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Water: The Missing Nutrient

Happy WORLD WATER DAY! Water is the magical elixir of life, it is essential to the existence of every life form on earth and it’s role has not changed since the beginning of planet earth, billions of years ago. This beautiful element is so important to us in so many ways and we now have a whole day to celebrate its amazing existence, so raise a glass of water and toast to that very liquid inside for being so gosh darn perfect.

Water is needed by every living organism to sustain life. That’s all fine and dandy except that in this present day, there is threat of a global water scarcity and along with that, our quality of water has become an issue. It is important to educate yourself on how to contribute positively to these threats and do your part to help where you can.

Let’s start with some fun water facts… Did you know that it takes 23 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of lettuce and 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef?! According to Dr. Pimentel of Cornell, you could go two years without showering and still not save as much water as you would by not eating 1 pound of beef.  John Robbins, author of Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution states that more than half of all the water consumed in the US is to raise animals for food. Raising animals for food causes more water pollution than any other industry in the US since the animals produce 130 times the excrement of the entire human population. Waste from factory farms and slaughter houses flow into the streams and rivers, contaminating our water source. Gross.

Consuming a diet that is primarily plant based would definitely help the planets water supply. If being vegan or vegetarian seems too foreign to you, try starting out small. Cut out all animal flesh once or twice a week and see how it feels. Get your whole family involved and have ‘Meatless Mondays’. Who knows, maybe you’ll soon find that it’s easy to have ‘Meatless Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays?’ Every action, even if it is small, will add up eventually.

The famous and fabulous Dr. Weil calls water the “missing nutrient” since water is essential for our life, yet little attention is ever given to it. The human body is 75% water, the brain is 85% water and the blood which carries oxygen and essential nutrients to our body is 92% water! Water consumption is necessary to carry out bodily functions such as flushing the system and eliminating toxins, carrying nutrients to your cells, moisturizing the lungs and joints, supporting metabolism, and protecting our organs.

How much water should you be drinking? At least 8 glasses of pure, filtered water. And don’t think for a second that coffee, caffeinated tea, soda and diet soda count for your days worth of water. These drinks are dehydrating and actually cause water loss so stay clear or reduce your intake of them.

What exactly is in our water anyway? Arsenic, asbestos, e-coli, chlorine and fluoride?! Yum. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency website to find out what is in your local water. If you can swing it, I recommend purchasing a whole house filtration system to ensure that you are getting the cleanest water from all your home sources. If that is out of your budget or you don’t own your home, purchase a filter for your tap and shower and be sure to read the instructions on when to change the filter.

Now that you are being mindful of your water consumption, take into consideration how you are drinking it. Are you going to the store and buying packs or gallons of bottled water? If so, you are just adding to our already overwhelmed waste problem. More bottles clog up our landfills then get recycled so to avoid being a contributor to this problem, invest in a few canteens and keep them in random places so you’ll never have to buy bottled water again. I keep one in my car, a few in the house, one at my desk, one in my handbag and another in my yoga bag. You can buy them anywhere and they are so cheap you can buy a few and won’t have to spend the extra cash on plastic bottles. Oh and by the way, the plastic is also bad for your health! Studies show that chemicals called phthalates (which disrupt testosterone and other hormones) can leach into bottled water over time.

Do you now feel like you have enough information on water and are ready to kiss this element for being so beneficial and perfect? Good. Cheers to WORLD WATER DAY!