Recently someone asked me what my number one nutrition tip is. You might be surprised to know that my response was to ensure that you are drinking plenty of pure, filtered water. It is super simple and this one change can provide huge benefits to you and your families.
Believe it or not, water (hydration) is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S. today. Dehydration is a chronic problem today and many common ailments and health issues may just be your body’s way of telling you that you need to drink more! Signs that you are dehydrated may include: fatigue, anxiety, irritability, cravings, cramps, and headaches. Water plays a hugely important role in our body and how it functions – it is the primary substance and leading agent in the routine events that occur constantly in the human body and most of us do not get nearly the amount that we need to sustain proper functioning and a healthy environment.
Here are some of the roles that water plays in the body:
Improves oxygen delivery to cells
Transports nutrients throughout the body
Enables cellular hydration
Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
Cushions our bones and joints
Absorbs shock to joints and organs
Regulates our body temperature
Empowers the body’s natural healing process
A good general baseline is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For EACH diuretic you consume (i.e. coffee, juice, teas – including herbal teas, alcohol etc.) you should add 8 – 12 ounces of water per beverage consumed.
Here are some strategies that can help you to incorporate more water into your diet:
Drink an eight ounce glass of filtered water first thing in the morning and another eight ounces right before bed. Don’t incorporate more water around meals as this can hinder digestion.
Add a pinch of sea salt or a squeeze or two of lemon to your water a few times per day for better assimilation of the water into your body’s cells.
Get a nice looking, high quality, reusable water bottle to drink out of between meals and sip out of it all day long.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables that have a high water content. Some examples include: green leafy vegetables, cucumbers, zucchini, cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage, melon, berries, and citrus fruits.
It is super important to drink water that is pure and clean. Tap water can contain contaminants such as heavy metals (like lead), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. All of these are extremely harmful to human health and can have adverse effects, especially when we consume it regularly over time. The containments in tap water have been linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, developmental defects, fertility problems and hormone disruption. Bottled water can sometimes have fewer contaminants, but can leech estrogens and other toxins from the plastic. Bottled water also comes at a higher cost to our wallet and also to the environment.
One would think that our federal and state agencies that regulate municipal water would be safe for human consumption and it’s true that the majority of the nation's drinking water supplies get a passing grade. However, while many of the 250-plus contaminants detected through water sampling and testing are at levels that are perfectly legal under the Safe Drinking Water Act or state regulations, they are also above levels authoritative scientific studies have found to pose health risks. In addition, much like the personal care products industry, the criteria to be considered safe is quite outdated. The Environmental Protection Agency hasn't added any new contaminants to the list of regulated drinking water pollutants in more than 20 years. Basically there are no legal limits for the more than 160 unregulated contaminants found in tap water throughout the U.S.
To learn about the quality of the tap water you are drinking, I recommend that you research your municipality’s tap water. It can be expensive up front, but purchasing a filtration system for both your kitchen sink and your showers or even a whole-house filter is an investment in your household’s health. The health benefits from drinking pure, clean water and the potential for lower medical expenses, will more than make up for the cost of your system. At minimum, look for a filter that has been certified by the independent testing group NSF.
Aim for at least one of the following as any filter is better than no filter:
Pitcher: Removes some contaminants but usually not heavy metals or chlorine
Faucet-mounted: Can remove most major contaminants
Counter top: Can remove most major contaminates
Under the sink: These are usually reverse osmosis filter-based and typically remove the most contaminants. They can often remove the good minerals found in water, but some of them actually ADD minerals back in.
Shower/bath: Our skin absorbs contaminants too and these contaminants are even more volatile in hot, steamy environments. These types of filters are usually pretty affordable and easy to install.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
Sources/products to check out: