Part VB: The Chemistry of Nutrition
This blog series has covered the key to health and youth: a balanced pH. We have discussed three factors that affect the rate at which we age:
Previously, we began to delve into the fourth factor: Nutrition. I told you about the first of four nutrition tips that I give to every client: adequate hydration. This is the cheapest and easiest health practice for slowing down the aging process. This time we will discuss the second dietary recommendation that I make to every client:
The correct time & temperature for drinking H2O
Believe it or not, there are times when it is NOT good to drink water. When my husband and I visited Japan 16 years ago, our friends questioned us about why we drank so much water at every meal. At a restaurant they would order “water for the gaijin” (for my Hebrew friends, kinda sounds like “goyim,” doesn’t it?), with a look of confusion on their faces, as if to say, “I don’t understand these Americans, but go ahead and bring them water to drink.” We responded to their questions by telling them about the importance of proper hydration, and then we asked them why they didn’t drink as much water as we did. They told us that it is not good to drink water at meals because it would negatively affect digestion. We thought this was a little strange and maybe even superstitious, but we filed it as a possible truth. Afterall, the Japanese have many customs that are truly sound health practices, and Americans are beginning to understand the wisdom of these traditions.
Throughout the years, I have continued to hear mixed opinions about drinking water at mealtime, and finally during my coursework to become a Master Herbalist, I was won over to the Eastern philosophy about when to drink water. I learned from Dr. Bernard Jensen in The Chemistry of Man that water with food dilutes stomach acids, thus affecting digestion. I also learned that cold water can shut down digestion. And more recently, I learned that cold water causes the fats in our foods to clump together in a solid form, which will then create a sludge-like lining on the inside of our intestines—yuck! This lining prevents proper absorption of nutrients, and lays a foundation for the growth of cancer within the intestines. Read this article for more information on fighting disease with H2O.
So what about hot water? In Eastern medicine, hot water or tea is taken with meals to aid in digestion. In fact, drinking a cup of hot water with lemon first in thing in the morning is said to help cleanse the body and get things moving in a healthy way. The rest of the day, sip room temperature water continually between meals, refraining one hour before and one hour after eating. This will give the stomach plenty of time to release digestive juices. Drinking continually is important because the body can only absorb 4 ounces of water every 30 minutes. So, guzzling several glasses of water at one time, once you feel thirsty or dehydrated, is not beneficial. This is because once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. It is best to go about drinking ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day at a slow and steady rate. Remember the tortoise and the hare!
The very first blog I wrote was called, "So Where Do I Start?" (September 2012). As I said there, it can be overwhelming and confusing to sort through all of the health advice we hear and read, but the best advice I can give is to start somewhere. Take baby steps, and choose one thing at a time to work. Once that one thing is an automatic part of your lifestyle, move on to the next thing….and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
For even more information about the importance of water to TOTAL HEALTH, download my eBook called Living Water.