1. You’ll drink more water: It’s easier to drink filtered than unfiltered water. Unfiltered water often tastes kind of funny, depending on where you live and what your water source is. So you drink soda or bottled water (which we will discuss in a minute), or possibly turn to tea and coffee as an alternative. Filtering does two things: it removes contamination that makes your water taste funny and maintains the healthy minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) that your body craves along with its water. If you’ve ever tasted distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis system, you may notice that it tastes kind of flat. Drab. Almost dry. That’s the lack of minerals. Often drinking this water fails to quench your thirst, so even if you’re full, you still have a craving for something wet. Why do people turn to sports drinks and soda? They both contain minerals your body needs—that’s both their value proposition and the mechanism that satisfies your thirst when you drink. By drinking filtered water that maintains healthy minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, you feel more satisfied and less thirsty, and won’t hanker so much for a soda, either.
2. Your water will be cleaner: Filtration gets rid of the majority of your water’s contamination while preserving the healthy minerals that hydrate you better and relieve thirst better than some of your other options. Tap water is all right: It generally contains all the minerals in it you need, along with a good dose of contamination that you don’t. Some cities are better than others—get your local water report to learn where your city ranks—but even after treatment, the city pipes and water delivery system most likely contains some kind of contamination that gets back into the water before it gets to you. Heck, the pipes in your house are probably not all that clean, either! To be sure, a point-of-use system that attaches to your faucet goes a long way to easing your mind about the quality of water you consume.
3. You’ll have more control: Filtration gives you more control and insight into what’s in your water. It’s just always better to KNOW what you’re eating or drinking. Look no further than the spate of governmental rules and regulations food and beverage manufacturers must comply with to see that not only is it good to know what’s in there, but you have the legal right to know what’s in there. Filtering your own water once it enters your house offers a fine level of control over the quality of your drinking, cooking and bathing water.
4. It’s convenient: Really, what all the above reasons amount to is a higher level of convenience in your life. One more thing you don’t have to worry about, you don’t have to think about or wonder when you’re shopping in the grocery store. “Do I need to stock up on bottled water? Oh, no—I have better at home!”
5. It’s cheaper: Filtering is cheaper than bottled water by a mile. It’s even cheaper than pitcher filters. With Aquasana drinking filters specifically, you get almost twice as much bang for your buck than many pitcher filters, and over thirty times more than from bottled water. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, quitting the bottled water habit and choosing to filter is a long step in the right direction.
6. It’s green/sustainable: Going along with cheaper, filtering is also a very sustainable method of treating your water. Reverse osmosis wastes quite a bit of water, especially as a household solution (as opposed to a larger scale operation). Basically, you get a bit of clean water, but concentrate the contaminated water and send it back into the environment. Distillation requires electricity and also wastes water. Bottled water, aside from its health concerns, fills landfills with tons of plastic waste each day. Most bottles are not recycled (up to 80% are simply tossed in the garbage), despite their eligibility for recycling, and end up clogging rivers and land when they’re not actually disposed of “properly” in a landfill. Filtering can remove up to 4,000 bottles a year from landfills. Also, filtering is removing contamination from water—meaning less ambient contamination in general (not just for your drinking pleasure). And carbon—the chief material used in filtration—is good for the environment even once you’re done with using it to filter your water.
Have another great reason to filter your water? Let us know in the comments!
As you may or may not be aware, dermatology is the field of medicine that focuses on the skin: skin diseases and disorders. This includes things as varied as hair removal and implantation, skin cancer treatment, skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis and (the most unfair of plagues) acne, to plastic surgery like liposuction and face lifts.
And just how, you might ask, is dermatology related to water and water filtration?
For hair removal issues, plastic surgery and cancer, water is important for all the usual health reasons, but has little impact aside from that. Where water becomes an essential component of dermatology issues are in the areas of skin health and skin disorders. Proper hydration is often the heart and soul of health in general, but it particularly affects the skin. Lack of adequate hydration can exacerbate (or cause) rashes, eczema, allergic reactions and other topical ailments.
Along the same lines, the water you wash with can affect the quality and vitality of your skin in surprising ways. City water contains a whole raft of contaminants in varying concentrations, some of which have been shown to be harmful to your skin. Chlorine in particular is cause for concern. We all know how it feels when you get out of a chlorinated pool: the itchy, dry, tight feeling plagues you until you can rinse off with less chlorinated water. But there’s chlorine in your shower water, too, if in lesser amounts, and it’s still not good for you.
