On any given day you can stroll into my kitchen, open my fridge and find a HUGE pitcher of my favorite 'Healthy Beverage' – “Cucumber Water”! Ever since I learned about the health benefits of this super simple addition to my daily hydration habits, I’m not about to stop.
Several years ago during one of our annual stays at our favorite place on earth, (the 'Four Seasons', "Hualalai - Kona Hawaii"), my husband came up to me while strolling through the spa and said, "You know how all of the big glass water containers are always filled with slices of oranges, limes and lemons? Well the one filled with cucumber slices, I love that one”…and that was all I needed to hear. I knew of the many benefits of this little green, vine derived vegetation but once my husband said he’d drink it, my research began in earnest.
When it comes to natural substances containing healing properties, I tend to shoot for the real thing rather than looking for a bottle of its derivative.
So many supplements make SO many claims. However, the really scary part here is that industry is not regulated by the FDA. So, they can claim anything they want and it can be complete bunk. Even more disturbing, what’s in the bottle/ package or bag, may not even contain what the bottle says it does! JOY JOY! The laws need to be changed and for these reasons and many more, including the fact that just because something is ALL NATURAL, doesn’t mean we should ingest it folks. For Pete’s sake, Opium comes from a plant but that doesn’t mean we want to down a bottle of it now does it?
I look to food sources as often as possible as a natural source of help in warding off disease.
Let’s take the idea of reducing inflammation in the body for example. Why? Because inflammation is a killer.
Did you know that? Many so-called "diseases" have their roots in inflammation. All the following conditions in fact, begin with inflammation and then progress to more serious degenerative conditions that ultimately get diagnosed as disease;
• Cancers, including prostate cancer and breast cancer
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn's disease
• Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
• Type-II diabetes
• Type-I diabetes and autoimmune disorders (like Lupus)
• Heart disease, atherosclerosis and clogged arteries
• Arthritis and joint pain
• Allergies and hay fever
• Infertility and endometriosis
• Skin disorders like eczema
Even conventional medicine is now recognizing how pivotal inflammation can be in determining the course of human health. SO, with this knowledge in the forefront of my brain, I wanted to do something about it. But the first thing I’m wasn’t going to do was to run to my local Supplement store and down a bottle of who knows what. However; After Fibromyalgia was added to my list of health issues, I considered it. But alas, I knew better. So my desire to learn more was thrown into overdrive.
I researched anti- inflammatory foods! Fibromyalgia can cause serious swelling in the extremities. For me, before I was diagnosed, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me, why all of my “Hotsie Totsie” four (more like Five if I’m being honest) inch heals didn’t fit anymore. My feet looked more like stumps than delicate- four inch material! It got so bad that I actually had to give all my size 8 shoes to my daughters and buy 9s. Only problem there is that when the swelling takes a nose dive, they fall off…GOTTA LAUGH.
So, my research took me to find that cucumbers are a powerful source of anti-inflammatory properties! Now we all know you can reduce puffiness when slices of this fabulous fruit are placed around the eyes, so it made sense, AHA…anti-inflammatory, right! And Yea, cucumbers are categorized as a fruit. Interested? Google what constitutes a fruit and then challenge your family to a ‘FRUIT OFF’ Trivia Game !!! You are sure to win!
Ever notices, (just like at Hualalai), Spas often have this available for their guests. Why? Cause they’ve done their research too! They don’t want us to leave their spas BLOATED NOW DO they? You might not come back. So easy you can make this with a blindfold on. It’s a no brainer that packs a powerful wellness punch.
Get the largest pitcher you can find and fill it with water. Next, take a large cucumber and peel it if you must, but if you can learn to like the skin, (even when eating it raw)….it contains a large amount of vitamin A. It’d be a shame to throw that kind of nutrition in the trash! Slice and add to your pitcher of water and VOILA…cucumber magic! Anti- inflammatory yes AND natural diuretic! You can’t go wrong. Only use that water and the refill on that cucumber for 48 hours. Dump it out. Rinse the pitcher and make it again,(prep time, about 30 seconds)! It’s refreshing and it works! And yes, you can snack on them too. Add some celery stick to snack, drink the water from the pitcher in your fridge and kiss your excess water bloat goodbye while reducing the inflation in your body!
Until next time,
This is the Health and Fitness Diva,
Still in my heels, even if a size 9!