There’s nothing quite like relaxing on a long summer’s day. Whether you’re stretched across the grass with a new book, or are sitting on your balcony watching the bustle below, the picture wouldn’t be complete without a refreshing drink in hand.
But instead of reaching for something that’s filled with sugar or caffeine, however, why not go for something that’s excellent for your health?
The great thing is, there are plenty of healthy and refreshing drinks to choose from, which are filled with powerful antioxidants and vitamins to bring out your summer glow. Here are a few of my favourites:
Agua de Jamaica
Agua de Jamaica - or hibiscus tea - is the ultimate thirst quencher when served cold. It’s made from dried hibiscus flowers, which sounds nice enough. But better yet, this tropical refreshing drink is also packed with proven health benefits.
In fact,one studyfound that Agua de Jamaica can lower blood pressure in people that are moderate-high risk andanotherconcluded that it can help naturally lower cholesterol. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, which can help stop disease-causing cell damage. What’s not to love?!
12 cups water
1 ½ cup dried hibiscus flower
½ cup sugar (or more if you’d like it sweeter)
½ stick cinnamon (I always add this for an extra kick)
1 piece grated ginger
Lime juice (optional)
Combine the water and ginger, and bring them to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, and add the hibiscus flowers and sugar. Let this sit for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the juice, add in the lime, let it cool, and serve with ice!
Pomegranate Green Tea
This fruity twist on iced-tea provides a double dose of goodness, as antioxidants from the green tea are combined with those of the delicious pomegranate juice and seeds. But not only will you benefit from a big fix of antioxidants; this drink can also do wonders for your skin - which we love of course!
Pomegranate can helpto regenerate cells, and combat aging to keep your skin looking fresh, among many other benefits. And according to astudy published in The Journal of Nutrition, consuming green tea regularly can help maintain skin structure, improve skin quality overall, and protect against UV radiation. In fact, women who drank 4 cups daily for 12 weeks straight, reduced their risk of sunburn by 25 percent!
Bring on the vitamin C! This minty lemonade is full of it, which means you can feel great about sipping the juice on the regular. Vitamin C is essential for producingcollagen, which reduces wrinkles and maintains healthy skin overall, and might even help to reduceasthma. Even more, citrus fruits could help reduce stroke in women; those who eat lots of them have a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke, according to theAmerican Heart Association.Unlike other lemonades this recipe is definitely low in sugar, but the honey make a great addition.
½ cup of fresh lemon juice
4 cups ice cold water
A handful of fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons honey
Fig and Strawberry Juice
In a post a little while ago, I wrote about coming home to our farmhouse in Catalunya to find the garden filled with delicious figs. Figs are the ultimate late summer treat, but they don’t stay in season for long. That’s why after picking them with my family, I feel the need to incorporate them into meals whichever way I can - whether they be in a salad, included in a dessert, or yes, blended to make a delicious juice!
This fig and strawberry juice is a must try. Plus, you’ll feel amazing drinking it. In addition to being high in calcium and potassium, figs boast prebiotics to improve digestive health and are high in fibre, which makes them a natural laxative. Strawberries, on the other hand, are also a source of fibre, potassium, folic acid and manganese.
4 fresh figs, with the skin removed and cut into small bits
4 fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon honey
Water, to make for easier blending
If these summer refreshments don’t quench your thirst, I’m not sure what will! And in addition to being absolutely delicious, they’re also great for your health. So, go on. Whip yourself up a batch, kick your feet up, and get sipping. Enjoy!