Food and drink at the Water Cooler – Goji Berries – packing a healthy punch

Food and drink at the Water Cooler – Goji Berries – packing a healthy punch

Writing as I do about a broad spectrum of health topics, from how much water a person should drink (around 8 glasses per day for the average adult) through to water rich food (e.g. blackberries, grapefruit, pears) I should ideally be at the forefront of this knowledge, however, this is not always possible. There are times when I can be a bit late to the health party.

That said I do tend to keep my opinion to myself until such time I have tried said bounty – whereupon I feel I can more adeptly express a more educated opinion. This brings us to Goji Berries.  I tried the dried berries recently and found them quite delicious. What’s more impressive is the contents of these small berries pack a significant health punch.

Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Considering their health boosting properties, this should come as no surprise. The berries contain phytochemicals that are produced by plants. In goji berries these include polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.

Polysaccharides are an essential source of dietary fibre. A study found that polysaccharides in goji berries helped with improving immune function and increasing total antioxidant activity in the body.

Beta-carotene is responsible for the orange-red colour pigment in goji berries. Beta-carotene is vital for eye health, bone health, skin health, and cell development. The amount of beta-carotene in goji berries is among the highest of all edible plants.

Zeaxanthin plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system.  Studies have indicated that zeaxanthin may help reduce the risk of glaucoma.

Goji berries may not be as water rich as other fruit I’ve written about, but they certainly seem to deserve their moniker of a super food. If you’re looking to increase your healthy food intake, it would seem that you can’t go far wrong with these little wonders. As always, whatever health route you choose to travel, remembering to maintain good hydration levels to keep you in tip top condition, each and every day.

22 March 2019 – World Water Day – ‘Leaving no-one behind’

22 March 2019 – World Water Day – ‘Leaving no-one behind’

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

These figures give an indication of how dire access to safe water is:

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.  This year the theme is ‘Leaving no one behind’.

If you’re not involved with this global water summit, you may be asking yourself what, if anything, can you do?

As a global citizen probably the most important thing to do is to practise being mindful: be aware of your water usage whether at home or at work, check for leaks or excessive use at each change of season and try to advocate for the maintenance of green spaces wherever you live.

What you may not be aware of is that as an AquAid customer, you are already doing quite a bit towards reducing the gap between those being left behind and those not. Here’s how:

With each Mains Fed Water Cooler installation and every bottle of water purchased, AquAid donate a portion of those sales to the charities we’ve supported for more than twenty years: Christian Aid, since 1998 and the Africa Trust – an AquAid founded charity – since 2010.

Christian Aid is a global charity, whose aim it is to implement profound change in eradicating the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. Of the many crises they deal with on a daily basis, safe drinking water has been identified as the number one priority in sub-Saharan Africa where every day 5,500 children lose their lives due to diseased water. For as little as £10, Christian Aid can provide a child with a lifetime supply of clean, fresh water. With each bottle of water that we supply, Christian Aid receives a 10p donation.

The mission of the Africa Trust is to bring sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa. Part of this sustainable development includes providing access to clean productive water and decent sanitation. With every bottle of water that we supply, a 30p donation is made to the Africa Trust along with a £20 per annum donation for every mains-fed water cooler installed.

If you’re not yet an AquAid customer, but appreciate how we work, please do contact us. You can not only rely on our 21 years’ expertise but also have the assurance that we will supply the right water cooler for your drinking water requirements.

With 23 branches across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we’re well placed to provide you with fresh, cool (and hot) drinking water all year round while you enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your water product purchases will continue making a significant difference in other’s lives.

Water Crises – All Year Round

Water Crises – All Year Round

It’s December and many of us are now preoccupied with festive shopping and making plans for Christmas. But if you’re reading this, then chances are that in addition to dreaming about Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, you’re also one of the lucky few who have access to a natural resource that we all take very much granted – clean and safe drinking water. For those of us who live in the modern world, we can’t image a life without easy access to water, but millions face this harsh reality every day – all year round.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)these are some of the staggering statistics:

  • Up to 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water.
  • Over 80% of used water worldwide is not collected or treated (Corcoran et al., 2010).
  • The provision of improved sanitation and safe drinking water could reduce diarrhoeal diseases by nearly 90% (WHO, 2008a).
  • Human health risks are without doubt the major and most widespread concern linked to water quality. Each year ~3.5 million deaths related to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene occur, predominantly in developing countries (WHO, 2008b).
  • Diarrhoeal diseases, often related to contaminated drinking water, are estimated to cause the death of more than 1.5 million children under the age of five per year (Black et al., 2010).
  • An important share of the total burden of disease worldwide, ~10%, could be prevented by improvements related to drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and use of environmental management and health impact assessments.

While many organizations across the world work tirelessly to alleviate some of the suffering, we still have a long way to go. But by working towards a common goal we can make a difference, which is why in 2010 AquAid founded the Africa Trust to help make an impact and create sustainable projects that empower the less fortunate. When you choose AquAid as your preferred water cooler supplier, you not only gain access to an extensive range of high-quality products, but you also help to bring fresh and safe drinking water to thousands of impoverished people every day.

