Staying hydrated is important for better health as it helps to maintain good overall health. Besides, it is important to drink adequate amounts of fluids when following vegan diet plans as you will be eating more plant-based food that generally has high amounts of fiber. However, most people who follow a vegan diet overlook the importance of proper hydration and pay attention to it when they suffer health issues. The purpose of this article is to explore various aspects of hydration for vegans.
What Does Hydration Mean?
Before discussing in detail hydration for vegans, let us get a better understating of hydration. Staying hydrated means ensuring that the body has enough fluids as cells require water for performing various metabolic processes. It is also required for proper nutrient absorption. The body loses water through sweat, urine, feces, and breath. So, it is important to maintain a healthy water percentage by replenishing with adequate amounts of fluids intake.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Staying Hydrated?
Water plays an important role in various homeostatic functions, and they are listed below:
- Regulating Body Temperature: Sweating is a mechanism by which our body cools down when the core body temperature rises beyond a particular threshold.
- Maintaining Physical Performance: Dehydration causes issues like an increase in fatigue and a reduction in endurance.
- Gastrointestinal Function: Not maintaining a healthy water percentage may cause constipation. But this varies from one person to another.
- Kidney Function: Consuming adequate amounts of water is essential for the healthy functioning of kidneys.
- Cognitive Performance: Dehydration affects the normal functioning of the brain, and the severity depends on the amount of water loss. Mild dehydration affects short-term memory, concentration, and alertness, while severe dehydration causes delirium and hallucination.
These are some of the important effects of proper hydration or dehydration on your body. So, it is recommended to stay hydrated, especially during summer to avoid health issues.
Why Is Hydration Important For Vegans?
People transition to vegan diet plans mainly for health benefits. However, some people experience changes in bowel movements and digestion. In most cases, this lasts for a few days, and the body returns to normal. But in some cases, people run into trouble. The main reason for this unpleasant experience is the increase in fiber intake, as plant-based food has higher amounts of fiber.
You must know that when people increase their fiber intake, they must increase their fluid intake accordingly. This is because plant-based food contains soluble fiber that helps with healthy bowel movement, and it requires water in the digestive tract. But, when the water intake is inadequate, it causes gastrointestinal issues like gas formation, constipation, or bloating. Due to this reason alone, those who consume a vegan meal must ensure proper hydration to get the health benefits associated with a vegan diet and for avoiding digestive issues. Furthermore, some people experience diarrhea when they transition to plant-based diets, and this causes fluid loss. In this case, extra fluid intake is critical to compensate for the loss in water. Finally, you must consult a physician if the symptoms of digestive issues last more than a few days.
How To Stay Hydrated As A Vegan?
Staying hydrated means maintaining a healthy water percentage in the body. This includes drinking water and consuming food with water content. As part of the vegan diet plans, you can consume more whole foods like fruits and vegetables because most of them have adequate amounts of water in them.
Listed below is the water content of various fruits and vegetables:
- Cucumbers: This vegetable has the highest water content, i.e. 97%.
- Iceberg Lettuce: This leafy green vegetable contains 96% water.
- Celery: It has 96% water and contains nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K.
- Tomatoes: Tomato contains 95% water, and it is rich in the antioxidant lycopene.
- Radishes: It has a water content of 95%, and it has high amounts of antioxidants.
- Red, Yellow, And Green Peppers: Their water content ranges between 92 to 93%.
- Spinach: Spinach contains 91% water and is rich in fiber, potassium, folate, and lutein.
- Broccoli: This cruciferous vegetable contains 91% water, and it has phytochemicals that have cancer-fighting properties.
- Watermelon: This fruit contains 92% water, and it has high amounts of antioxidant lycopene that has cancer-fighting properties.
- Grapefruit: It contains 90% water and has high amounts of vitamin C, which helps to keep the immune system healthy.
- Berries: Almost all berries contain water, especially strawberry, which has 91% water content. Besides, they are good sources of antioxidants like ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and resveratrol.
Apart from eating fruits and vegetables with water content, you can also prepare food like soups and sauces that can be consumed as part of a vegan meal. Also, beverages like juices and smoothies are a good way to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy water percentage in your body.
So, hydration is important whether you are following vegan diet plans or not, because adequate water is essential for ensuring various homeostatic functions.