Included: Watermelon/cucumber, lemon/lime, mint leaves, and water.
Why Watermelon (or cucumber): Watermelon helps the body flush out toxins because it contains the organic compound citrulline, which is an amino acid that has been shown to help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Ammonia comes in external forms, but is also a by-product of the proteins our bodies are burning up constantly for energy, and it’s quite damaging to our cells. Cucumber also contains citrulline, but not as much as watermelon. Watermelon may also just give the liver an overall boost.
Why water: H20 is just plain good for us, but it’s thought that it helps flush nasty toxins and waste through our system, giving organs like the liver and kidney an easier time doing their job.
Why lemon (or lime): Lemon or lime juice helps stimulate and regulate the digestive track (which is why it’s so helpful with constipation, heartburn and gas), stimulates bile production, and thins out bile, which allows it to flow more freely. Bile is produced by the liver and ends up in the small intestine to break down lipids (fats) that we’ve consumed.
Why mint leaves: Mint leaves are a nice refreshing flavor to add to your drink. On top of that, it can help you digest more effectively, improving the flow of bile from the liver, to the gallbladder, to the small intestine, where it breaks down dietary fats. Mint also helps relax cramped up stomach muscles.
You will need…
-1-2 liters’ of water, depending on how strong you want it to taste
-Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
-1 lemon or lime
-A handful of fresh mint leaves (approximately 10-13)
Slice up a good amount of watermelon into cubes, rind and all, and put them into a jug or pitcher. Cut 1 juicy lime into wedges and toss in with the watermelon. Add a handful of fresh, fragrant, mint leaves and pour in 2 liters of cool water, filling the jug all the way to the top. Let this sit overnight in the fridge and let all the yummy flavors steep and infuse the water. When you want to drink it, put in a generous helping of ice cubes, pour, and enjoy daily.
• Try substituting a lemon for the lime, cucumber for the watermelon, or a combination of all of them.
• Pour water in first and then add the ingredients. I feel like there’s more of a burst of flavor when the water gets poured in and everything swirls around, but there’s something to be said for letting it gently infuse itself as well (the water tends to stay a bit clearer as well.)
• Don’t add ice to the entire jug, and leave it on a cup-by-cup basis. If you plan on drinking it over time, this can help prevent it from getting diluted as the ice melts.
• Start with 2 liters’ of water steeping overnight, and then experiment with longer/shorter times and more or less water.
• Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and/or lemon and then slice up another and add that to give it a little extra citrus kick.
• This isn’t for flavor, but this drink looks mighty appealing in a glass pitcher on a hot summer day.
DIY Detox Drink
We all have different tastes and preferences, and like to mix things up every once in a while too. Experiment by trying out various ingredients, amounts, and methods (like blending, or boiling into a tea, or infusing into water, etc.) Below is a list of foods that have been shown to help boost your built-in detox system (namely liver, G.I., and kidney function.) If possible, always buy organic to avoid chemical ingredients or pesticides.
Cruciferous vegetables & leafy greens: This group includes a lot of veggie superheroes, and is why you see so many “green” detox drinks or smoothies. Included are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, bok choy, and spinach. Broccoli and co. increases the amount of glucosinolate (organic compounds) in our body, which in turn help create enzymes that help our body’s breakdown and digest things. Leafy greens like lettuce and bok choy have the ability to neutralize metals, chemicals, and pesticides that find their way into our systems.
Avocado: Avocados can help your body produce an antioxidant, glutathione, which our liver needs to do its job and filter properly.
Grapefruit: High in antioxidants and vitamin C, grapefruit or grapefruit juice also aids the liver in flushing carcinogens (things linked to causing cancer, like stuff in cigarettes and tobacco, as well as some pre-prepared foods) and possibly pesticides out of the body.
Beets: The systems in the body all work together, and for various reasons beets seem to be helpful to more than one major organ. However, they’ve shown themselves to be particularly helpful when it comes to aiding the liver in detoxification.
If it’s chilly, try making some detox tea to keep you warm and healthy, or mix up an icy cool drink in hot weather.