Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? The theme for 2022 is all about learning and using flavors used around the world to “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” One of the easiest ways to add flavor to any dish is to use herbs and spices, but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just savory herbs in a dinner pan. Today, I’m sharing 10 ways you can spruce up your water using herbs and spices to keep you hydrated while celebrating “A World of Flavor”.
Hydration is one of the most important factors in your diet. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and it plays a role in many functions of the body including digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Unfortunately, nearly 75 percent of all Americans are chronically dehydrated.
When your body is dehydrated it can trigger thirst queues which may feel like hunger causing you to eat when you may actually be thirsty. Dehydration can also have some severe consequences. Some symptoms of being dehydrated include fatigue, irritability, headache, dizziness, cramps, nausea, and a decrease in performance. Long-term dehydration can also affect blood pressure, circulation, and kidney function.
A good rule of thumb is drink half you body weight in ounces and remember not to drink you calories! Water may get boring from time to time, but it’s important to drink sugary beverages like soda, fruit juices, sweet teas, and flavored coffee in moderation. I always tell me clients to choose carbonated or flavored water with no sugar added or herbal teas when they want some variety, but herbs and spices are also a great way to infuse water for a kick of added flavor.
Here are 10 ways to spruce up your water and boost your H2O intake:
- 💧 Orange slices & a cinnamon stick
- 💧 Pear & rosemary
- 💧 Pomegranate seeds & clove
- 💧 Apple & orange slices with cinnamon
- 💧 Peppermint or peppermint with cucumber
- 💧 Rosemary with blackberry blends
- 💧 Lemon rosemary cucumber
- 💧 Strawberry, basil & lemon
- 💧 Orange slices & ginger
- 💧 Rosemary & watermelon
Here are a few additional tips when infusing your water:
Infused water is best 2-4 hours after you’ve made it. You can let it infuse overnight in the refrigerator for a stronger flavor, but be cautious after 48 hours. Some herbs last better than others. For example, fresh basil lasts 2 to 3 days, but rosemary can last up to a week.
You can also infuse your water using a specialized pitcher or water bottle such as the MAMI WATA Fruit Infuser Water Bottle
However, adding your fruit and herbs to a glass of water or plain pitcher work just as well. When working with fruits with a higher water content such as watermelon or berries, it can also help to crush the fruit with the herbs before adding water. This process helps release the flavors.
Lastly, feel free to get fancy with it. Let’s be honest, hydration is far from glamourous, however, herb infused waters can be a really fun way to create healthy and interesting beverages for brunches, social events, and everyday sipping.
Interested in learning more about National Nutrition Month 2022? Check out my latest newsletter or visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics official National Nutrition Month page.
Want more delicious ideas? Check out this blog post by my friend and fellow nutrition expert Jani Leushel” Orange Pudding cake with Star Anise a Simple Sweet of Citrus ad Spice
Stay hydrated and Happy National Nutrition Month!