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Daniele de Winter, daughter of pioneering cancer specialist Dr Jan de Winter, with whom she has worked in cancer prevention for over 20 years, is author of the US best-seller Eat Yourself Beautiful, as well as What the Doctor Ordered and INSIDEOUT beauty. She spearheads DANIELE de WINTER MONACO, a luxury, holistic beauty and spa company based in Monte Carlo.

Health & beauty benefits of water

Not that you would notice it in many developed countries, but water is fast becoming the most precious commodity in the world. Unlike many of life’s cute little luxuries, we simply cannot do without it. Given a growing global population and soaring global pollution levels, this is a sobering fact.

For a healthy, happy life, drinking at least six big glasses of spring water every day is probably the smartest habit you can adopt (other than breathing) – ever.

Water is the most important and the most abundant nutrient in our body. It is the medium in which all energy reactions take place. The average adult body is comprised of 55 to 75 per cent water, and simply drinking enough every day improves your skin, your teeth, your physical stamina and also your muscle tone without you even setting a foot in the gym!

Water is everywhere in the body, flowing through arteries, veins, and capillaries, carrying nutrients to all cells and transporting waste out of the body.

Here are some of the health and beauty benefits of drinking enough water:

1. Losing weight and achieving an optimum BMI (body mass index). People frequently confuse thirst for hunger. Drinking enough water not only washes away imagined hunger pangs but also helps your body metabolize properly, helping you to achieve your ideal weight. Even mild dehydration can slow your body’s metabolism by three to five per cent!

2. Proper absorption of vitamins and nutrients, leading to younger-looking, more beautiful skin and a healthier body.

3. More efficient functioning of the liver and kidneys, which transport waste from the body and so are essential for clear, radiant skin.

4. Efficient digestion: even if you have a high fiber diet, fiber cannot aid proper digestive function by itself. On the contrary, without water, fiber can cause constipation and bloating.

5. Improved mental performance: if you are dehydrated, your blood is literally thicker, and your body has to work much harder to make it circulate. As a result the brain becomes less active and it becomes harder to concentrate.

6. Water reduces the risk and frequency of headaches: headaches are frequently triggered by dehydration, so drinking a big, cool glass of water should always be your first step before reaching for the painkillers.

7. Water cushions joints and protects tissues and organs, including the spinal cord, from shock and damage.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology also found that women who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 per cent less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank less than two glasses.

Finally, according to the late Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, 75 per cent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and simply drinking more water can dramatically reduce an individual’s risk of back pain, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and cancer!

Water tips:

Religiously drink six to eight 300ml glasses of water every day – more if it is hot or you are working out.

Coffee, strong black tea, canned sodas and alcohol do not count towards your water consumption as they force the body to use up water for their elimination. Herb tea and pure fruit and vegetable juices do count.

Drink two glasses of water 45 minutes before every meal but only sip water while you are eating. Too much water with your meal dilutes the stomach acid, can cause bloating and allows you to digest your meals less efficiently: you do not absorb less calories, just less nutrients.

Eat lots of raw, fresh vegetables, salads and fruits. A lettuce is composed of 96 per cent water and even a carrot is 92 per cent. Water in fresh produce is living, energy-charged water, the best thing God invented for beautiful skin.

Always have a carafe or bottle of water on your desk or in your bag so that you can take sips throughout the day.

If you feel tired, stressed, hungry or angry, stop everything and have a big, cool glass of water before you do anything else.

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Daniele de Winter

by Daniele de Winter

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