Minerals and water play vital roles in the body. Lack of minerals and water in the human diet may result into serious health problems. According to Grosvenor and Smolin (2012), the body depends on the food taken in order to obtain minerals. Water is always obtained when one drinks water or from the foods taken. The most common and essential minerals needed in the body include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
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Calcium helps in strengthening of teeth and body muscles. This mineral can be obtained mainly from milk products. Iron helps in distribution of oxygen in the body and can be obtained from meat, fish, liver and some chicken products. Magnesium is crucial in formation of bones and general workability of the nerves. Potassium balances the body fluids while zinc is necessary for growth and development. These minerals can mainly be obtained from vegetables and animal products.
Stanfield (2010) points out that just like the minerals mentioned above, water also plays a very important role in the body. This researcher explains that 90% of the body is composed of water. The body obtains a given percentage of water from foods taken, and through direct intake by an individual.
According to Grosvenor and Smolin (2012), one of the main functions of water is to regulate the body temperatures. Many enzymes in the body work at given temperatures and therefore water ensures that such temperatures are attained for the enzyme-controlled processes to take place. Besides, water acts as a coolant, especially through perspiration. In addition, it acts as a lubricant, especially in the joints of the body.
Its presence in the saliva in the mouth during chewing helps to avoid shock or damage emanating from friction of the joints. Stanfield (2010) says that without water, nutrients like proteins and carbohydrates cannot be absorbed in the body. In this case, water helps the chemical reactions that make these two nutrients become absorbable in the body. Therefore, water is crucial in the whole process of food digestion and transportation of food nutrients and oxygen in the body.
The above explained roles played by water show that it is one of the most important nutrients in the body. Lack of it may result into dehydration. As Stanfield (2010) points out, dehydration of the body poses serious impacts to an individual and can be life threatening. Some of the effects of severe dehydration include loss of general body weight, sight becoming dim, wrinkled skin, reduced urination, increased headaches and nausea, and weak immunity due to poor or no absorption of essential nutrients.
Dehydration makes all the important body processes come to a stop, greatly reducing the working ability of the body, a condition that is fatal. According to Grosvenor and Smolin (2012), incidences where the body is dehydrated should be avoided to avoid pre-mature deaths.
This can be done by drinking enough water. Although the body can generate water from some foods and fruits ingested, one should not rely on this as a source of water to the body. Stanfield (2010) recommends that one should take between 7 to 8 glasses of water a day or more when in exercise to avoid incidences that may lead to great water loss in the body. This would help one remain healthy and strong.
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing Nutrition: Everyday choices. Hoboken: John Wiley.
Stanfield, P. (2010). Nutrition and diet therapy: Self-instructional approaches. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.