Despite the number of tonics, energy drinks and other so-called healthy beverages about there, water is still the best beverage for your general health, making all your bodily system work more smoothly. However, for some people, getting enough water during the day can be a problem, not only because of busy work schedules but because water can seem well – a bit boring. The goods news? There are plenty of ingredients that you probably already have around the house that can be added to water to make it not only taste fantastic but add to its health benefits as well.
Citrus fruits are one of the best ingredients that you can add to any drink: it not only adds to its flavor, it can also make it a much healthier beverage. Great choices in this category include:
- Lemon. There’s a reason why lemon water has become such a wildly popular drink in recent times. It is full of vitamin C and other antioxidants to boost the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells and ascorbic acid, which is known for its detoxifying properties. This is because it stimulates the production of bile in the liver, which not only improves digestion but helps to remove toxins from the body.
- Lime. Lime makes another tasty addition to your drink and, like a lemon, is rich in both vitamin C and antioxidants. In addition, it helps to stimulate the production of an enzyme called GST, which also helps in liver in the detoxification process. Compounds in limes called flavonoids also increase bile production.
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit is a popular addition to drinks for people who are trying to achieve weight loss goals, as it contains a compound known as AMPK for short that can boost the metabolism and help the body to burn fat. Its high levels of vitamin C also boost immunity.
Berries are another great addition to your water, not only greatly improving the flavor but adding to its health benefits as well. Berries to include in your water include:
- Raspberries. These lovely little berries are rich in ketones, compounds that are supposed to aid in weight loss as well as vitamins C and B to boost immunity and energy levels.
- Strawberries. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of these berries make it an attractive addition to any drink, and it also provides a healthy amount of fiber and vitamins A and C.
Cucumbers are not only delicious, they also had some amazing health benefits to your water. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural diuretic, which helps you flush out toxins from your body and keeps your urinary tract healthy. With this cucumbers, you are also getting a healthy dose of polyphenols (compounds with known health properties) and citrulline, which helps with both kidney and liver function and is used as a supplement for a variety of health conditions.
Watermelon is one of the best fruits to add to your water; when you infuse it, it not only adds a delicate, sweet taste to the water, it also brings with it some great health benefits. It is great for dieting, as it is low in calories as well as low on the glycemic index, meaning that it won’t spike up your blood sugars. It also is a good source of vitamins A and B as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant also found in foods like tomatoes. Potassium and magnesium add to the overall health benefits.
Fruits and vegetables are not the only healthy ingredients you can consider putting in your water. Herbs also make a great addition, not only for the flavor that they add but for the nutrients and plant compounds they can bring to the table. Ginger has a wonderful, warm flavor while also being a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (making it great for people with joint problems like osteoarthritis) while mint, too, can reduce inflammation and increase bile production to help detoxify the body.
To sum up: water doesn’t have to be boring! You can make your own DIY healthy drinks right at home using water and the kinds of fruits, vegetables and herbs that you probably already have hanging out around the house. Not only will these drinks taste great, they will also add to water’s already impressive health benefits.
About the Author
Brian W. Wu holds a PhD from the University of Southern California and is a current 4th year medical student. He has been freelance writing for over 4 years and aims to make health an engaging conversation. Learn more about him at his personal site and his project Health Stories for Kids.