We all know how essential water is to good health. It transports nutrients and oxygen into our cells and protects our vital organs. It also regulates body temperature, helps regulate our metabolism, and is an essential part of detoxifying.
Yes, it's important, but it can also be boring. Especially when compared to the enticingly packaged sodas, alcohol, or sugar-filled fruit-flavored drinks.
Getting your daily intake of water doesn't have to be boring. Here are five simple and healthy ideas for making your glass of H2O more palatable.
It's common enough to be served water decorated with a slice of lemon, but consider branching out to other citrus fruits as well. Limes, oranges, red grapefruits and other citrus fruits are not only refreshing, they are packed with vitamin C and are excellent digestive aids. Since they are also known to reduce fatigue, they're an excellent pick-me-up.
2. Fresh Herbs
Raid your kitchen garden (or grocery store herb section) for bunches of fresh peppermint, spearmint and lemon balm. All three promote good digestion, reduce nausea and ease headaches, and are excellent mouth and breath fresheners. Lemon Balm also has a calming effect that helps relieve anxiety. Experiment with fresh herbs to find out what suits your palate.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Fill a pitcher with water and add sliced apple, chunks of honeydew melon or cantaloupe, even circles of peeled cucumber. Not only does the water look beautiful, it has a delicate flavor that makes drinking a pleasure. Combine it with one of the fresh herbs mentioned above for a truly interesting beverage.
4. Herbal Tea Bags
Iced tea has long been a favorite in the southern part of the States, often served in tall, icy glasses with lashings of sugar. But you can make a healthier version by skipping the sugar and using herbal teas instead of black. Berry and mint herbal teas are especially delicious, but spiced teas such as Cinnamon Apple or Orange Ginger are also fantastic served cold. Simply brew a pot of tea to the strength you enjoy, remove the tea, then let it cool. You can add an extra bit of goodness with a slice or two of fresh lemon or fresh ginger. If you're craving a bit of sweetness, consider a drizzle of real maple syrup instead of sugar. It mixes easily in hot or cold drinks and is much easier for your body to digest. Chill the herbal tea in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Soda is often one of the hardest beverages to give up when trying to live a healthier lifestyle, but you don't have to give up the bubbles altogether. Next time you're in the grocery store, pick up bottles of sparkling mineral water or soda water. Sparkling mineral water is divine when served cold with several squeezes of fresh lime juice. Soda water goes from bland to delectable when you stir in 1 part juice (nectars such as apricot, mango, or guava are best) to 6 parts soda water.
Krista Bjorn is a food and travel writer. She blogs daily on her site RamblingTart.com. She's a self-described "Danish-Canadian lass who loves to write, travel and cook with people I love."