One of the many benefits of the summer coming our way is that we have a tendency to drink more liquids. Proper hydration is a way to stay cool in the heat, but being properly hydrated all year is essential for the movement of nutrients, wastes, and toxins through our being. As we are comprised of 60% water overall, keeping our water content up is imperative for cellular energy production. Dehydration of various levels can result in fatigue, wrinkles, constipation, joint and muscle pain, high cholesterol and blood pressure, heartburn, and excess body weight. Those sound like good enough reasons to stay hydrated!
Often we hear from members that they just don’t like the taste of water, or they just forget to drink. Fortunately, there are other ways to get hydrating beverages into our day, and we’ve got three recipes for you here. Not only are these hydrating, some are rehydrating and helpful for building our liquid stores back up. We’ve included many anti-cancer superfoods in these recipes as well, so a great way to drink your healing!
Whether dehydration occurred due to treatment, diarrhea, excess sweating, excess caffeine, excess alcohol, or just too little drinking of hydrating beverages to make up for our everyday losses, these recipes will add a new flair and excitement to your water without added flavours and chemicals found in commercial products.
Rosemary Mint Lemonade
Who knew you can get so much therapeutic benefit in such a thirst quenching beverage made with simple household ingredients? The oil found in rosemary is a good source of powerful anti-oxidants, decreases inflammation, and increases blood flow to the head and brain, therefore benefitting concentration. The oil from the mint leaves helps to soothe the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, contains anti-oxidants that help decrease allergy symptoms, and contains a compound that inhibits the growth or formation of cancer cells. Both rosemary and mint contain a compound called terpene, which has been shown to have many benefits against a wide variety of cancers. Besides being an excellent source of vitamin C, lemons contain a phytochemical called limonene that also has anti-cancer properties. Combine these ingredients together and you’ve got one power house of a beverage! (Recipe link)
This fiesty Latin drink has many health benefits. Mixing chia seeds, freshly squeezed limes, and a bit of honey to taste provides a beverage high in vitamin C (for immune function), terpenes (for its anti-cancer properties), omega 3’s (to decrease inflammation), fibre (for moving wastes through the colon), and mucilaginous goodness that can help gut healing. This beverage is very beneficial after treatment that may have caused distress to the digestive tract like radiation or chemotherapy. Also great for helping keep blood sugar regulated. (Recipe link)
Strawberry Rhubarb Aqua Fresca
For something hydrating and totally local, blending strawberries, rhubarb, and raw honey with water is kind of like making your own juice with all the bits and pieces still intact. Strawberries have powerful flavonoids called anthocyanidins which protect against inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. Rhubarb stalks (not leaves as they are high in oxalic acid) are packed with minerals including calcium and vitamins including vitamin K, which makes this bony-looking stalk pretty fantastic for bone health! The anti-oxidants in their bioflavonoids have also been studied for their anti-cancer properties. Raw local honey as a sweetener can be a great way to add a little sweetness without spiking blood sugar levels. Raw local honey also has immune benefitting properties.
So now no more excuses for not getting enough beneficial liquids in to your day. These can all be made a pitcher at a time so can last you a few days. Unless you can’t keep that company away as they come around for your tasty libations! (Recipe link)
Angela Wright, BSc, CNP, RNCP, is the Lead Nutritionist at InspireHealth, based out of the Vancouver Centre. She prides herself in putting into practice what she teaches – being conscious of food choices and their effect on the body, making gradual tweaks and upgrades to a healthier way of eating and living, and being kind to yourself while doing so.