Sometimes we need more than just water.

I think by now we all know we need water for every system in our body to function — it helps eliminate waste and toxins, regulates temperature, aids in digestion, and protects tissues, spinal cord, and joints etc. But you can’t always just drink a bunch of water to fix the problem, especially in the case of exercise or adrenal dysfunction because things have changed due to our depleted water supplies. 

Drinking too much mineral-depleted water will actually lead to low electrolyte levels in the body. I’ve been managing some adrenal dysfunction over the past few months (more on that later), and a common symptom is mild (or in my case not so mild) dehydration in the body no matter how much water is consumed. The root of this dehydration lies in an imbalanced production of the hormone aldosterone, which can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) and fluid depletion.

This is where fruits and vegetables come in. An appropriate water/electrolyte balance is critical in part because it helps nerve and muscle function, helps maintain an acid-base balance, and helps ensure adequate blood volume for the cardiovascular system. It allows specific critical biochemical reactions to take place within the cells. Dehydration can cause blood volume to drop, which creates all sorts of problems including an inability to properly regulate temperature, fast or irregular heartbeat, fatigue, numbness or tingling, headaches, body shakes, muscle weakness, etc.

Eating water-rich foods like cucumbers 🥒(about 92%water), celery, beets, tomato, jicama, carrots 🥕, watermelon, grapefruit, strawberry, and pineapple can help! They provide essential electrolytes (minerals with an electric charge) and other minerals, phytonutrients, natural sugars, amino acids, and vitamins.

Electrolytes found in foods include:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Bicarbonate

Cucumbers are 95.2 percent water, which means that a 5-ounce serving contains 4.8 ounces or 150 ml water. That’s a significant portion of your water needs for the day! Plus, they contain152 mg of potassium. Less than 2% of US adults consume the recommended amount of potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke. And clearly we need more help with those in this country!

But the benefits of cucumbers don’t stop with water content and potassium. They contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols (flavonoids) such as fisetin and lignan which fight free radicals, reduce pain, and can help protect against neurological disease, cancer, and heart disease.

They also increase saliva content which can help with bad breath, they have 22% of the daily recommended Vitamin K for healthy bones, and if you can tolerate them with the skin in…they have a lot of fiber which will help and maintain a healthy weight!

Lastly, they contain somewhat rare plant nutrients called cucurbitacins, which have additional anti-cancer properties. If possible, choose organic over conventionally grown, as cucumbers were ranked the 16th most contaminated food in 2020 by the Environmental Working Group.

These are stressful times, so be sure to support your adrenals! Eat plenty of a VARIETY of fruits and veggies, drink water, move your body how it feels best for you, get extra sleep, practice gratitude and acceptance, and safe-socialize! Reach out if you need a plan. I’m here to help!