The benefits of water are endless. The majority of our bodies are made up of water—60 percent for men and about 55 percent for women. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that we’re told to drink more water as part of the cure for whatever ails us. The body has some pretty amazing ways of letting us know that something is up:
- Skin rashes, itching, and acne flare-ups likely indicate that some sort of toxin or allergen is present.
- A bloated belly could be a symptom of premenstrual syndrome or a reminder that we’ve overindulged in more salt-laden foods than we could handle.
- Cravings are the body’s way of telling us that we’re hungry or thirsty.
- An upset stomach? Something is probably interfering with our digestive process.
The list goes on and on. Keeping the body properly hydrated isn’t easy for most of us. We’ve all heard the old adage, “drink 8 glasses of water per day.” I don’t know about you, but this isn’t something I can do without making a concerted effort. (And actually, the Institute of Medicine [IOM] recommends a total water intake of 91 ounces daily for women and 125 ounces for men.) But don’t fret—total water intake includes everything we drink (including coffee!) and even the water we get from our food. According to the IOM, up to 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from water-rich fruits and vegetables. Have you ever been to a spa and seen the big glass water jugs filled with floating herbs and colorful sliced fruits? Not only do these add-ins make the water taste good, they actually have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that give your body a boost. So what the heck is a water detox, and how is it different from just drinking lots of water? Excellent question! Now we know how much water we need to be drinking, and we can determine if we need a detox by looking at that list of symptoms we talked about earlier. Longing for clear skin? Check out the Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Detox Water recipe below. Did too many tortilla chips and margaritas last night leave you with a bloated tummy when you woke up? You get the picture… Give one of these three detox waters a try for a healthy hydrating kick. Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Detox Water for Healthy, Glowing Skin Recipe courtesy of Healthy Holistic Living
- 12 cups (3 quarts) of filtered water
- 1 medium organic cucumber
- 2–3 small organic lemons
- 10–12 organic mint leaves
Directions: Wash lemons and cucumbers; slice thinly. Add lemons, cucumber, and mint to pitcher. Cover with water and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight Cucumbers are rich in silica, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and give an all-around healthy glow. They also boast a 96 percent water content, making it one of the most water-rich foods you can eat. A 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School in Scotland found that adding hydrating veggies like cucumber to a glass of water can provide even more hydration than water alone. Since hydration is a must for good skin, cukes should be at the top of your list if a healthy glow is one of your goals. Lemons provide more than 50 percent of our daily dose of vitamin C, as well as small amounts of B vitamins and essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant helping to fight damage caused by harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun and environmental pollution. Vitamin C plays a critical role in the formation of collagen, which gives the skin its strength and elasticity, keeping wrinkles at bay and promoting an overall healthy complexion. Holiday Detox Fast Flush Water for Reducing Belly Bloat Recipe courtesy of doctoroz.com
- 3 cups watermelon
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup coconut water
Directions: Put all ingredients in blender. Blend and serve. Drink up to five cups of this refreshing beverage daily. Note: If you’re taking a diuretic medication, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Juicy watermelon consists of 92 percent water and works as a natural diuretic, ridding your body of excess sodium and water. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium, which is important to balance against sodium levels to beat belly bloat. Another natural diuretic, coconut water (the juice inside of a coconut—not water with added coconut flavor) is another good source of potassium, as well as sodium, magnesium, and calcium. This concoction is super hydrating and a delicious summer beverage. As the name implies, this is a “fast flush” to help readjust electrolyte levels after overindulging while away on vacation or after a Fourth of July barbecue. A healthy diet, good hydration, exercise, and restful sleep are necessary for long-term weight management. Health-Is-Sweet Immune Booster to Support a Strong Immune System and Fight off Germs Recipe courtesy of certified nutritionist August McLaughlin
- 1 cup of cubed fresh pineapple
- 1 cup of chopped strawberries
- 2 peeled and sectioned oranges
- 3 quarts water
Directions: Fill a pitcher with three quarts of filtered water. Add fruit and chill for at least two hours before drinking. A strong immune system is important year-round. To boost your immunity and keep nasty summer colds at bay or fight infections faster, try this super-serving of vitamin C with a boost anti-inflammatory benefits. All three fruits in this detox drink offer a whopping dose of vitamin C, well known for its ability to keep the immune system in tip-top shape. Pineapple also contains ample amounts of bromelain, a substance with anti-inflammatory benefits that also aids with digestion. Strawberries and pineapple are both sources of manganese, a mineral necessary for strong bones, healthy connective tissue, antioxidant protection, and blood sugar regulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, as many as 37 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of manganese in their diet.