I haven’t had a can of soda in 5 years. Just saying that sounds crazy when I think of the amount of soda I used to drink! I don’t crave it and I tried a sip recently just to remind myself what it tastes like. Gross. Once you detox you palate from all of those nasty ingredients, the flavor of real food becomes heightened. Apples taste incredibly sweet and if you go long enough with out refined sugar, cakes and cookies and taste too sweet. I know, this sounds insane if you are currently eating a diet full of sugars. I was there once!
Citrus infused water is a tasty way to add some excitement to a pretty basic, staple beverage. I’ve been making it in the morning and placing it in the fridge for the day. My husband and I and one of my daughters love it. The other one prefers her water without lemon. It is really funny to hear a 5 year old talk about having lemon in her water. It is even funnier to hear her ask for it at a restaurant.
Keeping yourself hydrated is very important. How much water you require a day is a question that has a lot of variables. Are you pregnant? Is it hot? Are you breastfeeding? Are you engaged in physical activity? My personal target is 64 oz per day and I work toward more than that in the summer months. This is a target I seldom reach consistently. I do make a conscious effort to fill up a water bottle or glass throughout the day so I have fresh water within reach–especially when I leave the house!
A question I’ve had asked several times….How do you get your kids to drink water? The short answer? Don’t give them another option! If you allow your kids access to other beverage options then water is going to fall down their list of desirable beverages until it disappears. Why would they drink water when they can have fruit juice, soda, or chocolate milk? Sugar, sugar, sugar. If your child doesn’t know it exists, they won’t even ask for it. If it isn’t available, they will eventually choose another option. This is the rule in my house!
To make citrus infused water you can choose from any number of citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Try different combinations. I’ve found that clementines don’t appeal to me in water and lemons are my favorite! Some people add in cucumber. It doesn’t work for me but I am going to try some grapefruit tomorrow. Lately I’ve been slicing and squeezing the lemons into the water pitcher (shown above) and using the peels for my citrus enzyme cleaners. This works just as well to me as leaving the slices in the water.
If the taste of the water doesn’t convince you to drink it daily, here are some of the amazing health benefits of lemons (and limes)!
Lemons and limes contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Of special interest in limes have been flavonoids called flavonol glycosides, including many kaempferol-related molecules. While these flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many cancer cell lines, they are perhaps most interesting for their antibiotic effects. In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera. (Cholera is a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera). Researchers quickly began to experiment with the addition of lime juice to the sauce eaten with rice, and in this role, lime juice was also found to have a strong protective effect against cholera.
Several other fascinating research studies on the healing properties of lemons and limes have shown that cell cycles—including the decision a cell makes about whether to divide (called mitosis) or die (apoptosis—are altered by lime juice, as are the activities of special immune cells called monocytes.
In addition to their unique phytonutrient properties, lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants found in food and the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C travels through the body neutralizing any free radicals with which it comes into contact in the aqueous environments in the body both inside and outside cells. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and also cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body. This is one of the reasons that vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Since free radicals can damage blood vessels and can change cholesterol to make it more likely to build up in artery walls, vitamin C can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
Vitamin C is also vital to the function of a strong immune system. The immune system’s main goal is to protect you from illness, so a little extra vitamin C may be useful in conditions like colds, flus, and recurrent ear infections.
Owing to the multitude of vitamin C’s health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Can I pour you another glass?