Anyone who is interested in being healthy understands that good nutrition is super important. Many of us also know that in order to prevent disease, to be in great physical shape and perform at high levels we need to feed our body with a variety of clean wholesome foods, preferably plant-based.
But what about the quality of our water?
Do you pay any attention to that?
Do you ever wonder…
“What kind of water should you drink?
Is your water filter adequate? Is tap water okay? Should you only drink alkaline water?
When I first asked myself these questions, I had no idea that it will be the beginning of an eye-opening journey. I have come to understand that our water situation is complicated. The answers to my inquiries were not as straightforward as expected. There are many options and many opinions as to which water is the best for our health. This article/podcast is here to help you demystify your options and make it easier for you to decide what kind of water you should drink for good health and well-being.
I think we all know that water is important and it’s a big part of our everyday life. We use it to clean our home, wash our clothes, clean ourselves, we cook with it and we drink it!
Clean water is the single most important substance we consume, only oxygen is more essential for human life.
And it makes perfect sense. Our physical body is largely made of water – some parts of our body (like the brain) contain 90% water in some form or another.
You can go for months without food (Irish political prisoner, Terence MacSwiney, whose 74-day strike ended with his death in 1920) but, you can only go for a few days without water (18 days, the recommendation is no longer than 12 days).
Water not only keeps our tissues and organs hydrated but it also assists in the absorption of nutrients to our cells. The water you drink becomes your blood. It gives you energy, reduces inflammation, improves your skin, lubricates your joints, and helps keep you young and healthy!
The health benefit of clean water is key to a healthier and longer life. Water is critical for:
- The elimination of toxins;
- Keeping your blood thin and flowing well;
- Cellular and bodily functions such as digestion;
- Relieving constipation;
- Suppressing appetite, and
- Metabolizing stored fat, this helps with weight loss.
So hydration is important but the quality of the water we drink is absolutely imperative to good health.
So let’s dig a little deeper into our water supply, look into different types of water available and help you discover your options when it comes to choosing the one that is healthy and safe for all your family needs.
Pure water is a type of “whole food.” Like other whole foods, when it is tampered with, water loses most of its precious healing properties.
Most of us who live in an urban area, heavily rely on city water. But is this water clean and safe to drink?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO. And here is why…
In most cities all around the world, the public water supply is monitored and maintained by government agencies. Safety standards are put in place to regulate its cleanliness. Most of the time you don’t have to worry that you’re drinking contaminated water that will make you sick, at least not right away. But a closer look at tap water shows that while you’re told it’s safe for drinking, it’s not free of all contaminants.
OUR CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER
….many cancer scientists point to our drinking water as contributing towards a majority of human cancers…
Our city water often comes from nearby lakes, springs, and rivers. It’s possible that bacteria and parasites end up in the water supply from animal or human fecal matter. But the potential contaminants don’t end there.
An ever-increasing amount of industrial toxic waste is being poured into our lakes and rivers. Chemicals, fertilizers and toxic sprays used on the land as well as insufficiently treated sewage continue to pollute the waterways. Water from public water systems and even from many wells and springs are likely to be loaded with poisonous chemicals and toxic trace elements. If you live in the USA you can check the quality of your city water here EWG.ORG/tapwater.
COMMON CONTAMINANTS IN TAP WATER INCLUDE:
- Toilet paper residue (yes, you are reading that right!)
- Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic
- Pesticide runoff
- Residues of pharmaceutical medications such as birth control, antidepressants, etc.
This is not anything new. The quality of public drinking water, particularly from underground water layers has been a growing worldwide concern for years now. Unfortunately, the root cause of this situation is being ignored. Rather than investing into fixing this issue and figuring out solutions to improve our water system, remove those potentially harmful elements such as synthetic compounds, metals, and radionuclides from our drinking water, the water utility companies turn to using more chemicals instead.
Let’s take a look at two of these added chemicals that may be pouring out of your faucet.
Adding fluoride to drinking water is a process that began back in the 1940’s to help reduce tooth decay. It sounds like a noble cause but fluoride is a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor. It can harm the thyroid gland and calcify the pineal gland. It’s so toxic that several countries have banned water fluoridation.
5 reasons to avoid fluoridated water:
- Fluoridated Water Can Damage the Thyroid
- Fluoridated Water is Linked to ADHD
- Fluoridated Water Lowers IQ
- Fluoridated Water Can Cause Fluorosis (damaging the teeth and bones)
- Fluoridated Water Damages the Pineal Gland [affect the melatonin production, the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythms (your sleep-wake cycle) and certain sex hormones.]
Chlorine is added to drinking water as a purification technique, despite not being completely safe. While disinfection of drinking water is a necessary measure to reduce diseases, concerns have been raised about the safety of chlorine, which has been linked to serious adverse health effects, including:
- Memory loss and impaired balance
- Many other degenerative diseases, especially of the cardiovascular system
This is by no means a complete list of all the toxins that might be lurking in our tap water, but hopefully, this is enough to get your attention. If you are interested to learn more, consider reading the 12 Toxins in Your Drinking Water.
“You either filter your water or YOU become the filter.”
