Health Benefits of Water
High Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
The number one killer in America is heart disease. And, two huge health risks that can lead to serious heart conditions are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But, these can be prevented. Let's start with high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that one in five American's have too high a cholesterol level. But first, just what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the "bad" cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart therefore gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something as drastic as death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role.
Drinking water can actually thin the blood, making in a natural way to help the blood pump more smoothly. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean! Since exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol, once again, water needs to be drank in order to replenish what was lost. In fact, consumption of water so you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!Let's move on to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes it way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. (Ever have too much pressure in your tires?) Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And what's scary is that there are not any real symptoms until, which is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer. Hypertension can be combated in many ways, such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol or overweight. Water can also help lower this pressure, as blood is mainly comprised of water. If water levels drop, that can affect your blood pressure. So, drinking the healthy amount of water each say can maintain a healthy heart. Also, the kidneys clean the blood. If blood flow is limited to the kidneys because of lack of water or high blood pressure, it will think the body is low on water, and react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make pressure even higher. Heart disease is a serious issue in America today, with two of the top causes being high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Drinking enough water can combat both of these.
Water And Cancer
More and more communities are becoming concerned about potential links between cancer and chemicals found in their drinking water. Whether you drink municipal water or drink from a well, additives and contaminates linked to cancer probably exist in your water. Although water providers are required by federal law to follow guidelines that are designed to keep these cancer-causing chemicals at "safe" levels in the water, there is much debate at what actually is "safe." Because of these concerns, water providers are now required by law to publish the results of their water testing every year for public review.Some of the chemicals added to water to keep us healthy could oddly enough actually be contributing to cancer rates. Studies concerning chlorine and fluoride have determined high levels of these chemicals could cause cancer.Chlorine, used to disinfect most community water supplies, produce Trihalomethanes (THMs), chemicals formed when chlorine reacts with organic material, like bacteria, in water. The American Journal of Public Health published an article in regard to a 1992 study that linked trihalomethanes in water to incidences of rectal, bladder and pancreatic cancer.Citizens groups frequently target fluoride, which is added to the water supply of most municipalities to help cut down on tooth decay in children, as a possible carcinogen. The Journal of Epidemiology, in 2001, linked fluoride as the genetic cause of cancer. A 1990 National Toxicology Program study determined fluoride could be the cause of cancers affecting the mouth, pharynx, colon and rectum. Another study, with results published in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology in 2001, linked osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, with fluoride.
Natural occurring radioactive agents like radium, uranium and radon, seep into the water supply. High levels of these elements can cause cancer of the brain and bone.People living in rural areas with their own water wells are also at risk of drinking potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides contain carcinogens that can filter down into the water supply. Nitrate, a by-product of fertilizer, also shows up in water supplies. In the human body, nitrate breaks down into nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-causing agents.
Atrazine, an herbicide used on crops, is also found in drinking water. It is suspected of causing breast cancer. Another chemical, trichloroethylene, a solvent used in dry cleaning, is found sometimes in water supplies near facilities that do not dispose of their chemicals properly. It is considered a possible cancer-causing agent as well.
Most municipalities do not have the costly technology to filter these and other potentially harmful chemicals from the water. Neither do most bottled water companies, which frequently get the water they bottle from the same sources as municipalities. Reverse osmosis filtering is one of the few effective ways to remove potential cancer-causing chemicals from your water.
Water and Cough and Cold
We all succumb to a cold and/or cough a few times a year. In fact, each year, Americans suffer through one billion colds, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD. Children catch up to 10 colds a year, while adults average up to four. The yearly economic burden through lost workdays? Around $5 billion! And, there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?
The runny nose, fever, sore through, etc are all familiar (and dreaded) symptoms of the common cold, an ailment where doctors and pharmaceutical companies haves still not made a miracle cure discovery. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The fact of the matter is that little can actually be done for a cold or flu virus sets in, except to ride them out.
However, the best way to fight a cold is just to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. There are ways to prevent the flu and colds, including washing hands frequently, taking vitamins and avoiding people who have them. But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention is of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it. Dehydration, among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.
Water is obvious the fluids of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist air, possibly through a humidifier.In natural medicine, colds are looked at as the body's way of detoxifying. During the autumn and winter, our bodies actually attempt to harmonize with the season. The body then condenses waste and cleanses excess mucus and congestions from tissue, which will improve circulation and get the blood pumping to keep us warm. However, this process gives flu like symptoms. Drinking more water will help the body detoxify. Exercise and sweating can also help keep the body clear of toxins.In the way of coughs, drinking the proper amount of water will keep the mucus lining in the lung area thin and lubricated, making it easier to have a productive cough. Water will also help loosen phlegm, and just plain soothe an irritated throat.Not only can water help prevent a cold, but it can also help sufferers feel better. However, people should only drink clean purified water when they are sick because water that is contaminated can actually add more toxins and stress to our bodies. By drinking plenty of clean water, we can build up our immune systems which will allow us to stay healthy and enjoy the wonders of the winter season.