Dermatology and you
For the next several weeks, be on the lookout for blog posts, Facebook and Twitter activities, and general buzz on Aquasana.com and our other community channels that relate to dermatology and skin issues. The subject is near and dear to our hearts, and we have undertaken a mission to shed light on various dermatology topics. With that in mind, we’ve found some really excellent resources about dermatology and skin conditions out there on the net:
Related, interesting sites on dermatology…
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, and the race is on to secure a good, enticing, enjoyable gift for the men in our lives who grease the wheels and make life exciting. But what do you get for the man who already has every tool from Home Depot and too many ties to count? Why not go sideways this year, and reach for a practical and exciting gift that he’ll love? (That’s my plan, anyway.) Here are some ideas to get you started!
For the closet cook
Cooking has become a more acceptably enjoyable activity for men, and a good many of them show a decided flair for it. Why not invest in a few really excellent kitchen gadgets to help him out?
Men really like to grill best, and summer is the perfect time for him to get some more experience! Try the cookbook Everyday Grilling from Sur La Table. He’ll be able to make everything on the grill, appetizers to desserts!
If he already knows the grilling ropes, a great instant-read digital thermometer can help him hit just the right level of done.
A nice pizza stone is a good investment, too. When not in use for pizza parties, you can use it to bake other yummy things, like biscuits and cookies.
But not every man likes to cook. Some of them just can’t ever own enough gadgets. For some spectacular ideas on what to get to indulge him, try looking at Skymall.com or Brookstone.
Weather stations are pretty neat little things, and the prices on the good ones are coming down. If you need to know instantly how to dress the kids today, don’t wait for the weatherman, just take a peek at this little guy!
Maybe your man is security-minded, though. If so, investing in a home security system could be a good gift to ease his anxiety. There are lots of options out there, and some even come with iPhone or smartphone apps that let you manage your security remotely, so you always have access and control.
Or if your husband is the fastidious sort, you could consider even our own Aquasana shower filter with handheld wand. Clean himself, the kids, the dog, pots and pans, whatever he wants, in clean and healthy shower water!
Being a dad is a demanding job, one that increases stress and tension. Why not get Dad a back and neck massager of some kind? (And when he’s not using it, you can hop right in there and take a whirl!)
There are lots of other ideas out there, but use these to get you started. Use a bit of thought and imagination, and forgo the tie or cufflinks this year (unless they shoot lasers or auto-clean the house or something). And remember the best gift dads can ever get, those three little words they love to hear:
“I’ll clean up!”
You recycle. You turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You started doing the laundry in cold water. But despite taking steps to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save the planet, you still feel slightly guilty about not doing enough.
Sound familiar? It’s called Green Guilt: the anxiety and self-doubt that we are not doing enough (or that our efforts mean nothing) to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve global resources. Green Guilt is becoming less of a problem in today’s tighter and more stressful economy, since the overriding concern is “Will I have a job in three months?” not “How can I reduce my environmental impact?”, but it still occurs and adds unnecessarily to your stress level.
Don’t beat yourself up
What can you do to avoid feeling this way? Well, for starters, understanding goes a long way. Do your part, do more when you can, and don’t beat yourself up too much if you choose paper towels over cloth for the sake of convenience once in a while. To help you along, I’ve gathered a few extra tips to help you save time and money and get a little greener at the same time:
1) Use a water filter and refillable water bottles. You know how we feel about disposable plastic water bottles. They aren’t really that much safer than tap water in a lot of instances, water leaches plastic molecules, and when we’re done with them they often as not pollute landfills and oceans. Not a lot to love there. But there is an upside to drinking filtered water: not as many of those bottles. I know it’s often a quick decision to make your life easier to just grab some water bottles to toss in the cooler when you go camping, but during the rest of your life, make a concerted effort to use refillable bottles and fill them with filtered water.
2) Walk your neighborhood, not a treadmill. Gyms are all the rage, but are they really worth it? They’re noisy, crowded at all the wrong times, expensive, and they guzzle energy. Plus, those fancy elliptical machines lie about how many calories you’re burning. Try finding a place to walk near where you live—a trail or park that has some good hills. Or just walk or jog through your neighborhood. Do some pushups and sit-ups when you get home. The world will thank you!
3) Carpool. Seriously. I know it’s hardly appealing and takes trust, coordination and sacrifice, but if you can be one fewer car on the road, even once in a while, then you’ll be responsible for cutting down pollution, fossil fuel addiction and household expenditures. Gold star for you!
