The Most Important Stream

Imagine with me a cool and clear mountain stream flowing from glacial melt water, pellucid and slightly metallic. The taste, when I put it to my lips is almost all cold, with some hint of dissolved iron, but quenching. The water from the stream refreshes in a way nothing from a bottle, tap or fountain ever could.

We grow to love the water and start taking it in buckets back to our home to drink from during the day.

Over time, the small village we live in grows and a factory is put in up the stream from our water supply. Within days, the water changes color, flavor and smell, becoming repulsive. On the days when the factory is running, our stream is visibly and olfactorily polluted. But occasionally at the end of a long weekend when the factory has been closed, we can see hints of our former stream.

The stream of blood that flows through our vessels works in much the same way.

We have all experienced the surprising odor of asparagus in the bathroom that reminds us of a recent meal, or the surprising red tint that for a second scares us, but then reminds us of the beets we had yesterday. These are proofs that what we eat very clearly becomes a major component of our bloodstream.

It goes right in, sometimes with very little processing at all.

So, just as it is with that mountain stream and the pollution from the factory, our blood stream can be polluted. When you eat food, it goes into that stream of blood, gets carried all over your body and then has to be stored, used up, or removed.

We would rightfully feel sad about the pollution in that clear mountain stream, but as long as we avoided the water, it couldn’t make us sick.

When we pollute our blood streams, the effects are harder to see with our eyes, but we can over time detect the changes in our body that the small daily choices make.

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