Now that the temperature is heating up outside, we need to think about staying hydrated more than ever. I have been reading a book called Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, and she includes water in the top 200 superfoods, or healthiest foods on the planet. She reminds us that water is one of the six essential nutrients necessary not only for survival, but for good health as well. It is so easy to reach for some kind of sweetened drink when we are thirsty, but water delivers the best hydration without all the sugar and additives. Sometimes it can feel like work to drink enough water, so in the summer, I like to make my own version of herb-infused water. It is more fun than drinking plain water–it gives the water a delicate flavor and adds some extra health benefits as well. According to www.naturalnews.com/042942_lemon_balm_health_benefits_antioxidants.html, lemonbalm is a calming herb. It also contains antioxidants. Mint adds some assets to the water too. Besides a refreshing flavor, mint boosts our health. An article at www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html says that mint is soothing to our bodies. It can help with nausea and even boosts our mood, among other things. Both lemonbalm and mint are really easy to grow. In fact they are so easy to grow, that you need to either plant them in a pot, or plant them somewhere where they are contained somehow. Otherwise they will spread like crazy.
We grow our own herbs here at home, so in the summer, I love to just walk outside and pick a handful of lemonbalm and a handful of mint, and prepare to make what I like to call lemon-mint sunshine water. (You can also find lemonbalm and mint leaves in the herb section of many grocery stores). After you wash the herbs, just fill a glass container with water (I use a 3 quart glass jar) and place a handful of the herbs in the water. (You can experiment with the amount of herbs, depending on how much flavor you want.) Cover the jar and set it outside in direct sun. This water works best if it can steep out in the sun for the whole day, so I start it in the morning and pull it in when the sun gets lower, in the early evening. It tastes best cold, so refrigerate it and give your some true refreshment!