Every system in your body depends on water, so it’s imperative to stay hydrated. But if you want to up your game, why not add these seven ingredients to your water for the ultimate detox? You’ll not only stay hydrated, but you’ll be energized, flush toxins out, lose weight, reduce fatigue, aid digestion, keep your organs healthy and improve your mood. Now that’s a mouthful!
Let’s face it, your present state of health is the result of many years of chemical and toxin exposure, plus the choices you’ve made for your body, mind and spirit. As a result, you need gentle detoxification and rejuvenation from pollutants, prescription drugs and food preservatives. Detoxification cleans out the digestive system, encourages wellness and is important in the treatment of disease and health maintenance. The benefits of detoxification include better digestion and elimination, weight loss, improved immune system, improved skin tone and mental alertness.
For the ultimate detox, choose organic products and consume enough water to stay properly hydrated. For some, that may mean drinking six to eight glasses of filtered or healthy spring water daily. But generally, you should drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Here are the top seven ingredients for a detox:
Not only is watermelon low in calories and incredibly hydrating for the body, but it also fights inflammation and free radical damage while providing anti-aging vitamins A and B. Watermelon also contains a high amount of lycopene, which is a certain type of carotenoid that’s responsible for watermelon’s deep red or pink color — and it’s also a powerful antioxidant. Studies show that lycopene may help prevent chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Watermelon also provides potassium and magnesium, both important for detoxification, managing blood flow and hydration levels in the body. One of the more interesting features of watermelon is its rich supply of the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline is also great for the detoxification process because it helps the liver and kidneys filter out ammonia, a by-product of protein that damages the cells.
Lemon contains ascorbic acid, which helps to detoxify the body, aid digestion and keeps skin glowing. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, which stimulates white blood cell production and boosts immune system function, says Dr. Josh Axe. Adding lemon to your detox water rejuvenates the skin, heals the body and boosts energy. It may also help you lose weight thanks to pectin, a type of fiber that helps you to feel full longer, according to research by the University of Southern California’s Department of Medicine. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon and then add a few more slices to give your detox water a little extra vitamin C. Fresh, organic lemons are critical, as they are known to provide the most enzymes for body’s detox.
Cucumbers are one of the great detoxifying foods because they support the digestive tract, including helping to cleanse the liver. The liver is the body’s main detoxifying organ, and cucumbers can help remove accumulated toxins and waste from the blood and gut. They’re also a natural diuretic food, which means they can help the body produce more urine to flush out toxins and waste, according to research. The end result is reduced bloating and uncomfortable water retention.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria, according to research by the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. But it also helps increase the metabolism and speeds up weight loss. In fact, ACV contains an organic acid called acetic acid that is shown to improve the metabolism. It also supports digestive function, thanks to enzymes and probiotics that also help fights acid reflux naturally.
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your water to cleanse your liver and lymphatic system. It helps balance your body’s pH, and if your pH is out of whack, you could be experiencing heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, weight gain, sluggish metabolism, mineral deficiencies, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, frequent urination, hypoglycemia, hormonal imbalances and sore muscles, says The Center For Advanced Heath.
The medicinal benefits of ginger come from gingerol, the pungent oily resin that contains highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For centuries, ginger has been the go-to herb for digestion troubles, nausea, flu and even the common cold. Ginger may also help lower the risk of infections and inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria, making it effective against respiratory infections and inflammatory diseases in the gums such gingivitis and periodontitis. Ginger may also effectively manage pain. In fact, according to research, people with osteoarthritis of the knee who take ginger extract have less pain and require less pain medication.
Adding ginger to your detox water has many other benefits as well. Ginger warms the body, breaking down the accumulation of toxins in the organs. Additionally, a study published by researchers at the Institute for Human Nutrition at Columbia University found that ginger made participants feel fuller after a meal and less likely to eat more later. Ginger also enhances thermogenesis and reduces feelings of hunger, meaning that ginger may play a significant role in weight management.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a spicy powerhouse when it comes to detoxing your body, since heating the body makes the detoxification process more efficient. In fact, by simply adding cayenne to your detox water you can stimulate circulation and sweat out toxins. And that’s another important process of detoxification. But it not only cleanses your body, cayenne also provides health benefits that include aiding digestion, calming an upset stomach, soothing intestinal gas and stomach pain, and helping alleviate diarrhea and cramps.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some studies even suggest that cayenne may help you lose weight and keep you satiated. However, more research is needed. Capsaicin is also being studied for the treatment of irregular heart rhythm and circulatory problems that relate to the heart. Capsaicin may even play a role in the treatment of certain cancers including colon, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers.
7. Aloe vera gel
Most people know aloe for its skin healing and beautifying benefits. Others use it exclusively for treating burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores. But did you know you can actually consume aloe vera? There is so much more you can do with this plant including treating osteoarthritis, bowel diseases, fever, itching and inflammation. Aloe vera produces two healing elements. The first is the gel, which comes from cells in the center of the leaf. The second is the latex that comes from the cells just beneath the leaf skin. It may also work as a natural remedy for asthma, stomach ulcers and diabetes. Use aloe latex as a natural treatment for depression, constipation, asthma and diabetes.
Aloe vera gel also has laxative and anti-inflammatory properties that help aid digestion, normalize pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage digestive bacteria, suggests Dr. Josh Axe. The enzymes present in aloe vera also help break down proteins into amino acids, fueling every cell in the body. This not only allows the cells to work properly but also boosts overall health. Adding aloe vera to detox drinks helps reduce inflammation, aid digestion and promote skin health.
— Katherine Marko