May Nutrition Alerts

Nutrition Facts Newsletter

 

What is the most important element to health?

Oxygen. Without it, we would die within minutes.

The second most important element in our health is water. You cannot live more than about 10 days without water. Your body can only lose about 10% of its water and still survive. Water is an essential component of all living matter. It is the largest single component of the body. Our brains are 76% water, our lungs are 90% water, our blood is 84% water, and blood plasma is 98% water. Critical processes such as indigestion, circulation, and excretion cannot occur without it.

How do you get dehydrated? You can lose on the average of 2.5 liters of water through daily activities which is usually replaced by the fluid we drink and the food we eat. Exercise, sweating, diarrhea, temperature, or altitude can significantly increase the amount of fluid required. The effects of even mild dehydration are decreased coordination, impairment of judgment and fatigue. The sources of fluid loss are respiration, perspiration, urination and defecation.

How much water should you drink? You should drink half your body weight in ounces minimum daily. Example, you weigh 200 pounds then you should drink 100 ounces. Ideally, you should never go more than 15 or 20 minutes without sipping water. You should start drinking water in the morning upon rising. This is when you are most toxic and dehydrated. You should always drink water prior to eating to support the digestive process, but drink very little water during your meal. Drinking a lot of fluids during your meal can dilute stomach acids needed for digestion.

How do you know if you’re dehydrated? If you are thirsty then that is a sign that you need water and could already be dehydrated. A somewhat dehydrated body produces yellow urine. Severely dehydrated body produces orange or dark colored urine. When you’re properly hydrated your urine should be almost colorless. Warning! A dry mouth is the last sign of dehydration.

Little known facts:

  •  Drinking alcohol halts the process of reverse osmosis which allows water to enter the cells.
  •  Caffeine inhibits the enzymes that support memory function.
  •  Caffeine also stimulates the kidneys to secrete more water out of the body than what is in the drink that contains caffeine.
  •  An unhealthy statistic shows that the average American consumes 581 cans of soda a year. Are you one of those?

So now you ask what water should I drink?

Reverse osmosis is the best filtering medium. The containers are different situation. Glass is always best but plastic is where it gets complicated. Here is a list of the good and bad plastic bottles:

Good:

  • #2 HDPE –   High density polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent and shampoo bottles and some plastic bags. It is considered safe and easy to recycle.
  • #4 LDPE –  Low density polyethylene, used in grocery store bags, most plastic wraps in some models. It is considered safe but hard to recycle.
  • #5 PP –  Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, Deli soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles. It is considered safe but hard to recycle.

Bad:

  • #1 PETE –  Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene used for soft drink, juice, water, detergents, cleaner and peanut butter containers. It was considered the safest and is the most common plastic and easy to recycle. However, a recent study found traces of DEHP in bottled water stored in a PET bottle for more than nine months.
  • #3 PVC or V or DEHA –   Polyvinyl Chloride used for clean rap, some plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner bottles. PVC is well known to be associated with liver cancer. DEHA is linked to negative effects on the liver, kidney, spleen, bone formation and body weight. It is the least recyclable.
  • #6 PS –  Polystyrene, used in Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carryout containers and opaque plastic cutlery. Styrene can leach from polystyrene and is toxic to the brain and nervous system. It also has been found to affect red blood cells, liver, kidneys and stomach in animal studies. It is hard to recycle.
  • #7 Other –  Usually polycarbonate, used in most plastic baby bottles, 5 gallon water bottles,” sport” water bottles, metal food can liners, clear plastic ” sippy ” cups and some clear plastic cutlery. The new bio-based plastics may also be labeled #7. Poly carbonate can leach bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen. It was found to stimulate prostate cancer, produce ovarian dysfunction, genetic damage,etc.

So now you ask, ‘What water is good and what filters do I need?’  I have found this company that has systems that filter chlorine, chemicals and other harmful contaminants. They have shower filters, sink systems and whole house systems and whole house well systems.

 

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