Jason Moore first became interested in natural mineral water six years ago, when an Emirati friend discovered a brand of water from the town of Lanjarón in the Andalucian region of Spain. After drinking this water that comes from a protected natural reserve in the Sierra Nevada, and which won a silver medal at the 1878 World Expo in Paris, the inhabitants of Lanjarón have the longest life expectancy in Spain, according to the World Health Organization.
When Moore, who is now president of Lanjarón Arabia, started drinking Lanjarón and other natural mineral water varieties, he noticed a big difference in his vitality. “I used to be so drained after a long day of working that I sometimes had to take a quick nap in the car in the garage before heading up to my apartment,” he says. “Once I started drinking natural mineral water, and began feeling more energetic, I realized how low my energy levels had been.”
Although there is little scientific research into this issue, after six years of exploration, speaking to regular people and experts, he believes there is a compelling argument to be made that water containing natural minerals has benefits over water with added minerals.
Natural is better
People have been aware of the importance of minerals in drinking water for thousands of years. The Quran calls water from rivers, springs and wells – natural mineral water – furat, or sweet, and says: “From water, we created all living things”.
“Most of the local bottled water is desalinated, meaning that it’s been stripped of everything, including minerals, which are then added back later,” says Moore. “It’s been said that water is ‘loving,’ also known as the ‘universal solvent’ because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. So when water travels through the earth, it takes valuable trace minerals and beneficial microbes with it.”
Dubai-based nutritionist Laura Holland is among those who has noticed the impact on her health personally.
“I moved to the UAE and had the perfect diet and exercise regime, but I couldn’t figure out why I had bloating until I switched to a natural mineral water,” she says. ”And the bloating went away.”
As the Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen puts it: “Everything that comes from the earth is best, isn’t it?”
It’s good for your gut
With certain bottled water brands, the water purification process strips out millions of good bacteria that accumulate in natural mineral water. Gut health and good bacteria are buzzwords these days for a reason: not only do they help with digestion, but also the rest of the body’s processes. Kelly Ahearn, a dietitian-nutritionist working in Dubai, says she’s been seeing an increase in female clients complaining of gut issues. Along with recommendations to modify their diet and lifestyle, she also reminds them to drink enough water and to choose natural mineral water when they can.
“I think water is one of the most underrated subject matters being studied right now,” she says. “We often look to food only as this has calories, but water is so important for our health, both on the inside and out.”
Many water brands, including Turkish natural mineral waters sold in the UAE, use ozonation to purify the water. While ozonation cleans microbiology from the water to ensure it is safe for human consumption, it also gets rid of millions pro-bacteria that are good for your gut.
Earth determines the best pH
One of the buzzwords in water these days is “alkaline,” but alkaline water is very often demineralized, with minerals added back in to make the ph balance whatever is required by the company selling it.
“The best ph balanced water comes from the earth, as long as it comes from a clean source,” says Moore, “because Mother Earth performs the best chemistry of all.”
At the start of Ramadan, Moore went to a meeting of Biohackers UAE, who are some of the healthiest people in the country. Jack Nesterowicz, a longevity coach from Poland who is new to Dubai, noticed right away that the water he was drinking in Dubai made him feel “terrible”. After some internet research he started drinking three daily bottles of San Pellegrino, a European natural mineral water, and soon felt like his old self.
”His new water was not distilled water with minerals added for pH enhancement,” says Moore. “Jack was drinking natural mineral water.”
Sodium levels in natural mineral water are generally good
“Everyone worries about sodium, but they don’t realize even the healthiest foods contain hundreds of milligrams of sodium and that is good, because that’s what your body needs,” says Moore. He points out that the US Food and Drug Administration recommends the daily intake of sodium be limited to 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day.
“One 500ml bottle of our water contains three milligrams of sodium,” he says. “The highest sodium level I can find in the UAE is in one of our natural mineral water competitors, and it contains nine milligrams in a 500ml bottle. If you compare that to the hundreds of milligrams of sodium in your food and the approximate 2,000mg required daily, I don’t think one should worry about sodium in their water. Instead, I think they should eat natural foods instead of those that have been highly preserved.”
Natural mineral water works in plastic or glass
Plastic is a dirty word these days, and Moore worries about it too. But he believes it’s important that any lifestyle change be affordable, sustainable and practical.
“I know plastic is not the best solution, and many of my customers are now asking for glass,” says Moore. “Glass is great, but it has its own set of problems, namely that it’s more expensive to produce and energy-intensive to transport, and so it has its own personal and environmental costs.”
With plastic contamination increasingly a problem, particularly in the heat of the Gulf region, several years ago Moore insisted that all Lanjarón bottles be shipped, stored and transferred to stores and customers at a safely chilled 19 degrees Celsius.
Lanjarón’s plastic bottles, which are more affordable and lighter to transport than glass, are made of 25 to 50 percent recycled PET. Larger bottles are composed of 20 per cent vegetable-based plastic.
“All the water in this country is clean and safe,” says Moore. “But it would be nice if you also drank some of that wholesome natural mineral water, with the exact mineral and microbiological content that the earth gives it, and shipped and stored away from the extreme heat.”
This is a sponsored post by the distributors of Lanjaron Arabia, currently sold online and at Mawasim Organic, Bulk Wholesale and Bani Yas Coop stores. For delivery visit LanjaronArabia.com
Featured photo courtesy Lanjarón Arabia