Water-Quality and Quantity

Water is an essential part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Our bodies are composed of approximately 60 to 70 percent water and it is involved in almost every bodily function, including circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination of body wastes, to name a few. Water is also the main transporter of nutrients throughout the body via body fluids such as blood, lymph, urine, tears, digestive juices, and sweat. Water carries electrolytes, such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are needed to help convey electrical currents in the body. Because water is continually being eliminated through elimination and sweating, it’s essential that we replenish our supplies by drinking water regularly throughout the day.

Drinking quality water is essential for recovery from every disorder known to mankind. Water helps flush toxins out of the body and if not enough of it is consumed, toxins can build up in the system, causing a variety of symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, to name a few. Disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia require large consumption of clean water daily to help flush out toxins and other substances that accumulate in the body and contribute to muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Insufficient water consumption may contribute to various health problems such as joint and muscle soreness; poor muscle tone; digestive problems; and poor functioning of many organs. Consuming plenty of water can slow the aging process, and can prevent or improve arthritis, kidney stones, constipation, hypoglycemia, obesity, and many other diseases. As we age, the sense of thirst becomes dulled so it’s important to drink water throughout the day even when we don’t feel thirsty. We loose water as a result of metabolism and digestion as well as through breathing; approximately one pint of liquid is lost each day through exhaling. Drinking coffee, tea, alcohol, and processed beverages don’t count as hydration for the body. These substances are considered diuretics which actually take more water out from the reserves of the body leading to further dehydration. In addition, these substances act as stimulants or are toxic and add to the burden of the already toxic load which the body is dealing with when chronic disease has occurred. It is vital that we drink plenty of water throughout the day and get at least 8 to 10 glasses of quality water daily. One of the leading researchers in this field, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., has explained this subject in great detail in his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.

Water has been called the universal solvent because so many substances will dissolve in it. Water can also carry many materials in suspension. Unfortunately, water is not particularly selective in which compounds become dissolved or suspended. The water that dissolves your coffee or tea in the morning or that you use to add to your infant’s formula or juice might also have dissolved some atoms of lead from the pipes in your home or picked up by-products from the farm or factory upstream. Some undesirable contaminants found in water include radon, fluoride, arsenic, iron, lead, copper, and other heavy metals which can occur naturally. Other contaminants, such as fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial chemicals, may leach into ground water through the soil, or into any tap water from plumbing pipes. Many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer and other chronic diseases. Water can also contain biological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Our drinking water has become an issue of concern. In many parts of America, and the world, it has been shown that tap water is contaminated and not totally safe. Our tendency is to blame it on the big factory up stream. It is true that industry has certainly contributed in part to our water contamination problems however; it is also true that consumers of chemical products are also to blame. Many of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to excessive or improper use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals, cleaning products, gasoline, and even prescription drugs. For the most part, it’s up to us to seek information about our water supply and learn as much as possible about the water drinking choices available to us. There are a variety of store bought bottled water options which include spring, mineral, and steam-distilled. Sometimes these are simply water from the faucet which has been run through a filtering system. It does not guarantee them as a healthy choice which we are often led to believe. Other choices include well water and reverse osmosis. For information about local drinking and tap water supplies, the Water Quality Association (WQA), which operates a toll-free Safe Drinking Water Hotline, can also help you to locate an office or laboratory in your area that does certified water testing.

One of the first steps to good nutrition is to know the origin, processing, and contents of anything we take into our bodies, and water is certainly no exception. Water is an important component of nutrition.

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