Drinking insufficient water over a prolonged period can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t have sufficient water. Without enough, your body can’t function properly. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how much fluid your body is missing.

You lose bodily fluids naturally when you sweat, breathe, pee, cry, or spit. These liquids are replaced when you drink and eat foods that contain water. If you do not drink enough water, you can get dehydrated. Dehydration may also occur when you have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating.

An easy way to tell if you are drinking enough water is by looking at the colour of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow, it means you are drinking the recommended amount, if it is dark yellow, you are probably dehydrated. Signs of mild or moderate dehydration include thirst, dry or sticky mouth, headache, passing very little urine. Severe dehydration may present signs including very dry skin, sunken eyes, feeling dizzy, lack of energy, feeling confused or sleepy, fainting. Symptoms for babies and young children can be different from adults and include no tears when crying, dry diapers for over 3 hours, dry mouth and tongue. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of severe dehydration, visit your doctor of health care provider.

You’re thirsty and have the option of drinking soda, juice or coconut water. Which do you choose? Here’s a hint…coconut water is filled with vitamins and minerals. It will quench your thirst while giving my body a boost.  

Coconut water holds many health benefits, including re-hydration,  a remedy for digestive system disorders, lowering cholesterol levels and protecting the heart. The water and flesh in coconut give us essential nutrients that can keep our stomachs full, may help with weight loss and give us energy. Coconut water contains energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugar and dietary fiber. Its mineral content includes calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, to name a few. When you drink coconut water you get the bonus of vitamins B6, C, E and K as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate.

Drinking coconut water is a great way to rehydrate the body. It’s potassium and sodium content act as are electrolytes that help balance the water levels in our body. Having one or two glasses of coconut water after a long day in the sun can replace lost minerals, vitamins and energy. It is also the recommended choice for people experiencing diarrhea as it helps rehydrate the body and replace lost electrolytes.

Coconut water helps lower cholesterol levels, resulting in healthier heart and reduced chance of strokes and heart attacks. It’s also very helpful in fighting infections and has diuretic properties, which is very helpful for urinary disorders. Due to the diuretic effect, water and toxins are easily expelled from the body, helping to keep our bodily systems healthy.

Cancer Awareness

Your risk of cancer is affected by the types of food you eat, how your food is prepared, fat content in your meals, alcohol intake and smoking. To lower your risk of cancer, try to maintain a healthy weight, eat more natural foods, avoid highly processed foods, learn to read food labels, be physically active on most days, limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke.

Some foods and nutrients that help fight cancer include garlic, fruits, vegetables fibre, calcium, vitamins C & E and Folate.  

Follow a diet:  

  • Low in saturated fat, found in animal foods like meat and whole milk and Trans-fat found in many highly processed foods like some margarines, packaged snacks and smoked meats.
  • Get sufficient fiber by eating vegetables and fruits
  • Limit sweets, soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages. 
  • Get sufficient lean protein from skinless chicken-visible fat removed, fish, low fat dairy and legumes
  • Enjoy foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids like sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, kidney beans and soybeans.

Eat a wide range ofbrightly coloured raw fruits and vegetables, eat foods containing calcium, eat less meat and choose your fats wisely. Prepare your food in healthy ways; fry less, trim excess fat from meat, use less salt and sugar when preparing meals and drinks, do not cook oils on high heat and eat less barbecue.

Other ways to lower your risk of cancer include:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight or maintain a healthy weight with BMI 18.5 and 24.9 with less body fat around the waist.
  • Keep physically active daily at least 5 times a week (30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week).
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 1-2 drinks per day no more than twice a week.

Modifying your diet and lifestyle can minimize your risk of cancer. Certain foods can increase your risk of cancer, while some foods contain nutrients that can lower your risk.

Plantain Tarts


1 very ripe plantain

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

¼ tsp ginger & cinnamon mixed

2 Tbsp brown sugar

dash of almond essence

½ lb. short crust pastry

Sugar for dredging


Cook plantain in boiling water till tender. Remove center core. Blend all ingredients together till smooth.

Roll out pastry on a floured board and cut into circles. Divide filling evenly between circles.

Place filling on circle, fold over and seal with a fork. Bake at 400°F for 20 -25 minutes. Dredge with sugar.

Makes about 12

Spice Island Punch


3 ripe bananas

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 cups mango puree

3 cup pineapple juice

2-3 cups water

Sugar for sweetening


Peel bananas and chop in 1/2-inch pieces. Blend till smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in other ingredients till well blended. Sweeten to taste. Serve chilled with grated nutmeg

Makes 8 servings