Water and Nutrition
The foundation to good health is good nutrition. The four basic nutrients are water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and also include vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Water is fundamental to life and is second to air for sustaining life. It is a basic life need and a life force. Without water life would end in 3 to 5 days. Our adult body is made up of at least 60% of water, the main component of all our body fluids; Blood (81%), Urine (95%), sweat (99%), lymph, digestive juices and tears. All our body functions depend on it e.g. absorption, digestion, elimination and circulation. It carries electrolytes, mineral salts that carry electrical currents in the body. These salts are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride. Water also helps in transporting nutrients and waste products in and out of cells and maintains proper body temperature.
The amount of water intake by an individual depends on where one lives, their daily activity and diet. The fetus at 32 weeks of gestation is more than 80% water and is surrounded by amniotic fluid. The fetus swallows the fluid continuously for nourishment approximately 250 milliliters for every kilogram of weight. It nourishes the fetus and helps in the digestive system. For an average person,12 cups of water are needed to stay hydrated which include the 4 cups of water from our daily food and the breakdown of this food provides 1 cup of water. So we need 7 cups to drink daily. Drinking coffee which is a diuretic upsets our balance of water and excretes more water from our body. When we consume drinks concentrated with sugar, it enters the digestive system and steals water from our body to dilute it and hence upsets the water balance and causes hyperosmotic load.
Water is found abundantly on earth and it contains minerals and different substances. It also contains toxic substances which originate from various sources and are different in areas depending on the manufacturing pollution related activities. e.g. MTBE (Methyl tertiary butyl ether), VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), chlorinated by products like THMS (trihalomethane), heavy metals like cadmium, pesticides, and plastics like styrene. There is a daily toxic input along the shoreline from industries e.g. dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls. Hence it is very important for optimum health to have safe drinking water. It is important to know the origin, processing and contents that we intake into our bodies and water is essential to life.
Technology offers various sources of water treatment methods. City water is heavily chlorinated to kill germs and fluorinated to prevent tooth decay.Solid carbon block and reverse osmosis offer a reliable means of obtaining clean water. Solid carbon can clear most chlorine, bacteria, pollutants that are chemical .It leaves the trace minerals that our bodies need. Reverse osmosis removes fluoride and nitrate levels that are high. According to center of disease control and prevention (CDC) almost 1,000,000 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated water and 900 die from waterborne diseases.