11 Digestive-Boosting Ingredients for Your WaterTuesday Aug 16, 2022
Besides keeping you hydrated, water is good for digestion, regulating your mood, and it might even be one of the best things you can drink for weight loss and improving your metabolism. But if we're being honest, there's just nothing exciting about regular old drinking water.
With just a few simple ingredients though, you can transform ordinary H2O into detox water infused with all types of different flavors and nutrients.
Ready to raise the bar on staying hydrated and improving digestive health? Read on for 11 simple ingredients to create the best water for digestion.
How to Make Water Healthier: 10 Simple Ingredients
Add some flavor and give your hydration meter a boost with the following 10 ingredients:
1. Add Lemon to Your Water
When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Well, in this case, we're going with an easier, two-ingredient alternative and making lemon water instead. Lemons are overflowing with Vitamin C, so just adding a few slices to your water bottle can give a pretty hefty boost to your immune system.
The acids in your stomach mirror the acids in lemon juice, so drinking lemon water stimulates your liver to produce more bile, which enables your digestive tract to keep up a smooth-running operation.
2. Chop Up Some Lime Wedges
A close cousin to lemon, mixing some lime wedges into your H2O gives you all the hydration benefits of water, along with some added antioxidant benefits as well. Lime is rich in vitamins with the first four letters of the alphabet (vitamins A, B, C, & D), calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals make for better digestion, improved skin, and can even help with managing blood sugar.
3. Get Minty Fresh With Some Mint Leaves
This is a go-to for chefs looking to balance the different tastes in their dishes. So not only can it add a little flavor to your water, but it helps with digestive health too. One of the primary reasons is that mint prompts your saliva glands to create enzymes that are important for digestion. Mint is also known for easing stomach issues, such as constipation.
4. Throw in Some Cinnamon
Cinnamon is so much more than an oatmeal enhancer, or bagel topping. It's full of prebiotics to support a healthy gut and better digestion.
We do need more research into the health benefits of cinnamon, but one animal study found good news for those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), suggesting that cinnamon may help manage symptoms. Just make sure not to go too hard with the cinnamon (keep it under one teaspoon). Large doses can cause side effects, such as liver damage.
5. Did Someone Say Ginger Tea?
Ginger is great for indigestion, as it soothes the stomach, reduces gas and bloating, and can help with nausea sickness. To get the full effect of adding ginger to your water, just mix in some ginger root and let it sit overnight. That way, all the delicious and healthy nutrients from the ginger get absorbed.
6. Make Some Green Tea
Continuing with the tea theme, try some green tea, which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea promotes “friendly” gut bacteria and microbe diversity in the gut. One compound in the plant that's worth mentioning is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Not only is it a potent antioxidant but one 2020 animal study showed that it increases serotonin levels in the brain, which indicates it may help with depression.
And if you're looking to improve your ulcerative colitis symptoms, green tea might just be the healthy drink for you. A study published in the IBD Journal saw participants improve their ulcerative colitis symptoms by 58% after taking an EGCG-based supplement daily for approximately two months.
7. Slice up Some Cucumbers
Feel like you're relaxing at a fancy spa rather than a boring work meeting with cucumber slices in your water. They're high in fiber, which helps with digestion by preventing constipation, and vitamin B, which plays a role in your energy levels and brain function.
Snacking on cucumber does wonders for reducing inflammation and hydrating dry skin. And who doesn't want their skin to glow a little more?
8. Sprinkle in Some Chia and Basil Seeds
Both are high in fiber, which is good for keeping bowel movements regular and helping you maintain good digestive health.
Try sprinkling some chia seeds in your shakes or smoothies for the ultimate gut health boost. They're a great prebiotic food, which acts as fuel for the good bacteria in your gut.
Known to help alleviate digestive problems like constipation, gas, and bloating, basil seeds are a bonafide gut-enhancing ingredient for your tea or milk.
9. Bottoms up With Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your water can help your digestive system generate more stomach acid (hydrochloric acid to be specific), which helps with digestion. When your body is low on stomach acid, for one, your body won't be able to digest food fully and absorb all the nutrients it should. And two, low stomach acid can also lead to conditions like leaky gut and even acne (because your gut health and skin health are closely related).
10. Kiwi Slices for the Win
Add some kiwi slices and make your water bottle like a drink you would have on an island getaway vacation. You'll get plenty of fiber and vitamin C with kiwi, which are important for digestive, heart, and immune health. You won't be disappointed finding room for this New Zealand mainstay in your detox water.
11. Throw in Some Grapefruit
Outside of the jolt of flavor for your taste buds, adding grapefruit to your water means good things for your digestive health. You'll also get tons of vitamins C and A, potassium, fiber, and a host of other antioxidants. Grapefruit is low in calories but high in nutrients, which makes it a game-changer when it comes to weight loss.
Infuse Your Water for Better Digestion
Next time you find yourself growing tired of regular H2O, stay hydrated and use some of the ingredients on this list to make your own homemade detox water. Chop up some lemon or lime wedges, make some tea (either ginger or green), or slice up some cucumber to infuse your water with flavor, add in more nutrient benefits, and most importantly, improve digestion.
Now that you know how to infuse your water for optimal digestive health, what's the deal with tap water vs. filtered water? Is there even a difference between the two? Check out our post where we break down what the two types of water could mean for your gut.
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH who also enjoys going to the gym and doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, scrolling through Netflix trying to find a new binge-worthy show, and catching a game to root on his hometown sports teams.