From the category archives:

water

Top Five Health Drinks

by Ed

We need to drink to stay alive. It’s even more important than eating, at least in terms of how often we need to drink to survive. What you drink really matters though, if you want to be healthy. North Americans are drinking more calories than ever before, which is adding to our weight problem. In general, drinking does not make us less hungry, so when we drink a sugary soft drink, we are just adding calories to our diet, not to mention the negative impact on our blood sugar.

What are the healthful fluids we can be drinking? Here are my top Five:

1. Water. By far the winner. Water is what our body needs, so why not drink it straight? Filtered tap water is the best. In Many communities, water coming out of the tap is not that good for you, but simple carbon filtration is usually good enough. Bottled water is a bad idea for two reasons. One is that you don’t really know where it came from, and the other is that toxic chemicals leach out of the plastic bottles water comes in. For more on plastic bottles, see this post. For most people, six to eight glasses of water a day is optimal.

2. Ginger tea. It is warming and it stimulates digestion. It can ease allergic reactions.

3. Chamomile tea. It is very soothing to the nervous system and stomach.

4. Green tea. In moderation, green tea is very beneficial for its antioxidants. People who are sensitive to caffeine, should avoid it. Be careful of its tendency dehydrate you.

5. Freshly made fruit and vegetable juices. These are a magnificent source of antioxidants and other health promoting phytochemicals. Drink them within a few minutes of juicing them, as they lose their goodness very quickly. These are rather high in calories, but most people don’t have time to overdue them. Besides, the health benefits far outweigh the problems, unless you have serious blood sugar issues.

water with meals

by Ed

There is an email going around about the dangers of drinking cold water with meals. It is highly overstated. Do not worry about it. This is the version I got:

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is
applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink
after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the
oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down
the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid,
it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine
faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine.
Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer.
It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine I do agree that it is best to only drink warm water with meals, but I would not worry about cancer. The science in the article above is just not sound. Drinking cold water is fine when exercising, as it is absorbed faster and helps to cool the body down. With meals, however you want to keep the digestive system warm, only because it has to work to warm things up any way. If you have weak or sluggish digestion, it will make a difference.

Avoid plastic water bottles

by Ed

Today, almost everybody is carrying a water bottle. That is a great thing, as we need to keep hydrated. Unfortunately, plastic bottles can be very unhealthy. Many of them leach very toxic chemicals, and all are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria.

Over the past few years, the hard carbonate bottles have become more popular. This is partly because, they don’t leave a taste in the water. However they are one of the worst for leaching dangerous chemicals in the water. They leach a chemical that is in the class of hormone disruptors, which cause reproductive defects and cancer.

If you look at the bottom of your plastic bottle, you will see the recycle symbol with a number in the middle of it. The carbonate plastics are number 7. Parents beware, many baby bottles are also made from #7 plastic. #1 plastics are also very toxic.

The safest plastics are numbers 2, 4, and 5. But is you ask me, I would avoid plastic altogether. Switch to glass or stainless steel. Be sure to wash your bottle thoroughly, every day, and let it dry out completely. This will keep germs from building up.