What necessities are essential for survival? Shelter, heat, and clothing are likely to be among the top 10. And while these are convenient and will make any situation more comfortable, these are not essential. At the end of the day, there are only 4 things a body needs to survive: water, food, oxygen, and functioning nervous system.
Water is more than just a thirst-quencher. Almost every system in the body is dependent on water in some shape or form. The human body is approximately 60% water. Water regulates body temperature and helps the liver and kidneys flush out toxins. Water lubricates joints and moisturizes the eyes, nose, and mouth. Even oxygen and nutrients are carried to cells by water. Without water the body cannot function. Breathing, sweating, and even going to the bathroom are all ways a person loses water. To maintain a healthy body, people need to replenish water levels and continue drinking water throughout the day. Direct water consumption is best. Beverages such as electrolyte drinks and fruit such as watermelon can help refill the body’s water supply. Standard recommendation is that women drink a minimum of 11.5 cups of water daily and men 15.5 cups.
Food provides essential nutrients to the body. These nutrients are in turn used for energy, cell growth, and repair. Food keeps the immune system happy and, as a result, poor diets often lead to numerous health problems. Food can be broken down into four essential groups: fats, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins. Fats provide energy and help absorb vitamins. Fats can control cholesterol levels and are essential for growth and development. Carbohydrates are converted to fuel. Fiber is a type of carb that assists in digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and keeps hunger levels in check. Protein helps the body repair damaged organs, tissues, and bones. Protein is found in every cell in the human body. The digestive tract breaks down proteins into amino acids. There are 20 amino acids the body needs to function properly. And while the body can produce 12, there are still 8 that must be consumed through food. Vitamins play a role in every bodily function. The human body needs 13 types of vitamins to function properly.
Oxygen is breath. Everything else spared, without oxygen, life is not possible. Oxygen is inhaled into the lungs and then dispersed throughout the body by red blood cells. Oxygen gives energy to cells by burning through the sugar and fatty acids that are consumed. The same red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body also carry carbon dioxide out of the body. Exhaling also removes carbon dioxide from the body.
4. The nervous system
The nervous system is the body’s command center. The nervous system collects data, processes the data, and responds accordingly. The system controls movement by transmitting nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. The messages travel through neurons, synapses, and neurotransmitters. These messages tell the heart to beat, lungs to breathe, and limbs to move. The nervous system even tells the brain how to think. The nervous system has two parts: the central and peripheral. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system makes up the rest of the body.
Recap of the essentials
Everything else aside, there are 4 things the human body must have to survive: water, food, oxygen, and a functioning nervous system. Humans can last a little while without food or water, but life would immediately be over without oxygen or a working nervous system. For more tips on living a healthy lifestyle, speak with a healthcare provider.