When our green living guru Holly Davis was last here, she was talking all things water — what’s in it, why it matters… Now she’s back to tell us how to ensure we have the cleanest, healthiest water and all the fantastic benefits of actually, well, drinking it.
I’ll let her take it from here…I’m off to get a glass of water.
As we talked about last time, water is the most basic, yet most essential, key to health and longevity. The fact that about 70% of the earth is made of water and about 70% of the human brain is made of water is far from lost on me. Like a drought on earth, if the human body doesn’t get enough water, harmful effects begin to take hold. We see symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, sallow skin, disrupted sleep, headache, and difficulty concentrating. Water is necessary for the electrical signals to pass to the brain from sensory organs like the eyes and ears and for conversion into memory and learning. In fact, did you know that when we are dehydrated, we actually lose grey brain matter? Our brain “shrinks.” (Hello hangover headache.) Every cell in our body; blood traveling through our veins; tissue in our muscles; our ability to fight infections and remove toxins; our skin, hair, nails, lungs, and organs…all depend on water.
We lose water when we consume sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, when we sleep, exercise, and sweat. Loosing just 5% of your bodyʼs water can cause dehydration symptoms and 15% can cause death. So how do we replenish and nourish our body with the purest, cleanest, most life-supporting water?
It all starts at home with a water filter system. For maximum benefits, choose from either a full house reverse osmosis system (they average $4000-$5000 for a four bedroom house) or an individual site system. If you opt for an individual site system, make the kitchen your top priority. I would recommend purchasing an under-sink reverse osmosis system. Most people require a quick visit from the plumber to install. (While they’re there, ask them to install the reverse osmosis system to your instant hot water as well.)
Once your filtration system is in place, you can make your own “bottled” water for your family by keeping Bisphenol A (BPA) free stainless steel canteens or glass containers filled with water in your fridge for convenience. You should also do all your cooking using reverse osmosis water. Many contaminants, like arsenic, actually become more concentrated with heat. Think of that pasta boiling in tap water. Or tap water steaming chlorine and DBPs into your precious broccoli. Yikes! Similarly, you should aim to use reverse osmosis water to clean your fruits and vegetables; make your tea, coffee, and ice; and to prepare recipes that call for water. It is simply a must for your health.
￼Next stop is the bathroom. For every 10 minute shower, the average human body absorbs 1 gallon of water! And in a hot, steamy shower the absorption of chlorine and DBPs into your skin, hair, and lungs doubles Not only does the chlorine and disinfection by-products leave your hair, skin, and nails dull, dry, and damaged, but you are literally bathing in a toxic bath of carcinogens.
I would recommend investing in shower and bath tub filters for every bathroom. They are carbon based and remove up to 99% chlorine from the water. Be sure and note the replacement schedule (usually every 6 months). Replacement filters run about $25-$45 a pop.
Here are other actions you can take to help ensure you family is partaking in the healthiest possible water:
- Place a canteen of reverse osmosis water at your bathroom sink for brushing.
- Keep toilet seats down when not in use to help keep the evaporation of the water into the air lower, and open bathroom windows for fresh air when possible.
- Use filters at the washing machine water line to keep the toxic by-products out of the clothes and air.
- Stay away from the dishwashers steam exhaust, as it contains highly toxic chemicals.
- Drink at least 10-12 glasses of pure, clean water everyday or half your body weight in ounces. When all else fails go for light yellow urine. (A little gross, I know.)
- Give your children “homemade bottled water” to bring to school so they’re not tempted to use the water fountain.
- Educate yourself about your municipal water supply and ensure you have the best filters in place to protect your health.
And the payoff is huge, as drinking lots of pure, clean, chemical free water each day can:
- aid in the body’s natural detoxification.
- provide anti-aging properties.
- improve cellular health, growth, and repair.
- foster healthy, glowing skin.
- decrease inflammation.
- increase circulation.
- help maintain a healthy body weight.
- increase energy.
- impact brain health.
- aid the digestion process.
Look better, feel better, live better… Water is the very essence of health.
￼Holly Pellham Davis is the founder of Clean Fresh Living, Inc., a service focused on educating consumers and families on the importance of healthy, organic, sustainable living for life and generations to come. You can hear more from Holly on her Clean Fresh Living blog, twitter, and Facebook.