Keeping our body hydrated throughout the day is critical to maintain good health. And while water is a great choice for quenching your thirst, there are many other beverages that will keep you hydrated and also offer great health benefits. Here are three of these natural drinks.
1. Lemon water
A large glass of lemon water first thing in the morning will hydrate your body after a good night's sleep. It will support your liver and stimulate bile production as well as digestion; in Biological Ionization in Human Nutrition, Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe shares that the liver can make more enzymes out of lemon juice than any other food.
How to prepare your lemon water:
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a large glass of water at room temperature. Some doctors recommend 8 ounces, but to be on the safe side, you can add more water. Make sure you use water at room temperature, as hot water can cause enamel erosion over time.
2. Homemade ginger ale
Today's commercial ginger ale is often a simple ginger-flavored soda loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Naturally fermented ale, on the contrary, contains minerals in ionized form along with beneficial bacteria. You'll also benefit from ginger's anti-inflammatory properties.
How to prepare your ginger ale:
Making your own ginger ale is simple if you have a few basic ingredients, a little patience, and a few airtight bottles to give your ale some fizz.
To make about 3 quarts of ginger ale, place the following ingredients in a glass or stainless steel pot: 1 cup fresh ginger, grated; ½ cup fresh lemon juice; ½ cup unrefined cane sugar; 2 teaspoons sea salt; ½ cup whey (optional), and 3 quarts filtered water. Stir well and tightly cover with cling film.
Leave at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days. Most of the sugar will be consumed by the bacteria for their growth, and the ginger ale will be low in sugar. After this time, strain and transfer to glass bottles. Store them in the refrigerator. Drink the ale within a week and make sure you open the bottles with caution, as carbonation can create a lot of pressure.
3. Beet kvass
Beet kvass is another fermented drink that can offer interesting health benefits. Beets are rich in B-vitamins, folate and minerals such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They are also rich in a phytonutrient called betaine, which helps to maintain liver, heart, and kidney health.
The process of fermentation used to make beet kvass will also increase the nutritional benefits of beets, as fermentation improves the nutritional value of foods.
How to prepare your beet kvass:
Place the following ingredients in a 2-quart glass jar: 3 medium organic beets, peeled and chopped coarsely; 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt; filtered water and ¼ cup whey (optional). Water should almost fill the jar. Stir well and close the jar tightly.
Keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. After this time, place the jar in your refrigerator. You can now start drinking your beet kvass. It will keep for up to a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
Anne Ricci is a passionate nutrition and weight loss specialist who has lived, traveled and cooked in more than 40 different countries. She provides healthy eating advice to women and helps them lose weight and feel confident about their body and about themselves.
Visit her website for nutrition and weight loss tips as well as delicious healthy recipes from 5 continents.