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Water: True elixir of life

Zubin D’souza
Water has always fascinated civilizations. People have tried to conquer it, harness it, seduce it and even live in it and they have all failed. Water, besides being a tempestuous and brooding creature is truly the source for all life.
When the world was created out of chaos, our tiny little planet had just two things – water and ice. In fact, I could make that just one thing because ice is nothing but frozen water. And from this water and a bit of prodding by evolution, arose the world as you see it today.
Every ancient civilization held a lot of reverence towards water and it appears so many times in ancient scriptures that it begs us to sit up and take notice as to what drew every great population to this great source.
Many cultures talk of water as a purifying element.
And then there are other stories of mammoth proportions where water plays the leading part.
There is obviously the Biblical story of Noah, the Sumerians have a similar story and even the Epic of Gilgamesh talks of the world flooding over. Then there is the story from Indian mythology which talks of Manu whose progeny is modern humans, escaping the flood while riding a boat tugged at by Matsya which was an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish who took him to safety to a mountain peak.
Is there a point to all this? Yes there is! The fact is that although the ancients always used water as a source of great disaster (floods that wiped away all of humanity), it always stood for good. All the floods mentioned in the historical lore of the Near East civilizations mentions that the waters washed out the evil in the world and only the righteous survived. This means that should it happen in modern times, we may lose all our politicians and possibly the tax collector.
I am sure that water would have fascinated the Ancient World considering that 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.
But since most of the tales from the Old World were meant to be metaphoric, in the broader sense it meant that when you flooded your body (which was technically your entire world) with water, it washed away all the impurities. When you look at the old stories from the new angle and also with the advances that modern medicine has made, you begin to realise how sorted those ancients really were.
You can live for weeks without food but barely three days without water. Judging from my girth I was assuming that I could do at least a year without food but even I would agree that I may not be able to see the sunrise on day two if I hadn’t got a drop to drink on the first day.
It is not surprising at all considering that 70 per cent of the human body is made up of water and the average human requires at least three litres of water a day.
So what does water do?
Dehydration which basically is the situation when your body is not getting enough water causes shrinkage of brain tissue so one loses the ability to think clearly. Dehydration makes you feel tired; it can impair attention span, memory and motor skills and is also known to be a trigger of migraines.
Making sure that your body has enough water can change all that.
Water also aids in digestion. It literally helps things move by helping to dissolve fats and soluble fibre.
Your kidneys would not function smoothly if it weren’t for water and the kidneys are really important organs in the body judging from the fact that they balance fluids in the body, excrete waste and control blood pressure.
You can also achieve your ideal weight by ensuring that you drink enough water. Having water before your meals makes you feel fuller. You wouldn’t believe the number of times our bodies mistake thirst for hunger prompting us to eat something when actually food wasn’t required. Also water boosts up your metabolism so you get lean faster.
It hydrates the cartilage around your joints keeping them supple. It also carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and moistens tissues in the nose, eyes and mouth. Not bad for an ingredient that till now is pretty much freely available and all you have to do is to fill it in a glass and drink up – several times a day.
I know, I do and it has made a world of difference. Cheers!

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