Water is life – and life on earth is linked to water. Our existence is dependent on water, or the lack of it, in many ways, and one could say that our whole civilization is built on the use of water.
Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83%water.
The more calcium and magnesium ions that are dissolved in water, the harder it is said to be; water with few dissolved calcium and magnesium ions is described as being soft.
Juice: Juice can come in as many varieties as there are types of fruits and vegetables. From orange juice to beet juice, freshly squeezed to concentrate, juice plays a huge part in our daily life. Fruit and vegetable juices are not only refreshing and filling, but also very good for you, due to their vitamin and mineral content. In fact, some fruit juices have such concentrated nutrients that you can fulfill some of your vitamin and mineral needs with a single cup. That being said, many fruit juices are altered with additional sugars and other additives, either fillers or flavorings. Depending on the source of the juice and the purity, the nutritional content may vary. Most juices are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and D, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorous. While most of these nutrients are gained when drinking juice, the actual juicing process causes most of the dietary fiber to be kept out of the juice itself, which makes it slightly less beneficial than simply eating the fruit alone.
Tea: When you pour boiling water over certain types of leaves, herbs or other substances, you can create a tea, which is primarily composed of water, but it is infused with the various nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of the tea "leaf”. Tea comes in many different forms, including black, green, white, oolong, and pure. You can also make teas from various herbs and spices, like cinnamon, honey, pine needle, chamomile, Echinacea and many others. Each tea variety promises certain health benefits by delivering specific antioxidants or other organic compounds to the drinker, as well as varying amounts of caffeine, depending on what the desired effect is. The most common benefits of tea are reduced inflammation, lower anxiety and stress levels, better sleep, respiratory improvement, an immune system boost and increased antioxidant activity to defend against chronic disease, like cancer.
Coffee: Similar to tea in its preparation, coffee is made by pouring boiling water over coffee grounds, which come from coffee beans. This is a rather straightforward beverage, and is found throughout the world. Its primary use is as a stimulant, and billions of cups of coffee are drunk every year around the world due to the high levels of caffeine found in this daily drink. Roasted coffee beans can come in many different varieties, flavors and intensities, which is why there are thousands of different coffee blends out there in the world. Most coffee has a moderate amount of B vitamins (pantothenic acid and riboflavin) and trace amounts of potassium and manganese. Caffeine can be addictive, so it is important to regulate your coffee intakes, as too much can negatively affect your nervous system and stomach.
Cocoa: One of the simplest beverages is cocoa, quite simply composed of hot water or milk mixed with cocoa powder, shaved chocolate or melted chocolate. Sugar is also added to some kinds of cocoa as a sweetener. Generally, cocoa is considered a sweet treat, and not a healthy beverage, but there are an impressive amount of surprising benefits. The cacao plant, from which cocoa is derived, possesses a number of antioxidants and organic acids, doing everything from improving blood flow and reducing cholesterol content to preventing chronic disease and boosting cognition.
Energy Drinks: The recent craze over energy drinks is understandable in our fast-paced world, but many of these supercharged beverages can be hazardous to our health, if drunk in excess. They tend to have slightly less caffeine than an average cup of coffee, despite how they’re marketed, but that isn’t the main problem. While they may give you a healthy energy boost, some of that is coming in the form of sugar, because there is a LOT in most energy drinks. So, while caffeine picks you up, the sugar crash that can occur after drinking an energy drink can also be quite severe.
Milk: One of the most natural substances in the world, milk is produced from the mammary glands of certain animals. Commonly consumed forms of milk include cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, camel, donkey, horse, reindeer and yak milk, although some of these are less commonly found than others. Animal milk is typically suggested to be drunk by animals of the same species (e.g., goat’s milk is best for goats, etc.), but there are significant health benefits to be had when humans drink these different animal milks. Many of them are high in minerals and unique compounds that can help build strong bones and improve immunity. Each type of animal milk, however, should be considered individually based on their individual nutrient profiles.