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Are You at Risk for a Waterborne Bacterial Illness?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “don’t drink the water” in relation to travel within Mexico, which is notorious for its high bacterial levels.

But did you know that you may also be at risk for bacterial illness as a result of drinking tap or well water in the US?

Waterborne Bacterial Illness

Tap water causes an estimated 18.4 million cases of stomach illnesses in the US each year. Most of these illnesses are caused by pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that escape water treatment efforts, while sewage leaks and flooding also contribute to the problem.

While an upset stomach is the most common symptom of a bacterial waterborne illness, flu-like symptoms and even death may result, such as in the case of the brain-eating Amoeba bacteria.

Additionally, one study on illnesses associated with tap water showed that serious diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune dysfunctions can occur weeks or even months after a stomach illness and is known as chronic sequelae.

Those with an increased risk of pathogen-born illnesses include the elderly, pregnant women, young children, the chronically ill and those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, which makes up about 25% of the US population.

UC Berkley conducted a tap water study among 988 Sonoma County residents over age 55. Although the water met all federal and state water quality standards, researchers found a 12% decrease in self-reported gastrointestinal illnesses in those who filtered their water versus those who did not.

Bacterial Water Filtration

While some recommend UV light as a bacterial treatment for water, that method has many flaws. If the UV bulb gets even the slightest haze on it, the UV light becomes ineffective at killing bacteria, and you may not know when the bulb stops working. Additionally, the speed at which the water flows past the light makes it difficult to be effective. Most disturbingly, after a UV light kills bacteria, the bacteria still remains in the water for you to consume!

But both the Chanson Nano Filtration System and new NANO2 easily traps and removes 99.9% of all bacteria due to its .0001 micron size (most bacteria is .02 micron). We recommend it for anyone who would like antibacterial protection. Protect yourself and your family from bacterial waterborne illness today!

References:

Chronic sequelae associated with waterborne pathogens: A definition and review of human evidence Rebecca T. Parkin, John O. Davies-Cole, and John M. Balbus. Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington University

The Sonoma Water Evaluation Trial: A Randomized Drinking Water Intervention Trial to Reduce Gastrointestinal Illness in Older Adults Colford JM Jr., Hilton JF, Wright CC, Arnold BF, Saha S S,   Wade TJ, Schott J, Eisenberg JN. Am J Public Health. 2009

9 Easy Alkaline Substitutions Anyone Can Make for Better Health

The idea of completely changing one’s eating habits to a whole foods, plant-based diet is overwhelming for most people despite the many proven health benefits that may result. Adding to the challenge may be unsupportive household family members who scoff at the idea of eggplant as a main dish for dinner or refuse to even try tofu. In an effort to help, we’ve created a list of nine small, easy, alkaline substitutes anyone can make to improve their alkalinity (some of which you can swap without the family even noticing!). Even if you never make it to the ideal 80% alkaline/20% acidic ratio, these slight changes will be beneficial to your health and won’t feel like much of a sacrifice (if at all).

1. Instead of Vegetable Oil try Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil are refined oils that are not healthy and should be avoided and replaced with cold-pressed oils like extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and hemp oils. Healthy fats are an important part of an alkaline diet and can be obtained through substituting healthy oils for the more mainstream unhealthy oils. All oils can create free radicals when heated, so we recommend using a small amount of water to steam fry your vegetables and then drizzling oil on top, making your own oil-based salad dressings and drizzling healthy oils on top of vegetable wraps.

2. Instead of Sugar or Artificial Sweeteners try Stevia

Sugar has been linked to cancer and artificial sweeteners are not only acidifying but carcinogenic. Swapping your sugar cubes with stevia, an all-natural sweetener derived from herbs, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. According to Ray Kurzwell, author Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever: stevia is highly nutritious, lowers blood sugar in diabetics while regulating blood sugar in non-diabetics, lowers elevated blood pressure, kills bacteria that cause tooth decay, increases energy levels and mental activity, and reduces cravings for alcohol and tobacco. Other natural sugar alternatives: Chicory root, agave nectar.

3. Instead of Table Salt try Sea Salt

Our bodies contain about a pound of salt, and sodium is an alkaline mineral necessary for survival. But the refined iodized salt that sits on most dinner tables in America is completely unhealthy and the type of salt doctors are referring to when they advise patients to cut down on their salt intake. Refill your salt shaker with unrefined sea salt and sprinkle on top of wraps, soups and vegetables. Other alternatives: Celtic salt, Himalayan salt, Real salt.

4. Instead of Peanut Butter try Almond Butter

Peanuts are acidifying to the body and the moldiest, most undesirable peanuts are what is used to make peanut butter. Swap out your P.B. for it’s healthier cousin almond butter, and spread on sandwiches and use as a dip for pretzels, crackers, fruit, and to make smoothies creamier.

5. Instead of Cows Milk try Unsweetened Almond Milk

Cows milk and other dairy products are not only acidifying but contrary to popular belief they actually rob the body of calcium and create a putrid sludge that wreaks havoc on your digestive system. Dump your carton of cows milk and try unsweetened almond milk instead. It is a healthy, delicious, alkaline substitute for drinking, cooking, baking, creamer and making cereal. Other alternatives (buy unsweetened): Coconut milk, soy milk, goat milk, rice milk.

6. Instead of White Rice try Brown Rice

The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be artificially “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron. Clearly, brown rice is the nutritional winner over white rice. Other alternatives: Basmati rice, quinoa, jasmine rice, wild rice.

7. Instead of Soy Sauce try Bragg Liquid Aminos

Soy sauce is fermented and acidic. A great substitute is Bragg Liquid Aminos, which is a liquid protein concentrate derived from healthy soybeans, which contains 18 essential and non-essential amino acids in naturally occurring amounts, is not fermented or heated and is gluten-free.

8. Instead of Spaghetti try Soba Noodles

Most pastas are made with refined starches that lack nutritional value. Try swapping your spaghetti for soba noodles, tofu noodles, gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash. You can also try making your own pasta sauce from scratch instead of using pre-packaged sauces which tend to contain sugar and preservatives.

9. Instead of Bottled Water try Alkaline Ionized Water

Not all waters are created equal. Most bottled waters, along with distilled and reverse osmosis waters are actually acidic. Tap water is regulated by the government to be at least a 7 pH which is neutral on the alkaline scale, but is littered with contaminants. Therefore your best option is alkaline ionized water from a Chanson water ionizer which you can hook up to your tap. The water is pre-filtered and microclustered, resulting in better tasting water with a smoother feel that doesn’t cause bloating. It is also rich in antioxidants and able to hydrate and detoxify better than standard water due to its smaller water molecule size. Being properly hydrated is the key to overall wellness and you will not regret the switch from bottled water to ionized alkaline water.