FLAVORED WATER – HEALTHY AND HYDRATING
Hello everyone and welcome to another WHAT’S ON THE MENU MONDAY. Although July is over, we still have the beautiful month of August to enjoy. And, in most parts of the country, it will remain very hot and humid throughout the next several weeks.
Accordingly, it’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. But if you’re like me, drinking plain H2O all day long can get a little boring. And, like everything else is life, a little variety is not only the spice of life – but, in this case it can add numerous health benefits to the mix as well.
So, when I need a change of pace from my usual filtered water, I like to create my own “flavored waters.” These simple variations hydrate, please my taste buds and contain nourishing elements that help maintain and repair my body in several ways.
Now, one of my favorite flavored waters contains lemon, ginger, cucumber and mint leaves. It’s super easy to make and the health benefits are enormous. For example:
1) LEMON. Lemon and lemon juice are natural cleansers. Lemon helps flush toxins from the body, which is so important in cancer prevention. It’s a blood purifier used to treat cholera and malaria and the potassium in a lemon helps control high blood pressure, vertigo and nausea. Its coagulant properties can help stop internal bleeding and its high vitamin C content supports our immune system and can be used to treat long-term respiratory disorders. Lemon is an effective diuretic and weight loss tool, a natural antiseptic with skin healing properties AND an effective digestive aid.
2) GINGER. Ginger contains a number of unique organic compounds called gingerols, which are powerful anti-inflammatories. This helps relieve joint pain, boost bone health, address the symptoms of osteoarthritis and protect against cancer. Gingerols also have been shown to prevent carcinogenic activity in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer AND they appear to reduce tumors and the growth of cancerous cells in ovarian cancer. Ginger helps eliminate toxins from the body, aids digestion, controls nausea, increases blood circulation AND is a known aphrodisiac used for years to enhance sexual activity.
3) CUCUMBER. The fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world, cucumbers are one of the best foods for the human body. Often referred to as a “superfood” cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin B, vitamin C and electrolytes. They are 95% water, so one cucumber will help hydrate our body, eliminate toxins and bacteria from our system and keep our digestion regular. A rich source of silica, cucumbers support connective tissues and promote joint health, which helps relieve gout and arthritis pain. They reduce cholesterol and control blood pressure AND fight cancer. In fact, three lignans found in cucumbers — lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresinol — reduce our risk for breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancer.
4) MINT LEAVES. Most of us love the smell and taste of mint. Peppermint or Spearmint leaves are loaded with natural oils that fight nausea, headaches, coughs and respiratory disorders. They relieve nose and throat irritation, aid congestion and help treat asthma. Mint leaves reduce inflammation, promote good digestion and support liver function. The germicidal properties in mint leaves aids oral health by inhibiting harmful bacteria in the mouth, freshening breath and cleaning the teeth and gums. Mint also is a natural stimulant that reduces depression and fatigue while improving cognitive function and reducing memory loss. And, the enzymes in mint have been shown to help prevent and treat certain cancers as well.
Now, when we combine these amazing ingredients in a pitcher of filtered water we have a wonderful drink that hydrates, energizes and promotes good health in a variety of ways.
Just squeeze a lemon or two into your pitcher, slice and add the rinds. I prefer Meyer lemons as they are sweeter than other lemons. Add thin slices of 1/3 cucumber. For this I like the English type which are wrapped and don’t need to be washed or peeled. Slice up some fresh ginger – about a tablespoon. Add several sprigs of mint, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight. It’s that easy!
And, by the way, if you don’t like the fresh, natural flavor of this drink – you can always add a little Stevia for sweetness 😊
That’s all for today everyone. Thanks again for joining me and until next time, stay COOL, stay HYDRATED, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .