Monday, March 21, 2011

DIY Cucumber Mint Spa Water



Here's a fab little do-it-yourself treat that does the body good - literally.  This particular recipe earned lots of praise with the rise in popularity of the Flat Belly Diet in 2008 as "Sassy Water".  For those who don't like the taste of plain old water, this may just change your mind about making water drinking a pleasurable, refreshing activity.

Ingredients:
2 liters water (about 8 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in a pitcher
Refrigerate overnight
Strain water
Enjoy over ice cubes
Add mint sprig for garnish (optional)

Cynthia Sass
Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, former Nutrition Director for Prevention, created the recipe for Sassy Water while developing the Flat Belly Diet with Lisa Vaccariello. Here's a bit more about how these ingredients break down in goodness.

Ginger contains high concentrations of antioxidants and helps soothe the intestinal tract and digestion.  Benefits of ginger come from very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances can help relieve swelling and inflammation, and are also know to aid in reducing nausea.  Gingerols also said to help reduce pain caused by muscle aches, headaches and rheumatism.  Ginger is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6.  Because it's so concentrated, it doesn't take a lot to receive the health benefits.  As an immune booster, ginger may not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating. A good sweat may can assist in detoxification.  Some studies suggest ginger may even actually help inhibit growth of cancer cells.

Cucumber flesh is primarily composed of water but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers are rich in fiber and contain a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin, plus cucumber's high water content makes it naturally hydrating—a must for glowing skin. Cucumbers are also used topically for various types of skin problems, including swelling under the eyes and sunburn. Two compounds in cucumbers, ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied topically are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns and dermatitis.


Like many of the fruits and vegetables featured on our website, lemons and limes contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. In addition to their unique phytonutrient properties, lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants found in food and the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C travels through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and also cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body. This is one of the reasons that vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  As with other fruits of its kind, lemons are said to help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.  Lemon is also a diuretic. This means it is good for people with urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems, such as those with arthritis or rheumatism because it helps flush out all the toxins and bad bacteria.

Spearmint is a pleasantly aromatic herb packed with numerous health benefiting vitamins, antioxidants and phyto-nutrients. The chief essential oil in spearmint is menthol. Other important chemical components of spearmint are α-pinene, β-pinene, carvone, cineole, linalool, limonene, myrcene and caryophyllene. These compounds in mint help relieve fatigue and stress.  The herb parts are also very good in minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Iron is required for enzymes in cellular metabolism and synthesis of hemoglobin. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It is also rich in many antioxidant vitamins including vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin and thiamin. Spearmint is said to be an excellent remedy for minor ailments such as headaches, nervous strain, fatigue and stress, as well as for the respiratory problems; helping with asthma and bronchitis. It is thought to aid with digestive problems including nausea, flatulence and hiccups as it relaxes the stomach muscles.


Ok, more information than perhaps you needed to know when contemplating the concocting of an at-home spa drink, but as the ingredients are far more powerful than a casual nod would suggest I decided to give you the whole kit and kaboodle on it.

Enjoy!

sources: world's healthiest foods, livestrong, glo, Cynthia Sass, nutrition and you

9 comments:

  1. Ooh sounds intriguing... I'll have to give it a try :)

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  2. wow what a woderful post. Really it is very informative.

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  3. I tried it without the ginger (forgot to buy it) and was really good, tomorrow I'll it with--hopefully I like it.

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  4. Very nice post and very nice home spa drink. I like it. All the ingredients are natural and rich in variety of beneficial minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Thanks for such nice sharing.
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  5. Thanks for all the love, everyone! I've been enjoying the spa water since learning of it and just had to pass on the recipe.

    Here's to your health!

    xo
    Roxy

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  7. It is a nice informatkion. I really likes this DIY Cucumber Mint Spa Water. Its looks so cool and amazing. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe with us.

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  8. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
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  9. Love the post and DIY recipe

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