France is the epitome of not just cheese, but mineral water as well. In France, there are 1200 mineral water springs which is 20% of the European total. These mineral waters have a specific chemical composition that gives them therapeutic benefits. Below we show an overview of the benefits of mineral waters.
Categories of mineral waters
There are 5 main types of mineral waters:
– bicarbonate waters: They are used to treat certain gastrointestinal and liver hepatobiliary. They are also used to treat acne and burns through their anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing properties.
– sulphated waters: These are used for diseases of the kidney, certain metabolic diseases, the treatment of eczema, scars and burns.
– sulphurous waters: Their high content of sulfur has an effect on mucous membranes. They are also used to fight against respiratory diseases such as asthma.
– chlorinated waters: They have a stimulating effect on growth and are indicated in the treatment of developmental disorders.
– oligo-metalic waters: They are used in rheumatology and to treat some neurological diseases.
Mineral waters have a variable mineral content. If it is too high (more than 2 grams per liter), such water is not really drinkable. It is considered as a drug and should be consumed in small quantities only. some waters even contain some gold. Doctors recommend that people vary their mineral water consumption to enjoy each specific benefit.
The major commercial mineral waters are:
– St. Yorre, Vichy Célestins: rich in bicarbonates, it has excellent anti-acids.
– Rozana: rich in magnesium and calcium, it participates in neuromuscular functioning and helps solidify the bones.
– Hépar, Badoit: rich in magnesium, it provides good muscle relaxation after exercise.
– Courmayeur: rich in sulfate and calcium, it is used to facilitate the removal of fat.
– Evian, Valvert: these waters are slightly mineralized and as such are recommended for infants.
– Contrex, Vittel: these calcic waters play a role in the growth and strength of bones.
– Volvic: this water with little soda is rich in rare elements such as vanadium.
– Badoit, St Amand: they are fluoridated and contribute to the growth of bone and teeth.
What is the difference between spring water and mineral water
Source water comes from groundwater. They are bottled at their place of emergence and are subject to specific regulations. They all naturally comply with drinking water standards. Source water may undergo certain purifying treatments to remove unstable elements such as iron, manganese or gasses.
Be aware that a few spring waters can hide under a single brand. If you usually buy a specific brand in one location, the water contained in bottles of the same brand in another place could not be the same. Waters come mostly from local sources because of transportation costs.
On the other hand mineral waters are rich in minerals and oligo elements and have therapeutic properties. They are required to have received approval from a National authority, recognizing its health benefits. Mineral waters should not have undergone any treatment: their composition must be the same as when they are underground.
France has 1200 sources and more than 70 brands of mineral waters. Each French person consumes about 141 liters of mineral water per year. But they must pay dearly to enjoy the benefits of mineral waters as they cost about 1000 times more than tap water.