It’s no secret that eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies are good for your overall diet. But fruits and veggies are also the key to keeping you hydrated, and hence healthier and more youthful-looking as well. That’s the central premise of skin care pioneer Howard Murad’s book, “The Water Secret,” which is chock-full of information for both child and adult health.
Recently we had a chance to meet Dr. Murad, founder of the famous Murad skin care company, to sit down and talk about the long-term significance of a diet that is loaded with fruits and vegetables. Murad’s central theory is that a person’s body is on a long, slow decline of its capacity to stay hydrated. As our cells age, they get damaged and lose the ability to hold water. Drinking a gallon of water won’t fix that. But eating water-rich foods such as plants and vegetables (as opposed to processed foods that contain salt, sugar, and fat) can hydrate cells by allowing them to take in water more slowly and rebuild.
Why is water from a fruit or vegetable better than water in a glass? According to The Water Secret, the water in fruits and vegetables is structured, meaning it’s surrounded by molecules that help it get into cells easily and quickly. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in healing antioxidants, as well as trace minerals and B vitamins that your body uses to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein – and to synthesize DNA and new cells. “I’d rather have you eat your water,” says Murad.
Interestingly, fat cells are 10 percent water, while muscle cells are 70 percent water – so the more muscle you have, the better chance you have of supporting cellular hydration. That’s why getting your exercise is another facet to keeping your cells healthy.
Not surprisingly, Murad has few good things to say about what many people eat on a daily basis. “If you wanted to manufacture a diet for people to die from, it would be the typical American diet,” says Murad.
That’s not to say there’s no room for fun at all. Murad says it’s best to stick to what he calls the “80-20 diet” – which is to say, 80 percent of your foods are healthy, wholesome, and fruit- and veggie-centric; leaving 20 percent to comfort foods. So your kids can have their birthday cakes or their summer ice cream treats, and they’ll be just fine as long as it’s just a portion of an overall healthy diet. “You need chocolate in your life,” says Murad – and that’s something just about everyone in the family can agree with.
To get a sense of the fruit- and veggie-friendly meals that Murad supports, he shared with us his recipe for Apple Coleslaw. It’s unbelievable simple and tasty – and it’s perfectly refreshing for those hot summer days that lie ahead.
Apple Coleslaw (adapted from Murad Inclusive Health Medical Group)
1/2 red cabbage
1 green apple, cored
1/2 cup lemon juice
Dash of sea salt (optional)
Grate the red cabbage and apple into a large bowl, combine with lemon juice and sea salt. Chill until serving. Serves 4 to 6.
Many thanks to Dr. Howard Murad for his helpful advice, and to South Bay Foodies for getting us together.
Blogger Disclosure: We did not receive compensation for this post, although we did receive a meal and a copy of Dr. Murad’s book, “The Water Secret.”