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The Importance of Hydration and Diuretics

While you are on DCA or taking any form of cancer treatment, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and water intake level.  Both of these have been proven to assist patients during any cancer treatment and have many benefits that go well beyond fighting the horrible disease.

There are two understated tips that most doctors forget (or neglect) to recommend to patients; Stay Hydrated and Consume Diuretics

Stay Hydrated

It is extremely important that you drink enough water throughout the day because every system in your body depends on it.  Water flushes out toxins and dead cancer cells, carries nutrients to your healthy cells, and makes up approximately 60% of your body weight.  The amount of water you need varies depending on many factors, such as the altitude and climate you live in, how much exercise you get, how much alcohol you consume, etc.  The Institute of Medicine has determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (13 cups) and for women 2.2 liters (9 cups).  These numbers vary but most resources will tell you to drink at least 8 cups of good quality water per day.

If you have a healthy diet, approximately 20% of your water intake may come from the foods you eat.  You can also drink other good beverages such as milk however you should avoid sugar sweetened drinks as they add extra calories to your diet as well as feed cancer cells.  Water is always the best option when it comes to hydration.

An easy way to tell if you’re getting enough water (other than counting the glasses you drink) is next time you urinate, check the color of your urine.  If it’s yellow, you need more water.  If it’s clear, you’re doing well.

Consume Diuretics

What are diuretics?

A diuretic is either a food, herb, or beverage that aids in the process of making your body release more urine.

Why is this important?

Increasing the amount of urine your body releases can do three things.

  1. Help flush dead cancer cells and toxins from your body.
  2. Help lower your blood pressure.
  3. Help rid you of excess water weight.

What are some examples of diuretics?

Any fruit with a large amount of water in it is typically a good diuretic.  Infection fighting fruits such as cranberries and juniper berries are also great diuretics.  Some vegetables such as green leafy vegetables have diuretic properties as well as antioxidant and cancer fighting properties.  Other fruits and vegetables are:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Juniper Berries
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon

Some diuretic herbs are known to add both flavor and heart healthy qualities, and they include; Celery Seed, Dandelion Leaf, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Hawthorn Herb, Horseradish, Raw Onion, Stinging Nettle.

Important Note Regarding Diuretics

While there are many benefits to diuretics, there is a potential risk of dehydration.  Be sure to continually drink plenty of water throughout the day so you keep your hydration levels up.  The more diuretics you consume, the more water you may need to even things out.  As stated in the Stay Hydrated section of this page, a good way to see if you are hydrated enough is the color of your urine.  If it is yellow, drink more fluids.

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