We don’t talk enough about the benefits of copper. It’s beautiful when fashioned into décor or jewelry but what it does inside your cells is where copper really “shines.”
Most people don’t get enough in their diet (though true deficiency is rare) and it’s crucial to so many functions. The biggest concentrations of copper in your body are found in your brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and muscle.
Why Do You Need Copper?
- Used to make myelin sheaths to improve neurotransmission in your brain.
- Needed to form collagen and elastin (bone health, connective tissue, and skin cells).
- The main ingredient in melanin (wound healing, anti-aging, and UV protection).
- Protects your nerves and improves cognitive function.
- Stimulates digestion.
- Necessary to produce red blood cells.
- Helps defend your immune system.
- You need it to absorb iron (this is especially important for those with anemia).
- Aids in the regulation of blood pressure.
- Required by your thyroid gland to regulate hormones.
- Maintains energy levels.
Copper is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory. It’s also a mineral that you need to add to your life with caution.
Too much copper can be dangerous and I don’t recommend supplements. Since over-the-counter vitamin products are barely regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you could have differing amounts of the mineral in the product that don’t tie with what is listed on the label.
Getting copper benefits through foods is a safe and more effective way to get what you need. Your body is able to utilize more of the vitamins and minerals found in food sources much better than supplements.
The best food sources of copper are…
- Animal liver (and other organ meats)
- Shellfish (oysters, lobster, crab, clams)
- Legumes (particularly lentils)
- Seeds (sesame, sunflower)
- Mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, portabella)
- Nuts and nut butters (cashews, walnuts)
- Black pepper
- Blackstrap molasses
- Unsweetened cocoa (100% cacao)
Many of these foods (while delicious) might not be easy to add to your daily eating plan. I’m not whipping up a platter of oysters every day and I don’t trust myself around peanut butter (so good) so I needed another way to get the benefits of copper.
I ran across an article for Ayurveda that talked about storing water in copper vessels to get the copper you need. A lot of the information out there about this has a real “fad” vibe to it so I kept digging.
I wasn’t looking for some magic potion (there’s no such thing) but something that seemed based in common sense. I found a study done by the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine in India and it combined water storage with a fact I’ve known about copper for years.
When copper is used in a product like a kitchen sink, it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. It’s been proven to kill unhealthy organisms on contact.
It made sense that storing water in copper containers would destroy bacteria within the water. The researchers were specifically trying to lower the cases of people getting sick from drinking contaminated drinking water (a problem in many areas of the world).
From their data…
The antibacterial effect of copper pot against important [diarrhea causing] bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae O1, Shigella flexneri 2a, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, Salmonella enterica Typhi, and Salmonella Paratyphi is reported. When drinking-water was contaminated with 500 CFU/mL of the above bacteria and stored in copper pots for 16 hours at room temperature, no bacteria could be recovered on the culture medium.
In other words, storing highly contaminated water for 16 hours in a copper vessel not only killed some of the most dangerous bacteria we deal with in our modern world, the bacteria was unable to be “revived” when returned to ideal bacterial conditions.
It killed and made it impotent without the introduction of a single chemical.
The researchers concluded that the copper content of the water was well within safety limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there were no other negative effects other than a slight rise in the pH level of the water.
The container you choose must be 100% pure copper! If there are intricate designs on it, it’s unlikely to be pure. You can find them online. When you get it, rinse it thoroughly (do not scrub with a coarse sponge), and it can be used right away.
I recommend allowing the water to sit overnight before using it and the one I purchased has a lid so the water is completely sealed inside. I’ll include this as part of my daily water intake until I ensure how the added infusion of copper in my diet makes me feel.
In the course of my research, I saw many “possibilities” about the benefits of copper-infused water such as improved cognition, the ability to fight cancer, that it lowers cholesterol, and more but I wasn’t able to find consistent proof to back up most of the health claims.
That isn’t to say they aren’t valid but from what I can tell, human trials (my gold standard) haven’t been conducted.
What I did find – and what stuck with me – is that copper can sterilize my water of bacterial contaminants with better results than any filter or system I’ve researched or used.Did you know that copper can sterilize your water of bacterial contaminants? #CopperBenefitsClick To Tweet
Copper is critical to your health…and it’s deadly to those organisms that could destroy it.