Minerals and how to replace them if you drink distilled water
Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon
by William Fryer MA Oxon
Some people exclaim, “what about the minerals!?” when confronted with the prospect of mineral-free water. In a previous article I have explained why the whole mineral argument is not relevant because water is a poor source of minerals. But let’s start with a recap and then talk about some replacement options.
We get minerals from food. Not only is water a poor source of minerals - even mineral water - it often contains minerals we are over-supplied with also, mineral content in tap water varies.
I live in Wiltshire, the water comes from an aquifer in limestone bedrock. As a consequence it has a relatively high mineral content, mainly calcium carbonate. But people living in granite or slate areas of the UK will actually have very low mineral content in their water.
I work in a hospital and I spend a lot of time looking at blood test results for patients. The only people who are ever mineral deficient are either old people or people with an illness. I cannot recall the last time I observed mineral deficiencies in a person under 70 without any major illness. Almost certainly, if you are the kind of person who is worrying about mineral deficiencies you will not have any mineral deficiency.
Even a high quality mineral water is a poor source of minerals
Let’s look at the mineral analysis of a typical mineral water. I have selected Evian because it is a well-known mineral water and is typical of a quality mineral water. Something like Badoit has a much higher mineral content and you can taste it, but few people drink it because it has such a strong taste.
|Mineral||Quantity in 1L of Evian||Daily Requirement||Daily Volume of Evian Needed|
Let’s take each of these in turn.
- cheese and other dairy foods;
- green leafy vegetables – such as cabbage, curly kale, okra and spinach;
- soya drinks with added calcium;
- bread and anything made with fortified flour;
- fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards.
All of these sources are richer and more effective than mineral water.
- bananas, oranges, melon, apricots, grapefruit (some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium),
- spinach, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peas, cucumber, courgette,
- leafy greens,
- also juice from oranges, tomatoes, prune, apricot and grapefruit,
- milk and yoghurt,
- tuna, halibut, cod, trout,
- kidney beans, lentils, soya beans, salt substitutes,
- meat and poultry,
- brown & wild rice,
- whole wheat.