But the earth’s water supply is in crisis, and residents of Flint, Michigan and Sebring, Ohio just got reminded of that in a horrible way with lead contamination in their tap water.
Depending on where you live, your municipal tap water may contain any or all of the following toxic substances:
- Bacteria, viruses and parasites
- Chlorine and chloramines
- Heavy metals, asbestos, nitrates and nitrites
- Solvents, pesticides, plastics and resins
- Radio nucleotides such as radium and uranium
- Fluoride—Although it’s been hailed for allegedly reducing cavities in children’s teeth, research links fluoridated water consumption to thyroid dysfunction, ADHD, reduced IQ, bone fluorosis, increased bone fracture rates and endocrine disruption. The risk of cavities can be significantly reduced with proper nutrition including vitamin D.
- Medication residue--Yes, this is real. When “Nature” calls for people on medications, their “products of excrement” frequently contain medication residue, which eventually can make its way into tap water supplies. This has happened in the Hudson River in New York.
There are sources of water other than tap, but they too have their drawbacks:
Well water can contain heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and hydrocarbons (gasoline by-products).
Spring water may have some chlorine added as a disinfectant.
Bottled water is filtered through processes which could include reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, distillation, micron filtration and ozonation. Water bottlers may use chlorine for purification.
Filtered water (or purified water) involves the removal of harmful components of water by carbon filtration, reverse osmosis or distillation.
Here are common contaminants found in drinking water, and which common type of filtration removes each:
|Content||Solid carbon filter||Reverse Osmosis||Distillation|
|Solvents||Removes||Not removed||Not removed|
|Heavy metals||Possibly removed||Removes||Removes|
|Basic minerals||Not removed||Removes||Removes|
So what do you drink?
Clearly it’s preferable to drink water that you either know is reasonably safe (through having it tested—such as with well or spring water) or water with some kind of filtration, whether that’s bottled or through home filtration.
That being said, in addition to drinking your water, you can also…
Eat your water
Fresh fruits and vegetables not only give your body much-needed nutrients, but they’re a great source of water (and fiber too!).
At least half of what’s on your plate should be fresh fruits and vegetables.
Also, commit to eating one tossed salad each day. But note that “salad” means an assortment of greens and other vegetables—not a tired old lettuce leaf or two buried under mounds of potato and macaroni salad, cheese, croutons and bacon bits. (I can read your mind.)
Help your body recover from tap water
Dangerous substances you take in with contaminated water (including tap water) not only can make you ill, but they wreak havoc with your intestinal flora too.
The friendly bacteria in your system assist with digestion, house most of your immune system and keep harmful bacteria under control. But when they are undermined by dangerous toxins, they can’t do their important jobs…and your health can suffer as a result.
A nutritious diet is step one, but since so many other factors (like stress, medications, toxins, smoking and inadequate sleep) can throw off your flora balance, diet may not always be enough.
That’s why probiotic supplementation can be so health-supporting to so many people.
Probiotics help to repopulate your supply of intestinal good guys and support their efforts in keeping your immune system sharp, encouraging sound digestion and keeping harmful inhabitants in check.
Water is truly the fluid of life.
So be sure to not only get enough for your needs, but help make it health-enhancing (not health-harming), get food sources of water, and of course help your gut recover from the effects of contaminated water so it can continue to protect you!