Let’s Drink to your Health!
Water is our body’s source of life but the majority of us are walking around dehydrated and don’t have a clue.
All functions of the body require water; it’s a crucial component of the biological make-up of all human cells. Water flushes toxins out from organs and enables the liver to metabolize stored fat quicker, giving our overworked kidneys a break. The oxygen in water carried from cell to cell helps build muscle and increase cognitive and nerve functions. Drinking water can also help you lose weight, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and maintain healthy skin and nails. Plain and simple: water detoxes from the inside out (but plain water also isn’t that exciting).
So how do we increase our intake of this vital fluid and reap all the benefits of maintaining proper hydration? Make your own infused waters! With delicious, natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, infused waters will hopefully entice you to drink more of the good ole H20 and make the act of drinking water more enjoyable.
Infused waters are also a fantastic alternative to “vitamin waters” that are made with all sorts of artificial coloring and chemically processed vitamins. Next time you feel like reaching for a diet soda that is loaded with caramel coloring and aspartame, think about trying an infused water that has the sweet flavors of fruit juice but without the extra calories, sugars, and chemical additives.
Here are 3 of the many benefits of adding Infused Water to your daily routine:
Improve Digestion – Citrus infused water supports digestive function and can help settle your stomach. If you have digestive problems, drink water with ginger, lemon, papaya, oranges, or apples. These fruits help clean the body’s system and have a cooling effect on your tummy.
Boost Metabolism – The active compounds in fruit speed up metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories throughout the day. For example, lemon water is well-known for its metabolism boosting effects. This refreshing drink energizes your body and promotes fat loss.
Ward off Diseases – Depending on the ingredients used, fruit infused water may lower your risk of diabetes, obesity, cold, flu, and heart disease. The natural compounds in fruit help maintain body pH within the ideal range, which decreases your chances of developing cancer.
Best Practices for making your own Infusions:
Ingredients: Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove chemicals, pesticides, and other residues.
Water: Use cold or room temperature filtered water. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out of the ingredients.
Vessels: Glass is best, but there are also a variety of built-in infusing pitchers and bottles on the market that will keep your ingredients nested safely inside the core of your water pitcher/bottle.
- Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.
- Crush fibrous ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon; crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.
- Loose herbs and flowers—lavender, rose petals, dried hibiscus—can be corralled in a tea infuser.
Soak Time and Temperature:
- Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
- Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.
- Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus, and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.
- After 4 hours, un-peeled citrus can make water taste bitter. To make a big jug of infused water for a party, peel the citrus before soaking. Or you can soak it un-peeled for 4 hours, remove it, and add fresh slices for looks. (And keep that water icy cold for food safety.)
- If you don’t drink the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To keep sipping all day long, refill your infused water container when it’s half full. It will be weaker than your first drink, but still flavorful.
Let’s Drink to your Health with these tasty Recipes:
- Wake up with Lemon Water: The health benefits of lemon are plentiful. Not only do lemons contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, lemons also aid in digestion, detoxify your body, freshen your breath, and give you an energy boost! Tip – pour an 8oz glass of water and add the juice of ½ lemon, ½ a lime, and 3 mint leaves for a refreshing, energizing start to your day.
- Replenish with a Coconut Cocktail Post Workout: Lower in calories, sodium and sugars, and loaded with more potassium than your average sports drink, this infused water cocktail will pack a nutritional punch, aid in physical recovery and help you to rehydrate after a workout. Tip – start with two cups of unsweetened coconut water, add 1 small washed and thinly sliced or chopped cucumber, ½ cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 bunch of finely chopped parsley, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, and 5-10 drops of stevia to taste*, pour over ice and enjoy!
- Relax with Watermelon after a Busy Day: Made up of about 92% water, this refreshing, hydrating fruit is soaked with nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, and lots of lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. Plus, it’s fat free and low in sodium. Enjoy the benefits of this natural anti-inflammatory, stress relieving, heart healthy beverage. Tip – Fill up a pitcher with water, add 2 slices of cubed watermelon, ½ pint of sliced strawberries, and 1 sliced lime for an added burst of flavor.