Water Cooler Health Cheats – the All-Powerful Grapefruit

Water Cooler Health Cheats – the All-Powerful Grapefruit

Typing the query ‘which fruit contains the most water’ into the omnipresent Google produces this result:

‘Grapefruit.’

*Then more about watermelon and strawberries – thing is, watermelon and strawberries seem to contain more water than grapefruit – 92% as opposed to the 91% of water in grapefruit.  This leads me to believe that there’s some secret grapefruit marketing organisation that’s fruit bombing Google to ensure that the lesser watered grapefruit receives pole position.

Anyhow, I’m all okay with it – I really enjoy grapefruit, not so much watermelon (a story for another time). It may stem from my clever Mother who used to prepare our half a grapefruit with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a Maraschino cherry on top every single morning, rain or shine; or because I’ve just always enjoyed the more citrus of fruits.

Grapefruit also contain powerful anti-oxidants. What are anti-oxidants, you may ask? Well, simply put, they are one of the first lines of defence that the body employs to keep free radicals in check and prevent them from causing a domino effect of damage on other cells.  Antioxidant compounds can ‘donate’ electrons to unstable free radicals so they don’t have to snatch electrons from unsuspecting nearby cells.  So the ‘all powerful’ in the headline was pretty bang on – it is a fruit containing much power for good.

The rich pink and red colours of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient.  A carotenoid gives fruit their red, orange and yellow colour.  These compounds are believed to protect against certain cancers, heart disease and even vision loss due to macular degeneration.  You won’t find lycopene in white grapefruit. White grapefruit? Didn’t know there was white grapefruit!  Continuing, lycopene appears to have anti-tumour activity. Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells.

So, aside from its top ranking despite it having the second highest water content, it would seem that grapefruit is all that.

As we head into the colder months, it’s understandable that we may veer away from topping up our water from the water cooler as much as we do when it’s warmer.  But this is a mistake – our bodies still need to hydrate irrespective of the weather.  What may be worth considering though is to ramp up your water intake with a water-rich, free radical booting fruit like … grapefruit.  We may not all have a Mum who prepares our get-up-and-go grapefruit for us, but that’s no excuse.

*updated from a 09 Nov 2015 blog

Drinking Water and Dental Health

Drinking Water and Dental Health

If we look at the dental health stats in the UK it hasn’t been the prettiest of pictures sadly.

For decades debate has raged about what does or doesn’t constitute good dental health.

The good news though, is that since 1968 adults being ‘edentate’ (meaning they had no teeth of their own) has reduced from 37% to a mere 1% in 1998.

The one incontrovertible fact is that if you maintain good drinking water habits, it promotes sound dental health significantly.

Simple ways where water helps you to keep healthy strong teeth:

  • Sometimes brushing teeth isn’t enough to dislodge food particles stuck between teeth (after meals and before you get home to brush your teeth). If you take a swig from your water bottle (in your re-usable water bottle that you have on you at all times, of course) and give your mouth a bit of a rinse, this can aid in removing food particles.
  • According to reports drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can help reduce morning breath.
  • There’s no sugar in water (yes, we know, a tad obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said!) so if you’re drinking water instead of sugary drinks, you’re actually reducing your chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • If you don’t carry dental floss or a toothbrush around with you (and I’m sure many of us don’t, especially at work), you can always give your mouth a quick refresh by substituting your toothbrush with a finger and rinsing your brushing with water, although we suggest that you don’t perform this ‘refresh’ at your water cooler.

Obviously there’s a lot more than drinking water that’s needed to improve your teeth and gum health, but it’s both a simple and helpful start.

Cheers! Here’s to your good dental health!

Water Cooler Benefits – Drinking Water promotes good Kidney health

Water Cooler Benefits – Drinking Water promotes good Kidney health

Our kidneys carry a very weighty responsibility in our bodies – as organs, they are one of the biggest multi-taskers we have – they are responsible for a myriad of functions – primarily these (among others) are:

  • To remove waste and extra fluid;
  • Control blood pressure;
  • Make red blood cells;
  • Keep bones healthy (Vitamin D production) and;
  • To control pH levels.

As our kidneys are made up of 79% water it becomes more apparent of how crucial they are to keeping our systems running smoothly.

To elaborate:  Water helps the kidneys remove wastes from your blood in the form of urine. Water also helps keep your blood vessels open so that blood can travel freely to your kidneys, and deliver essential nutrients to them. But if you become dehydrated, then it is more difficult for this delivery system to work.  Mild dehydration can make you feel tired, and can impair normal bodily functions.  Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage, so it is important to drink enough when you work or exercise very hard.

What may not be that apparent though is experiencing pain in the kidneys is often mistaken for back pain, which can be why we may not always realise that our kidneys are water deficient and are unable to function at optimal level.

That’s why it’s important to maintain good drinking water habits as this often is the simplest method towards ensuring good kidney health.

Due to the complex nature of our body’s kidneys function, it’s always good to monitor your water consumption and to rather be ‘water wise’.

One of the first indications you may be dehydrated can be quite easily seen in the colour of your urine. If you’re sufficiently hydrated, your urine will be light yellow or close to colourless. The darker yellow your urine is, the more dehydrated you are.

Another reason to maintain sufficient water intake is this practise can help reduce the likelihood of both kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs).  Kidney stones form less easily when there is sufficient water available to prevent stone-forming crystals from sticking together.  Water helps dissolve the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections, making them more effective. Drinking enough water also helps produce more urine, which helps to flush out infection-causing bacteria.

At AquAid we take the business of proper hydration seriously, from a number of perspectives:

We’re constantly working to ensure that our customers are supplied with the right water cooler for their requirements.

We also provide re-usable water bottles to schools to encourage healthy hydration habits among the children (and staff!)

We understand the importance of helping others gain access to safe drinking water: for 20 years now, AquAid have donated funds to charity. The charities we support implement sustainable water projects for people in need. To date, we have (thanks in large part to our customers) donated over £14 million and helped more than 2 million people gain access to safe drinking water.

Water Cooler Wonder – Guy Fawkes 2018

Water Cooler Wonder – Guy Fawkes 2018

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot …

and if you don’t recognise or remember this rhyme, I have to ask, where have you been for the – oh, last hundred years or so?

I’ve just come fresh from a night of Halloween trick or treating and am preparing myself for the 5th of November (today, that is). As a kid this was never a problem. The parents bought boxes of fireworks, family came round, night fell and fireworks were lit. The gorgeous night sky in the countryside where we lived lit up with sparkling brilliance in ice whites, yellows, greens, reds, blues and my favourite, purple. We didn’t build a bonfire or burn an effigy (perhaps we were a bit less bloodthirsty, not sure), but those evenings still hold some of my best memories.

If you are one of the ones that have no idea of what Guy Fawkes is about, let me draw your attention to Messrs. Wiki:

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain.

Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

There is a lot more history to do with Guy Fawkes, pages of the stuff, but you have the bare bones of it for now.

What I have noticed over the years is that the day itself has morphed into something of a trial for many people and in many cases, understandably so.  Apart from human beings seeming to sometimes have an in-built twit gene (setting off fireworks in an enclosed space; near flammable materials and nowhere near water and allowing children to light fireworks unmonitored), the effect that the explosions have on animals is pretty devastating and horrific + they don’t get to have a say in the matter.

So sadly I must say that although I’ve always really loved fireworks and would love to celebrate the day in style, this has been tempered over the years with a responsibility towards our four legged friends and I no longer buy or set off fireworks. This is, of course, a personal opinion.

The good news I suppose is that the lighting of bonfires and fireworks displays are more organised now, which means you have the opportunity to plan if you’re staying in to keep your pets calm and safe.

However you choose to observe (or ignore) this 5th of November, please keep yourself safe, keep some water handy (to drink and for dousing) and enjoy the illuminated night skies.

updated from a blog 5 Nov 2014

Hiya, Gorgeous! How your Skin needs Water

Hiya, Gorgeous! How your Skin needs Water

Our skin is one of our most precious organs and no wonder:  it’s responsible for so many functions that literally keep us intact and functioning. It’s also susceptible to so many factors, both internal and external, which are potentially harmful.

Not only does our skin work as a barrier, protecting against water loss as well as physical and chemical injury, it also regulates our temperature by dilating and constricting our blood vessels near the skin surface, controlling the transfer of heat out of the body.  It protects us from UV radiation by producing melanin; produces Vitamin D, which helps prevent many diseases including osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, obesity and neurological diseases.

It makes good sense then, that we should protect our body’s largest organ (around 20 square feet) and treat it with the utmost care and respect.

This doesn’t always happen, sadly, and we can tend towards abusing it (albeit inadvertently).

The good news, though, is that one of the simplest methods of protecting our skin, increasing its resilience and keeping it healthy, plump and full of elasticity throughout our lives, is by drinking water (there’s no catch here, honestly).

Our skin consists of approximately 64% water, it therefore makes sense that water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. Water replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity.

Drinking enough water can also help combat dry and flaky skin and skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. It also increases the metabolic rate and improves digestive system to flush out toxins from the body. This in turn gives you a healthy and glowing skin.

Whereas we all know that immersing ourselves in water, whether we’re bathing, showering or swimming, makes us feel wonderful, we need also water internally to promote good skin health.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that you head to the happy skin station that is your water cooler, wherever that may be – it could be at home, at the office or in your fitness centre – and start treating the water cooler like it’s your new best friend, which it could be, especially when you start seeing the results that come with drinking water regularly.