We are always encouraging you to drink lots of water but the quality of that water can have a good or a bad impact on your health. While many in the Western world are lucky to have access to “safe from disease” water, when it comes straight from the tap there can still be many dangerous contaminants in your drinking water - including chlorine and fluoride.
As well as more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in USA tap water, many municipalities transport their water in ancient, corroded pipes, leading to the leaching of toxic heavy metals into the water after it has been treated.
But bottled water is not the answer
Although useful in emergency situations, many bottled brands are no different than filtered tap water and their impact on the environment is huge.
Obviously if you have access to fresh spring water, you are set up for the perfect solution but this is a luxury available to very few. Even "well water" may require some form of treatment.
What is a an affordable all-round option for most homes?
Investing in a high quality home water filter is probably the most practical and affordable solution but as there are many types of water filtration systems (of which most will not effectively remove most chemicals) it is important to do a bit of research before buying one.
One suggestion is reverse osmosis water filters
specifically designed to effectively remove fluoride and other contaminants. They will remove chemicals like fluoride, chlorine and even radioactive water contaminants. Budget is paramount and depending on the amount you can afford, you can install these filters in your home on individual faucets or you can spend more and have a whole house filtration system. Suggestions for individual filters include Pure Water Freedom while a whole house filtration system could be Aquasana. The latter means that even the water that comes out of your shower and is used by your washing machine will also be filtered.
Another suggestion is to use carbon-combination filters, using a “selective filtration” process rather than a mechanical one. This advanced technology helps remove harmful contaminants such as lead, but retains beneficial minerals including potassium and calcium. Such a system is available from mercola.com with an exclusive five stage dual cartridge system to remove contaminants based on their level of prevalence, eliminating the most competitive compounds first, such as chlorine and sediment, and allowing the latter stages to focus on the more difficult task of removing lead and synthetic chemicals. The patented dual filter system uses a combination of carbon filtration, ion-exchange and sub-micron filtration to produce great tasting, healthier water.
8 ways to enjoy your water
Even when you have managed to make your water as pure and filtered as possible, there are still those who do not like the taste of water (my husband included!). Fortunately there are many recipes for making delicious, healthy water-based drinks for everyone to enjoy.
These suggestions are all simple to make - just leave your container in the refrigerator overnight before serving for the best possible taste.
1. Lemon and cucumber
: mix 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped fresh mint leaves.
2. Strawberry and lime / or raspberry and lime: mix 10 cups of water + 6 strawberries/raspberries and one thinly sliced lime + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves.
3. Fennel and citrus
: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Then mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the infusion of fennel seeds.
4. Blackberry and sage
: mix 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been very slightly crushed + 3 to 4 sage leaves.
5. Watermelon and rosemary
: mix 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2 rosemary stems.
6. Pineapple and mint
: mix 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12 fresh mint leaves finely chopped.
7. Apple and cinnamon
: mix 10 cups of water + 1 cup of apple cut into cubes + 2 cinnamon sticks + 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
8. Ginger and tea
: first 1 teaspoon of ginger in two cups of tea, let it cool down. Then mix 10 cups of water with two cups of the ginger tea + 4 to 5 pieces of fresh ginger cut into cubes.
How much water should you drink?
Drinking enough water is one of the most simple and fundamental health steps you can take. Use the color of your urine as a guide to how much water you should be drinking. As long as you are not taking riboflavin (vitamin B2 and found in most multi-vitamins) which turns your urine bright yellow, then your urine should be a very light-colored yellow. If it is a deep yellow then you are probably drinking insufficient water and could be dehydrated with symptoms like:
- Dry skin
Encourage your children - when they are still just babies - to develop an enjoyment and taste for water so that it becomes second nature to reach for a cup or glass of water instead of a soda. They will thank you for it later.
If headaches are a problem for you, always drink a large glass of water as the first step in their relief.
If the headaches persist, here is a natural headache remedy