The morning ritual of drinking a cup of warm water with 1/2 lemon is nowadays a household habit. Known for kick starting the digestion, alkalise the body due to the chameleon like qualities of lemon (acidic on the outside, alkaline on the inside) and for adding anti-oxidant vitamin C into the body before anything else – starting the day right has become a growing obsession.
As a daily drinker of both warm lemon water and green juice I am always on the lookout for things to add a bit of oomph to my brew. Liquids are fab receptacles for a myriad of ‘good’ ingredients’ that do marvellous things in your body without you noticing, yet may be tricky to add daily on their own.
For example; I add cayenne pepper into my lemon water concoction in the mornings. Not a lot – a little goes a long way – but enough to kick circulation into gear if I’m feeling sluggish. The well-known naturopath, Elisabeth Peyton-Jones, author of ‘Eat Yourself Young”, adds ginger and turmeric to her warm lemon water for anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial purposes which she claims is beneficial for the skin. It’s all about that little extra.
Below is a list, by no means exhaustive, of things which you could add to your juices, smoothies and salads on a regular basis*:
Bee pollen: Made by honeybees it is very high in protein, amino acids, vitamins like B-Complex and folic acid. Very useful for hay fever sufferers as it reduces levels of histamine as well as being anti-inflammatory and helping flagging energy levels.
Cinnamon: Used traditionally for digestive problems, aching muscles and viral conditions. Useful as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal remedy (candida and thrush) as well as the circulatory system. 1/2 teaspoon is plenty in a juice, smoothie or warm water.
Ginger: There is not much that has not been said about ginger but to reiterate; a powerful anti-inflammatory and fast-acting cure for nausea. It stimulates circulation. Encourages the secretion of digestive enzymes and aids general absorption of nutrients. Rich in zink, it is a great for strengthening the immune system
Spirulina: An algae which is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. Containing vitamin B1, B6 and B12 it is great for the nervous system and loaded with chlorophyll derived from the sun. It is one of the world’s superfoods. Here is a very good description of all the magical benefits of Spirulina from the excellent health blog, Positive Health Wellness.
Turmeric: The potent ingredient in the turmeric root is called curcumin which gives it its strong yellow colour. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant rich root and it is one of the most used flavorings in Eastern food. It contains a myriad of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and B3, B6.
Ground flax seeds: Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of ALA (Alpha linolenic acid) an important omega-3 fatty acid for both mind, nervous system and body. Stimulates increased alertness and boosts memory. Take in conjunction with Spirulina or other foods rich in vitamin B3,B6, zink and magnesium. Can be very useful to treat peri-menopausal symptoms. Apart from all health benefits it is also responsible for helping the skin looking youthful and hair glossy due to high vitamin E content. Keep cool and well sealed – goes rancid easily.
Mint: Peppermint is a calming herb which can be helpful with digestion. As it contains menthol which is useful for clearing congestion. The oils in mint are antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-viral as well as being a useful antiseptic. From freshening breath to relieving wind, peppermint added to a juice or water has been used as a remedy for over ten thousand years.
So go on! Add some extras to your daily rituals, either in a drink format or sprinkled onto your salads. Happy Wednesday! X