WILD SPRING WATER
Ideally, your best options to get the highest quality water you can possibly achieve is to get it from a mountain spring. Spring water has been filtered by the earth in ways we do not completely understand. Nature is smart and works better than any man-made methods of purifying water. Another advantage is that it contains a wide variety of trace minerals that the human body desperately needs. Ideally, find a spring located away from commercial or residential areas, freer from pollutants. There are recourses that will point you in the direction of the closest spring in your area – http://www.findaspring.com. There is no charge for this water, however, you have to take the time, effort and the energy to forage it and for many, this is not the most convenient option.
Household water filters generally fall into one of two categories: point-of-entry units, which treat water before it gets distributed throughout the house; and point-of-use units, which include countertop filters (filter pitchers or countertop water cooler), faucet filters, and under-the-sink units.
One of your best bets for clean, pure water is to install a high-quality water filter for your entire home. This way every time you shower, bath, brush your teeth, wash your clothes, wash your dishes, water your plants, or drink from any faucet in the house you are using clean water.
There are 2 main types on the market:
This process relies on a semi-permeable membrane that retains particles larger than water molecules. Reverse osmosis can remove many contaminants, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrates, and perchlorate.
Expensive can cost up to $10,000 for the whole house. Often requires special plumbing and uses 3 times to 20 times more water than they produce.
A whole house carbon filter ($600-$1200) will remove contaminants from steamy chemical-laden vapors you and your family inhale while showering and washing dishes. It’s wise to install a house filter because the body absorbs a substantial amount of toxins, including fluoride and chlorine, through the skin during showers and baths.
Activated carbon cannot effectively remove other common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate, and perchlorate.
Water filtration technologies are constantly improving and new and better products are becoming available every year. If you are serious about your health and ready to invest into a whole house filtration system then consider other options such as ion exchange, ozone, UV and then chose the one that fits your needs the best. For more information on why, how, and where to buy a filter, see EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide.
As you can probably see, installing a whole house water filtration system is a pretty big deal and requires a substantial financial commitment which might not be an option at this time for everyone.
However, don’t give up! Any filter is better than no filter!
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Start with a countertop filter ($200) or water pitcher ($50) and also consider installing a shower filter ($90).
No matter how we look at it bottled water is one the greatest environmental, economic and health disasters of our time. Let’s face it, bottled water is a modern day convenience that most of us can live without. Yes, it’s true that when disaster strikes and we are faced with a water emergency, bottled water can provide relief and sometimes even save our lives. However, on a day to day basis, we do not need to be using it.
Here are just a few of the reasons you should avoid buying and drinking bottled water:
- Bottled Water is not cleaner than tap water. Laboratory testing conducted by Environmental Working Group found popular bottled water brands to contain mixtures of 38 different pollutants, including bacteria, fertilizer, Tylenol and industrial chemicals, some at levels no better than tap water. Some even contain high levels of cancer-causing chlorination byproducts. In fact, 50% of all bottled drinking water tested is nothing more than just plain old tap water
- Pollution. Lack of recycling. According to Ban the Bottle, “Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.” The vast majority (over 70 percent) of that plastic ends up in landfills, or worse, on roadways, beaches, and in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Ouch ;-(
- Plastic is not good for drinking. I would highly recommend that you stay away from bottled water and using a reusable water bottle made out of plastic whenever possible. invest in a glass or food-grade stainless steel water bottle. (And don’t forget to wash it regularly.) Most plastics leach chemicals into our liquids; drinking such water every day increases our chance of chemical exposure.
- Waste of all resources.Not only is plastic made from oil, it takes oil to bottle, transport, chill, and ship. According to Back to the Tap, “the amount of oil we use to produce water bottles each year (17 million barrels) could fuel over 1,000,000 cars for an entire year.”
Distilled water is water which has been heated to the boiling point so that impurities are separated from the water which itself becomes vapor or steam. It is then condensed back into pure liquid form. The impurities remain in the residue, which is simply thrown away. After the distillation process, the water contains no solids, minerals or trace elements and has no taste. Distilled water is the choice of many health promoters as it removes toxic metals and toxic chemicals from the body quite effectively. Some purists claim that “it doesn’t get any purer than distilled water.”
On the other hand, there are also arguments against distilled water as being inferior due to the lack of minerals that have been stripped away during the process and solely relying on distilled water could result in vital mineral deficiencies.
From personal experience, I’ve never met a person who said distilled water harmed him/her, but I’ve met many who credit it for their improved health.
I can’t say enough about the health benefits of drinking pure water. Here are only a few of the many health benefits you and your family will enjoy once you make the switch to pure water:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Properly digest food and absorb nutrients from food
- Have healthy, glowing skin
- Decrease muscle and joint inflammation
- Have better circulation
- Detoxify your body naturally
Do your homework first, and make an educated choice when it comes to selecting the type of water or the equipment necessary to supply yourself (and your family) with clean, safe drinking water.
Ideally, filter the water you use both for drinking and bathing, as immersing yourself in contaminated water may be even more hazardous to your health than drinking it. Chemicals absorbed through your skin go directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your digestive- and internal filtration systems.
Dedicated to your health and well-being,