Water crises may exist all year round, but to date – and with your help – AquAid have donated in excess of £14 million and helped bring water to more than 2.5 million people! Eradicating the problem may seem an impossible task, but with each step, we help another person every single day.

Christmas at the Water Cooler

Christmas at the Water Cooler

A recent blog titled ‘And a Water Rich Pear Tree’ was actually about pears and how they’re such a water rich fruit (go and have a read, you’ll be glad you did). This blog, however, is actually about the origins of the rather wonderful (some would say long-winded) Twelve Days of Christmas.

According to Wiki: “The Twelve Days of Christmas”  is an English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas (the twelve days that make up the Christmas season, starting with Christmas Day). The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin.

In the interests of brevity, here are the opening bars:

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me

A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Two turtle doves

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

The song is then added to (refer to the above image for the sequence), always returning to the initial bars.

You may be wondering what this has to do with your water cooler – in fact, with water in general. It’s simple, really – we’re all aware of the term ‘water cooler humour’ – which generally refers to the habit where those worker bees who gather at their dispenser for a short break to refresh their water and top up their water bottles, and use this time to swap stories, compare notes and generally catch up on what’s been happening since everyone last got together (since the last water cooler break, that is).

Now that we’re racing towards Christmas and we’re all of good cheer, but we’re all a little tired after a big year filled with conkers such as ‘to Brexit or not to Brexit’ perhaps we’re running out of steam, or cheery topics – this is where this song comes in. You can amaze and delight your colleagues with your knowledge; you can retrieve the song on your mobile and who knows, begin a rousing rendition at the water cooler break station, which might just get everyone in more of a festive spirit (or might not, either way, we won’t be accepting any responsibility if the water cooler break goes south).

However you choose to your water cooler break, remember to stick with the original quest – to replenish your water all the better to keep your merry little self hydrated this festive season.

P.S. If you don’t currently have a water cooler where you can gather to chat to your colleagues, contact us at AquAid – we have 20 years’ experience in the provision of the right water dispenser to meet your requirements.

Festive Ways to (safely) hydrate this December

Festive Ways to (safely) hydrate this December

For many, December can mean a time of excess and overload, although often it may not be intentional. It’s easy to be caught up in the festivities whether it’s the year end work functions or just a general letting the hair down after a long year.

When it comes to festive drinking though, there are ways to keep it fun and jolly and still maintain a healthy level of hydration.

Hot chocolate: Yes, hot chocolate is full of sugar, but it also consists of hot water (you can even make your hot chocolate at work using your AquAid Water Boiler – bonus!) and chocolate! And as we all know, chocolate (in moderation) is good for you.

Spiced hot drinks:  We’re not going to fall into the trap  of suggesting that glühwein or mulled wine is good for you (we’re rather clever little elves are we), but the spices and fruit that are part of these hot drinks can be used with great healthy hydrating effect without being steeped in alcohol. Sleigh across the internet, there are more hot spiced drinks than you can shake a stick of Blackpool rock at.

Cool drinks: If you’ve pledged to keep it tidy, alcohol wise, this Christmas, why not opt for mocktails? They’re fun, fruity, tasty and good for you. For these though, whereas you can draw your fresh drinking water from your water cooler, it’s probably best not to do your mixings at the water cooler station. Rather use the kitchen or bring your mixings from home to add to your water. Think cinnamon pear, orange pomegranate or apple cinnamon pomegranate.

Should you opt for the alcohol rich festive cheer, remember the general rule of thumb: match each alcoholic drink with a drink of water.

On this cheery note, we like to take the opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive season and a very Merry Christmas from all of us at AquAid.

And a Water Rich Pear Tree!

And a Water Rich Pear Tree!

Even though pears (or pear trees at least) are immortalised in that classic Christmas-time song involving a partridge and a stream of nerve-wracking repetition, the actual pear is an oft overlooked fruit this time of year. – and they certainly shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

Pears rank high on the water-rich fruit list, with a water content of some 84%. But that’s not the only reason we should look to pears to increase our perhaps lax winter drinking water habits – they are also highly nutritious.

Pears help lower cholesterol – they contain heart-healthy soluble fibre, a nutrient that can reduce the absorption of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol into the bloodstream.  This means they’re good for heart health too.

They boost the immune system – when you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or it feels like you’re coming down with a cold – eat a pear.  They are high in vitamin C and other nutrients that boost the immune system.

Digestive aid – the same fibre found in pears that helps lower cholesterol also aids digestion. In nice terms, pears essentially keep our plumbing working properly. You can thank the pectin, a component of dietary fibre, in them for that one.

They’re hypoallergenic – Pears are a nutritious option for those with food sensitivities – without any adverse effects.

Super hydrating – we all recognise pears for their incredible juiciness. That sumptuous feeling when you bite into a juicy pear is because they boast a high water content.

Whereas you might be tempted to follow the rather less healthy pear eating route – glazed pears, pear tarts etc. you’ll get most of the goodness from raw pears, eaten unpeeled – most of the benefits are locked into the skin.

If circumstances are having you neglect your water cooler water refill this winter (although we recommend you don’t), at least you’ll have back-up – in the form of the healthy, delicious, water-rich pear.