Staying hydrated is essential to promoting good digestion and overall health – ideally you should be drinking between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day.
If you’re on the go a lot, make sure you take a water bottle with you on your travels to remind you to keep properly hydrated.
To be extra healthy, make it a glass or metal water bottle – plastic water bottles often contain chemicals like dioxin and BPA, which can leech into your water over periods of extended use.
But if water on it’s own tastes a little plain to you, you can punch it up with some of these simple ingredients, all of which aid digestion and overall cleansing.
Try mixing some of these foods together for unique flavor combinations – lime juice and cucumber, for example, or cinnamon and lemon juice!
1. Fresh Mint Leaves
Mint is an herb that’s notoriously easy to grow; you can grow it outdoors or indoors, and it’s delightfully versatile as well as tasty. Mint promotes digestion by activating digestive enzymes – it’s also known for it’s calming effect, being an ingredient in many “sleepy time” teas. If you’re prone to indigestion, try adding fresh mint leaves to your water.
2. Lime or Lemon Juice
This natural source of Vitamin C is important – not only does Vitamin C help boost the immune system, it is a natural antioxidant as well. Try squeezing about half a lemon or lime into your water bottle; if the taste is too sour, you can add a little organic honey to it as well. Limes and lemons help to alkalize and cleanse the body, and are a great digestive aid.
Cloves are generally believed to have anti-parasitic properties, but did you know they also stimulate and aid in digestion? Try adding 3 to 5 whole cloves to your bottled water and let it steep for a few minutes before drinking. You can eat the cloves when you’re done drinking, but watch out – they’re spicy!
Cinnamon is a natural anti-fungal, anti-viral herb with a long history of medicinal use, including the relieving of indigestion. It may also help regulate blood-glucose levels and overall circulation. Use cinnamon sticks – easily found in most grocery stores – to flavour your water, letting them steep for a few minutes before drinking.
Cucumber is an excellent source of fibre and antioxidants, and can help with hydration and eliminating toxins from the body. They are also believed to possibly help your pancreas produce insulin. Try adding some thin slices of cucumber to your water – they float, so you can easily munch on them while you drink!
Ginger is a commonly-used natural remedy for cramps, nausea and indigestion. A natural anti- inflammatory, this herb can help aid circulation and may even kill cancer cells. Traditional wisdom is that it also promotes long-term memory and helps you feel more awake and alert. It works by stimulating your digestive juices, promoting excellent digestion. Finely chop a thumb-sized amount of this root and add it to your water. It can be eaten after drinking, but like the cloves, it is very spicy – it will give you great breath, though!
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people believe strongly in the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and with good reason. In addition to helping with digestion, it is said to help with maintaining a health weight and killing off harmful bacteria in the body. It can also help balance your PH levels. Use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in your water for the best effects.
Here are some great combinations of the above ingredients, for a unique-tasting beverage that is also great for you:
Cucumber slices, lemon and mint – for a fresh, light but still flavorful taste, perfect for a summer day.
Lemon and ginger – when you want your water to have some kick to it, this is a great combination!