Today's tip is by Brain Food nutritionist Yvonne McMeel who advises:'When venturing on new a healthy eating plan never underestimate the power of water. Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger and can lead to all sorts of unnecessary snacking. Not only does water contain no fat or calories, it can also help to speed your metabolism.
Practically every working system in the body requires water, therefore dehydration can lead these systems to slow down when the body is thirsty. Adding a glass of water is the same as shifting your car into a higher gear; more water means a faster metabolism, which burns calories at a quicker rate. Studies have even shown that after drinking two glasses of water, it takes 10 to 40 minutes to jumpstart your metabolism. Yet once it’s going you’ll burn calories at a 30 per cent faster rate.'
Here are the top five ways to add water to your diet:
- Start the day with a cup of water, preferably hot with a slice of lemon. It will you help balance your body’s lymph system. Lymph glands found in your lymphatic system fight infections helping you to perform your daily activities. They also balance the fluids in your body.
- Avoid surviving on coffee to get through the day as it can raise cortisol and adrenaline levels which are stress hormones. Instead opt for herbal or green tea as they known to enhance mental function, alertness and clarity.
- Invest in sponge foods such as beans, brown rice and wholegrain pastas. As they soak or cook they absorb water and double in size. Soaking dried beans will work best but the canned variety is also ok as long as you rinse out the salty brine
- Peppermint tea is an excellent post-meal drink owing to its restorative digestive properties which also have a positive effect on your brain and mood. Alternatively good old English tea helps to top up the stores of important anti-oxidants called polyphenols. Pass on the sugar, though!
- Eat plenty of high water content foods, such fruits and vegetables. The leaders of the pack are watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peaches. As well as providing generous amount of water they are also have high nutritional value, making every mouthful a double whammy.
Photograph: PlainPicture/Stockwerk/Birgit Klemt