Centenarians on every inhabited continent swear by their native water as the source of their long lives. Scientists agree that these particular waters may contribute to the local inhabitants’ health and longevity.
One thing they all have in common is purity: no chemicals, no toxins. And it’s no surprise that these Shangri-las are all located far from any city. Tap water in urban areas contains pesticides, industrial pollutants, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals. Well water and mountain streams in some parts of the countryside fare no better due to acid rain and toxic levels of minerals present in groundwater.
Since our bodies are composed of nearly 90 percent water, using pure water for drinking and bathing is essential to our health. The challenge, all over the world, is finding pollution-free sources of water. More than 700 pollutants, a number of them carcinogens, are regularly found in drinking water from municipal sources and rural wells.
You should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water - about 8 glasses - a day. To develop a good water-drinking habit, get two large, rigid thermos bottles with a 20-ounce capacity and fill them with water. Take one along with you during the day to drink at work, and drink the other one at home.
Benefits of a good "drinking habit"
• Stay hydrated. When you become dehydrated, you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and give you a feeling of fatigue.
• Regulate body temperature. For work-out fans, drinking water reduces cardiovascular stress and improves performance. Water reduces body temperature, making the exercise process safer and more effective.
• Skin health. Water hydrates and irrigates impurities from the skin, keeping it healthy and glowing.
• Nutrient absorption. Water transports essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and sugars for assimilation.
• Aids in weight loss. If you haven't been drinking enough water, your body has developed a pattern of storing water-which equals extra unwanted pounds. Drink more water to teach your body that it no longer needs to store water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant.
Water: You Are What You Drink
Everything that goes down the drain from our lawns, our agricultural fields, or anywhere else in our environment inevitably ends up in our drinking water. The president of the Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, states that "approximately 45 million Americans in thousands of communities drink water that is polluted with fecal matter, parasites, disease-causing microbes, and pesticides at levels that violate Safe Drinking Water Act standards."
A recent report showed that pharmaceutical drugs are showing up in tap water across the nation. People taking pharmaceutical drugs pass them through their bodies and into the sewage plants, which remove the usual pollutants - but not drug chemicals from waster water, and some end up in your drinking water. Even a small amount of drug chemicals and pollutants taken in by your body continuously over a long period of time can trigger genetic changes, cause allergies, or even lead to cancer.
There are many filtration processes that remove contaminants. The best kinds employ activated charcoal, which removes the impurities but leaves the water soluble minerals. Avoid water softeners, which remove essential minerals, and do not store water in plastic containers, as the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) leach into water.
Shower filters are very important because a warm shower opens the pores of the skin and allows a high rate of absorption of chlorine and other chemicals. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 20 times more chlorine and synthetic chemicals than tap water due to the fact that these chemicals vaporize at a lower temperature and at a much faster rate than does water.
Health in a Bottle?
Bottled water has gained tremendous popularity, as word about the hazards of tap water is getting out. However, many bottled waters were found to be simply processed water using distillation, reverse osmosis, de-ionization or filtration. So, is bottled water safer than tap water? Tests have discovered that some bottled waters contained more chlorine by-products than surface and ground waters. And the pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals that are found in household tap water are appearing in bottled water with alarming frequency.
The Natural Resources Defense Council report on the subject concluded that, "there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water." Throw into that mix that plastic containers contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which leach into your water. Skip the plastic bottles for storing. Instead store in glass bottles, and for water-on-the-go, get a reusable thermos.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
--Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on The Ricki Lake Show, Dr. Oz, and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com.