4) Ask your boss about telecommuting options. Save fuel altogether and work at home a day or two a week, if your job type allows it. Not all jobs lend themselves to working at home, and I am a staunch believer in the value of a tight-knit team, but since a lot of the work that occurs in an information economy happens in your head regardless of where your bottom is, this is becoming an increasingly viable option for many companies.
Ever heard this one? “I want to drink more water, I just get so bored with it! I need taste!”
Some people are happy with a slice of lemon, some just guzzle water when it is super cold to avoid having to taste it. But there are more interesting ways to liven up your water to make it taste great and still enjoy the numerous benefits to your health and well-being. Our favorite way at Aquasana is to infuse the water with various vegetables, fruits and herbs. We served our three favorite recipes at the Natural Products Expo West last week, and they were such a big hit, we wanted to share the recipes in detail here.
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 20 thin slices cucumber
- 2 lemons, sliced thin
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, slightly crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the thyme and rosemary and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the herbs. Add the lemon and cucumber, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 10 strawberries, sliced thin
- 2 tangelos, sliced
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the mint and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the leaves. Add the strawberry and tangelo, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
Watermelon Cooler (not served at Expo West)
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 1 ½ C watermelon slices
- 2 lemons, sliced thin
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the mint and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the herbs. Add the watermelon and lemon, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
- Plum and cinnamon (served at Expo West—tasty but subtle, and the plums sink!)
- Pineapple and mint
- Raspberry and lime
- Cilantro, lime and jalapeno
- Tarragon leaves with blueberries and raspberries
- Cucumber, honeydew and mint
- Tomato slices with fresh horseradish
- Strawberry, kiwi and mint
What are your favorite ways to dress up your water? Do you know more infused water recipes? Share your secrets with us!
The Expo was a huge hit! Preparing for the Expo was a ton of work, but our efforts were completely worth the trouble. We met so many lovely people and introduced them to Aquasana and the realities of filtered water, which is always a good thing.
New bottle cap colors
We showed off our new bottle cap colors at the show. Everyone loved choosing their favorite color! The blue seems to be the most popular, then red and green. These will be on sale on our website soon—stay tuned!
Dr. Mao joined us on Saturday afternoon to sign books and advise people on improving their longevity and overall health. There was a line of people waiting before he even got there! We loved hosting Dr. Mao, and will continue to work with him to help spread the word about the importance of filtering water and taking care of yourself.
Amid much excitement, we debuted our new booth at Expo West. The more streamlined and softer construction brought people in on all sides, and we got a number of compliments! People especially loved the ability to fill up their free glass water bottles (that we provided) with chilled water from the twin Aquasana water chiller taps at the end.
We supplied samples of yummy infused water concoctions for our new friends. From left to right, we served
1) Lemon, cucumber, rosemary and thyme
2) Strawberry, tangelo and mint
3) Plum and cinnamon
Women tended to like the cucumber/lemon infusion the best, and men generally preferred the orange and strawberry. The plum was tasty, but very subtle, and the plums sink, so it didn’t look as appealing as the other two.
And last but certainly not least, we’d like to send a big, happy shout-out to all of our new friends: Seventh Generation, Dr. Mao, True2o, Rodale News, Evolution Fresh, Bert’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Kor bottles, Ciao Bella Gelato and all our new friends!
Did you see Ellen this morning? We sure did!
Spotted: Aquasana made a flash appearance on Ellen this morning with Pam Anderson, actress and spokesperson for Waves for Water. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting clean water to every single person who needs it. We believe so strongly in their mission and vision to provide families the world over with healthy and clean drinking water that we donated $10,000 to the organization. Pam accepted our donation to help get clean water to people in need on behalf of Waves for Water.
Find more about Waves for Water on their website.
Detoxing your life means more than just losing that holiday weight or nixing the caffeine. It’s a good idea to examine all aspects of your life to uncover places you can cut down on the number of harmful chemicals and contaminants that affect you every day. Here are some places to get the ball rolling.
Filter your water: You know how we feel about this one! I won’t go into all the detail so well covered on the rest of our site, but suffice it to say that filtering both your drinking and bathing water can do wonders for your health and well-being (and peace of mind).
-Did you know that in 2010, one of the top five recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel for the prevention of environmentally caused cancer is to filter the water you drink? Every water source is different, even in taps from home to home. Variability is driven by local pollutants, water treatment techniques, the age and material composition of the pipes that deliver your water, and the faucet that you use. Even if you have the purest water being delivered to you by your municipal water source, your pipes may leach unwanted contaminants into the water in transport. Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides and cysts, and what’s in your water varies by your geographic location and municipal water supply.
