Add This to Your Water If You're Trying to Lose Weight
We are constantly reminded that one of the most important parts of promoting good health is drinking enough water. Apart from keeping you properly hydrated, water has so many benefits: It can boost your metabolism, give you energy, improve your skin, decrease bloating, and so much more. It can can also be an important tool for those trying to lose weight.
But despite the fact that we know all of this, sometimes drinking water can feel like a chore, especially when you're not actively thirsty. Sometimes you just need a little bit of flavor to spice things up. We spoke with nutritionist and member of our Medical Expert Board, Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, about four of the best ways to infuse your water with natural flavors that will make it easier to drink more, while maximizing its potential as a tool for weight loss. Better yet? None of these come in a packet.
In addition to giving boring old water a zesty, refreshing taste, lemon is also loaded with the antioxidant vitamin C. There are many health benefits to getting enough vitamin C, but not getting enough of it may also be connected to weight. Research published in the Nutrition & Metabolism (London) Journal suggested that women deficient in vitamin C were linked with measures of obesity and adiposity—being severely or morbidly overweight. Young points out that lemon also contains D-limonene. This chemical compound, which is naturally found in the peel of citrus fruits, has anti-cancer properties, and can also help soothe heartburn.
Ever wonder why so many fancy spas always seem to have a huge vat of cucumber water? A refreshing addition to any drink, cucumber is a light and crunchy fruit (that's right, it's actually a fruit!) that also happens to be great for weight loss.
"Cucumber is high in water and low in calories," says Young. "It can also help act as a diuretic and get rid of fluid retention."
One cucumber contains about 38.3 grams of water. Its high water content makes it a low energy density food, which helps you feel full, while the low calorie count makes cukes a great snack for weight loss efforts.
Furthermore, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients, consuming foods with lower energy densities may be associated with weight loss.
This herb is more than just a garnish that smells delightful.
"Mint contains anti-inflammatory properties and can also soothe indigestion and suppress appetite," says Young.
In a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, plant extracts were researched in relation to aiding in the treatment and prevention of obesity. Researchers concluded that these natural resources have strong antioxidant capabilities that can help with both treatment and prevention of obesity. Mint is also one of the 39 plants reported in Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine (TAPHM) to be utilized for weight loss.
Apples and berries
Apples and berries are delicious on their own, but these fruits also make for a powerful combination when added to your water.
Young explains that apples and berries are high in fiber and low in calories—both qualities that complement weight loss.
One cup of blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber, or 14 percent of your daily recommended value, while one cup of sliced apple has about 2.6 to 3 grams of fiber, or ~10 to 11 percent of what you need in a day, making both of these fruits excellent sources of fiber.
Fiber-rich foods are digested at a slower rate than foods lower in fiber, which means they keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Of course, you could just go for apple-infused water or berry-infused water, but Young suggests that the blend of fruit adds an extra-delicious flavor that will have you drinking all the water you need—and maybe even then some.