Week four: Drink up for better health!

fruit infused water

That’s right, for better health you need to drink, and drink a lot!  You need to drink every day!  This miracle liquid will help you feel better, look better, give you more energy and can be considered the best ingestible beauty elixir ever!  So, just what is this miracle drink?  No, it’s not Vitameatavegamin (remember the I Love Lucy episode?), it’s . . . are you ready . . . water.

Yes, plain, simple, pure water.  Okay, okay, I hear you groaning and grumbling.  Before you get too grumpy with me, let’s talk about why water is so good for your body.

  • Water helps maintain your balance of body fluids. Your body is composed of approximately 60 percent water and is the most important and most utilized nutrient.  The majority of your body systems depend on it to function properly.
  • Helps to regulate your digestive system.
  • Lubricates joints.
  • Flushes toxins from your system and lightens the workload on your kidneys and liver
  • Helps to energize muscles – muscle tissue that is not properly hydrated shrivels, resulting in muscle fatigue.
  • Helps to keep your skin looking good. Your skin contains a lot of water; not drinking enough daily can cause it to look dry and wrinkled.

These are just a few of the benefits your body gets from being properly hydrated.  However, a lot of you just don’t like to drink water.  The most frequent comments I hear include, “Yuck, I just can’t drink plain water,” “I forget to drink enough,” “I need some flavor,” etc.  Plain and pure water really is best. I don’t recommend tap water (especially city/county water), which has been treated and has a lot of chemicals and salt.  Choose filtered or bottled water, either is a cheap option.  You need approximately 64 ounces of water per day, which is ½ gallon.

If you’re still balking at the idea of drinking plain water, and that alone is going to keep you from getting your daily intake, the next best bet is infused water.  I’m not talking about those you buy from the store that are labeled “natural” and infused with “fruits” and “vitamins.”  Before you buy, take a look at the nutrition labels.  You’ll see preservatives, added vitamin and minerals, artificial flavorings and colorings, artificial sweeteners, sodium, high fructose corn syrup and other sugars.  Vitamin water, sports drinks, all of those “healthy” and “natural” bottles, leave them at the store and make your own!  I have said this before, and this will not be the last time you hear this from me.  Anything that is premixed, prepackaged and otherwise processed (hey, how about calling this the 3 P’s?  I think I’ve coined a new phrase!) as a general rule are not healthy and fresh is best.

At my church’s last Baptist Women’s Group meeting, it was my friend Michelle’s turn to serve refreshments.  For drinks, she had these really pretty glass pint jars of water infused with an assortment of fruits and herbs.  Wow, were they good, and so refreshing!  Michelle told me that she found the idea on Pinterest and to not give her the credit for the original idea.  However, she had to research the idea, purchase the ingredients, cut up the fruit and herbs and assemble the drinks for the entire group.  Michelle, I’m giving you the credit for taking the time to do the research, shopping and delivery and agreeing to give me the list of combinations for this Unity article.  Thank you!

The list below is just a guide on options to mix and match the ingredients.  A good beginning is to choose some ingredients you know and like, then expand your horizons and try some new things you’ve not tried before.  You never know which combination is going to really excite your taste buds and allow you to get in your daily water.  You can make one glass, one bottle or one gallon.  Since you’re not consuming artificial ingredients you get on store-bought infused waters, your body is getting true natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Also, since this is an infusion and not a juice, the sugar and calories are negligible.  As always, experiment, have fun with it and if you come up with a great combination let me know!

Directions:

  1. Choose the fruit/vegetable, add to container.
  2. Using a spoon, very lightly press the fruit/vegetable (press just enough to bruise it slightly to aid in releasing the flavor, avoid mashing which will give it a mushy texture)
  3. Choose the herb and/or spice and gently bruise it (same as with the fruit/vegetable) to release the natural oils.
  4. Add filtered water.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two hours to allow flavors to blend with the water. Store up to one week or until flavor is no longer present.  Water can be added as needed to replenish.

Fruits

  • Citrus: Orange, lemon, lime
  • Melon: Cantaloupe, watermelon
  • Berries: Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, cherry
  • Tropical: Pineapple, kiwi, mango, pomegranate
  • Other: Apple, grape, pear, plum, peach

Vegetables

  • Cucumber, carrots, celery

Herbs

  • Cilantro, basil, thyme, mint, lemon verbena, lavender, sage, rosemary

Spices

  • Cinnamon stick, ginger

Suggested combinations:

  • Cucumber, lime, mint or basil
  • Cucumber, watermelon, mint
  • Lemon, blueberry, mint
  • Lemon, ginger
  • Strawberry, lemon, basil
  • Carrots, apple, lemon, basil or ginger
  • Grapefruit, sage or rosemary
  • Apple, cinnamon stick
  • Cantaloupe, cilantro
  • Pear, cherries, thyme
  • Pear, lavender, ginger
  • Orange, ginger, basil

One Comment

  1. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you Kim!

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