-Sodium tri-poly-what? Anything containing an ingredient you cannot pronounce has got to go. I’m not necessarily advocating a return to the hunter/gatherer diet regimen, but it’s a safe bet that all those complex chemical formulas for extending the shelf life of food is not doing a heck of a lot of good for your body.
-Sell by 1997: Whoops! Check your sell-by dates and toss/recycle the stuff that has expired. If it’s just a bit past the date and you feel comfortable eating it, that’s all right: what I’m going for here is to get rid of items that may have been named in an FDA recall sometime in the mid-90s.
-Green/Yellow/Red: Categorize your cabinet and fridge contents into Green, Yellow, and Red categories. Green being healthy: can eat whenever I want; Yellow being okay in moderation; Red being SPECIAL OCCASION ONLY. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I strive for a mix of 50% Green category foods, 35% Yellow, and no more than 15% Red. (Hey, I never said I was perfect!)
Trash harsh chemical cleaning supplies: Some of the airborne toxins and residues of popular cleaning supplies can do more harm than good to you and your families. And my suggestion for an alternative is… vinegar. That’s right, plain and simple old white distilled vinegar, which is natural, non-toxic, and friendly to the Earth. It’s mildly acidic, which allows it to clean effectively and help keep your family healthy and safe. See www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for our lovely (inexpensive) friend.
Check your clothing: The word for health these days is organic, and when it comes to clothing, the story is no different.
-Holy cotton! There’s new and trending research out there that states that the pesticides used to grow that cotton that makes it into our clothing can be deadly. The manufacturing processes add in more chemicals and toxins, and some dyes and ink are also highly toxic.
-Detergent degenerates: And check what you wash your clothes in, too! Those fragrant and ultra-whitening detergents can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and wreak havoc on people who suffer from allergies, which says nothing about the possible toxins seeping in through your pores. I know some of those organic and non-toxic detergents don’t have the same “get it whiter and brighter” promises that the Big Brands do, but I think I could buy a new blouse a little more often or be more careful if it meant remaining healthy for a few more years.
Guest Post by Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao)
It’s January, that time of year when we start to see cases of colds and the flu pop up like flowers in May. Each year, one in three Americans suffers from the common cold or the flu. In past blogs I have suggested natural ways to support the healthy functions of your immune system in raising your resistance against the common cold. Common sense practices include washing your hands frequently with soap, and wash your face at least twice a day. Refrain from touching your nose and face with your hands except with tissues. Also, protect your upper back and neck area when it’s cold or windy by using a scarf, because this is where most of the colds will attack the body leading to stiff and achy neck and head. Here are six more natural strategies to avoid the common cold and the flu.
1. Rest up to restore your immunity. Studies show that your immune system function drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep, so be sure you are getting plenty of quality rest, at least eight hours each night. Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep? Try taking a hot bath at night before bedtime or soak your feet in Epsom salt bath for 15 minutes. It will help relax your mind and body in preparation for your sleep.
2. Eat sweet potatoes and mushrooms. These foods help optimize your body’s immunity function. Sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene than carrots, as well as being rich in plant source DHEA, a potent immunity booster. Certain types of mushrooms, like shitake, maitake and reishi, contain polysaccharides, sterols, coumarin, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that have been found to increase immune functions and activities.
3. Garlic keeps more than vampires away. Throughout human history garlic has been loved as well as loathed. Loved by those who enjoy its intense aroma and pungent flavors and loathed by those who are repelled by its odor. The strong odor of garlic actually comes from a sulfur-compound called allicin that studies have found to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. Not only has it been shown to be effective against colds, flu, stomach virus and candida yeast, it has also been shown to be effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA. Besides repelling microbes, apparently even vampires don’t like it either.
4. Vitamin C to your rescue. The late Nobel laureate Linus Pauling did pioneering research on the benefits of vitamin C. It is regarded as the safest and most effective nutrient. A recent look at over 100 studies on vitamin C in the last 10 years revealed many conclusive benefits of the vitamin. Not the least is its well-known property of supporting immune functions especially when the immune system is suppressed by stress. It may not prevent the common cold or the flu but it can reduce the risk of complications like pneumonia and lung infections. One can safely take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily.
5. Look to nature for ammunition. Throughout Europe and Asia, pharmacies offer herbal medicine alongside drug medication. It’s indicative that people in other cultures recognize the benefits of nature’s herbal remedies. As a result these cultures are generally healthier than ours. Luckily the U.S. is catching up. It’s easier now more than ever to find herbal remedies in your local drug and health food stores. Herbs with known immune system properties include ligustri, Cherokee rose, honeysuckle, astragalus, and all heal (prunella). These and other herbs constitute a formula called Perpetual Shield that I put my entire family on during the cold-flu season.
6. Play stronger defense with acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of a complete medical system from China. By stimulating select acupoints in the body to elicit innate healing responses, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support the body’s defense against diseases such as the common cold. Studies of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have found that acupuncture increases production of white blood cells — an indicator of an active immune system. Other studies have found acupuncture to possess immune-modulating properties, which means that it can also help decrease inflammation in conditions like allergic asthma and arthritis. For a directory of licensed acupuncturists in your area, log on to acupuncture.com.
If it’s too late to prepare, and you are already suffering from the runny nose, sore throat, headache and fever of cold and flu, we often recommend to patients the Cold and Flu Formula that contains natural herbs like burdock, kudzu, forsythia, indigo, mint and others that support healthy immune function, and comfort cold and flu symptoms. I hope you use these suggestions in times of health and sickness and that they serve you well.
For the start of the New Year, and to help our friends and fans get a great head start on those New Year’s goals, we rounded up 11 expert tips from nationally renowned health & wellness and culinary experts, including bestselling longevity expert Dr. Maoshing Ni, bestselling weight-loss expert Dr. Ann Louie Gittleman, and Chef-to-the-Stars Lulu Powers, whose clients have included Madonna, Will Smith and Bill Clinton.
Read the original release.
If you’re like most people, losing those last few holiday pounds is high on your list of to-dos this month. Fortunately, one of the best diet aids is free, abundant and right at your fingertips: water.
According to research from Virginia Tech, dieters who started each meal with two eight-ounce glasses of water lost an average of five pounds more than those who didn’t. Researchers say this is the first study that provides real evidence that water’s appetite-suppressing benefits translate into actual weight loss.
But you know the saying, “You can lead a horse to water…”
Fortunately, these 11 easy tips from a variety of health and wellness experts are sure to make you drink:
1. To make water taste better, Todd Bartee, the CEO of Aquasana, a leading maker of water filters for the home, recommends using an easy-to-install countertop filter to strip out the chlorine and other chemicals that are put in tap water to disinfect it. Says Bartee, “Once you remove the contaminants, you’re left with the most pure and delicious water you’ve ever tasted. You’ll notice a difference immediately.” Top consumer rating organizations recommend Aquasana’s AQ-4000 counter top filter, which uses a patented process to remove the chlorine, pesticides, lead and other chemicals in tap water.
2. Chef-to-the-stars, Lulu Powers, who just released a new cookbook, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers, recommends adding slices of orange, mint or cucumber to your water to complement meals.
3. Powers also suggests adding specialty ice cubes made from fresh fruits and herbs for an extra hint of flavor and to up the aesthetic factor.
4. Ann Louie Gittleman, Ph.D., author of the national bestseller, The Fat Flush Plan, recommends diluting your juice with water, adding less and less juice—and more water—as time goes by.
5. Dr. Gittleman also recommends including in your diet water-rich foods like broth-based soups, lettuce, broccoli and citrus fruits.
6. Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of the bestseller, Secrets of Longevity, and the just-released follow-up, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao’s 8 Week Program, refers to filtered tap water as “a key to losing weight.” Says Dr. Mao, “Filter your own water with a high-quality water filter like the one from Aquasana and drink it throughout the day to help with fluid retention. It is also a natural appetite suppressant.”
7. Dr. Mao also suggests making a “detox soup” with filtered tap water, seasonal vegetables like kale and winter squash, dried beans and legumes and aromatic herbs and spices. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours.
8. Track and monitor your daily water consumption by downloading an application for your phone such as Water Me or Water Your Body. www.itunes.com/appstore
9. Substitute a cup of warm water with a drop of honey for the coffee you might have after lunch and dinner. This will also help you eliminate caffeine, which dehydrates the body.
10. Outsmart the mid-afternoon blood-sugar blues. Set the alarm on your phone to ring at 3 pm to remind you to stop and drink a full glass of water before the afternoon munchies hit.
11. Design your own, one-of-a-kind, stainless steel water bottle to make drinking water more fun and a way to express yourself. This works especially well with kids. www.siggskins.com