“Feeling the October Heat in the September already?” No, we will not be getting into a debate over whether global warming is real or a hoax (will leave that to redditers :P). Instead we will be discussing some mouth watering (pun totally intended!) ways of staying hydrated, detoxing and arguably also fighting Cancer. All with one magic thing… Water ! So let’s jump into it…
We all know that water is the most important drink to stay hydrated but, some of us miss having it because of its bland taste.
So here I’m with yummy yet nutritious recipes to increase water intake. These are called “Infused Water“. Some even call it “Detox Water” or the magic, “Alkaline Water“!
Alkaline Water! Does it REALLY work?
There is a huge debate that has been going on around alkaline water and alkaline foods. Gist of it:- how an acidic body attracts sickness, disease and aging, whereas alkaline body helps shift the body’s pH and oxygenate the system! And how after the ingestion and metabolism of the food we eat, our body creates acidic or alkaline residue. This popular belief is known as “Acid-Ash” theory. Proponents of this theory would fight till their last breath to defend it. But the truth of the matter remains unchanged that pH of our blood is slightly alkaline anyways (7.35-7.45) and our body works extremely hard to keep it that way.
My two cents as a Clinical Dietitian, just because something sounds scientific, does not mean it is! Instead of glorifying an important nutrient like water and attributing it with some unfounded miraculous benefits, look at it’s REAL benefits. It hydrates us, regulates growth, flushes out toxins and keeps us alive, quite literally!
Before jumping on any fad diet band wagon, read, The Alkaline Diet: An Evidence-Based Review.
Coming back to Infused/Detox Water...
It is made by any combination of fruits, vegetables, and herbs immersed in water, which makes it alkaline in nature in comparison to normal water which is neutral.
Since it involves different fruits and herbs.
Things You will need-
Raw ingredients –
Choose fresh or organic ingredients; wash them well to remove chemicals & pesticides.
Citrus fruits will start tasting bitter 4-5 hours after peeling, so if you have to make infused water in a bigger quantity you can peel them off right before soaking.
- Water – Filtered water which is either cold or at room temperature. Avoid using hot water it can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out of the ingredients.
- Vessels – Can use plain glass vessels or buy some infusing pitchers and bottles.
Soft Fruits – Oranges / sweet lime / strawberries / Berries etc. can be sliced thick, halved, or quartered.
Hard Fruits –Apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer time to release flavors.
Herbs – Ginger root, lemongrass , mint , basil should be tear or crush to release their oil.
“Just fill your bottle/pitcher with water and your choice of fruit/vegetable/herb/spice, close the lid and store it in the refirdgerator overnight. It’s really that simple!”
Soak Time and Temperature
Infused water cannot be stored at room temperatures for more hours as there may be microbial growth therefore refrigeration is the best option.
- And when the water is finished, don’t discard the ingredients, instead refill the bottle with plain water. It will surely be weaker than the first drink but benefits will still persist
Now you may be wondering which are the best combinations that you can use , isn’t it ?
Well its really simple. Combine your favorite fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices to make delicious combinations!
The ratio of fruit to water can be adjusted according to taste and liking over trial and error.
Combinations for infused water
Cucumber + Lemon + Mint leaves
Lemons – High in vitamin C which helps in detoxification, aids digestion, keeps skin glowing, stimulates WBC production and boosts immune system.
Mint – It has the highest antioxidant capacity and is perfect for detox, aids digestion, and is antimicrobial.
Cucumber -helps in fighting free radical damage, inflammation, aging caused by oxidative stress.
Stimulate urination which helps to cleanse the liver, flush out bodily toxins and avoids water retention.
Apple and Cinnamon
Apples – Fair amount of vitamin c, good amount of vitamin b! These are powerful antioxidants are capable of blocking free radical damage, boosts body resistance against infections.
Cinnamon – Loaded with antioxidants, anti inflammatory, helps reduce cholesterol, increases insulin sensitivity, metabolism booster, fights cancer.
Lime and Aloe Vera
Lime – Detoxifies the body, boosts immune system, stimulates digestive system.
Aloe vera – It has Laxative and anti-inflammatory properties that will help in digestion, maintain pH balance, control yeast formation and increase digestive bacteria.
- Lime + ginger root + basil
Ginger root – Anti blood clotting ability , aids digestion , remedy for nausea , immunity booster , anti bacterial , anti fungal , fights cancer.
Basil – Antioxidant, Fights cancer, reduces pain ,Fever-reducer (antipyretic), Helps in maintaining good liver health , boosts immunity , anti-inflammatory.
- Orange + lime
- mango + mint
- Cucumber + lime + strawberry + mint
- Orange + cardamom + cloves + cinnamon
- Pear + fennel
General benefits of having infused water
Burst of nutrients along with water
When we prepare infused water, the fruit nutrients leak in the water and therefore it becomes rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants depending on the combinations of raw ingredients.
Helps in lowering the risk of multiple diseases
The nutrients present in the raw ingredients will help to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, cold, cough, heart diseases etc.
Slows down aging process
The antioxidants present in the fruits will help in fighting free radical damage and increase the collagen production thereby helping in improving skin quality.
Helps in Boosting metabolism
Ingredients like lemons , apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, apples, ginger etc. helps in boostingmetabolism. This in turn can helps in losing weight.
Makes water Delecious
Good news for all who don’t like the plain taste of water, add some of your favourite fruits to the water and enjoy this nutrient loaded water.
It is the healthiest option that you can prefer over the calorie loaded diet drinks.
It is more filling and nutritious than plain water. It has almost no to few calories in comparison to the sugar loaded drinks.
They also help in reducing cravings and hunger pangs.
Best post workout Drink
It is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, minerals which are required post workout.
So get going and replace your energy drinks with this lovely fruit burst.
Fennel seeds, black grapes have a cooling effect on your stomach, whereas ginger, citrus fruits, papaya will aid digestion and keep you away from bloating.
Start your day with infused water and fight the free radical damage and detox your body with its antioxidant power.
Strengthens Immune system
Citrus fruits will give a burst of vitamin C and cinnamon, aloe vera , basil will help fight infections thereby helping you maintain a good health.
Satisfy sweet tooth
Saves calories and gives the water a natural sweet flavor satisfying your sugar cravings.
Suggested Read, 5 tips to fight dehydration
Also we have to understand that drinking infused water cannot be a substitute for eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Therefore remember to have them on your plate always.
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