Give yourself a reminder
Bear in mind that all of these tips complementa healthy daily dose of H2O. If you’re having a hard time tracking it, try one of these cute water bottles with a hydration tracker. There are no excuses for not topping up – they even tell you where you should be at what point in the day. Perfect for a desk job!
Nutritional sources for better wellbeing
The abovementioned “thirsty foods” are not only great for keeping you hydrated; they serve a whole lot of other purposes too. Iceberg lettuce is better known for its hydrating properties than its nutritional ones, but watermelons are known for reducing inflammation and overall pain, while tomatoes are a source of disease-fighting lycopene. You can also try:
- Courgettes – a rich source of fibre
- Celery – a known source of vitamin K and potassium to fight osteoporosis
- Plain yoghurt – rich in calcium for healthy bones
- Collagen supplements – for supple skin and moisturised hair
The benefits of good nutrition and hydration
Beyond disease-fighting properties, a balanced diet makes us look great and feel better. Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining our skin’s moisture, helping to plump up wrinkles and banish dry skin.
A collagen supplement can also work wonders for our appearance. Collagen keeps the hair follicle healthy, helping to maintain the natural oils which keep our hair soft, while its essential proteins maintain our skin’s elasticity. Just three daily chewswill restore the declining levels of collagen that we face when we age.
A healthy diet also promotes happiness! Primarily, a healthier diet makes for a healthier person, which in turn improves your ability to sleep and exercise. Both of these have been proven to decrease stress, while zinc, iron, magnesium and key vitamins may inhibit depression.
Superfood your diet
Superfoods such as beetroot and blueberries also keep your immune system shipshape. We all feel better when we’ve finally beaten that cold! There’s no need to take on a drastic diet or spend thousands on tools to add better food and water into your diet. A few simple swaps, plus a helping hand from daily supplements, will see you on your way to all-round wellbeing.
Find out more about Nutrition and Hydration Week here.