trendy fit with steph

 Be a smart consumer: don’t always believe what the labels say.

From your favourite Trendy Fit columnist: Steph

Okay, I get it, we are ALL in a hurry these days to get things done. We are in a hurry to get healthy and to get all nutrients we can possibly get, in the most efficient way possible. There are so many products available on the market now that capitalize on our intentions to get things done in double time, products we need to be weary and cautious of.

Products like vitamin water and vitamin infused products are trying to fool us and make us believe that when we choose their product, we are choosing properly for our health. When we choose them we are thinking: “Hey! Hydration AND vitamins: sold!”

Be A Smart Consumer: Vitamins Aren't What You're Led To Believe

This may not always be the case. Products like, vitamin water, have led us to believe that when we consume them we are doing more good for our bodies then harm, when in fact most of the ingredients in these products may actually counteract the good. There has even been argument placed on these products stating there is no way of knowing that the “vitamins” put into these products that can even withstand packaging and shelf life duration. Once they sit in a packaging/storage facility for “x” amount of days, they lose all benefit from the little bit of vitamins that were put in.

Not only may there be very little benefit for us in such products, we forget about all the added sugars, aspartame, dyes, preservatives and chemicals that are contributing to health problems today. Like aspartame; a chemical that replaces sugar designed to help us, but in the end only makes us crave more sugar and in turn, gain weight.

Be A Smart Consumer: Vitamins Aren't What You're Led To Believe

Make your own vitamin water.

While the intention to do something good for your health is there by choosing something like vitamin water, stop and think about what you are actually doing by choosing it. Are you choosing it because you want to hydrate and give your body vitamins at the same time? If you answered yes, here is my advice: choose plain old-faithful water instead. Drinking your vitamins by purchasing a premade drink seems like a good plan but in the end you are really never going to get the same benefits from a vitamin water like you will from fruits and veggies.

If you still feel the need to drink your vitamins, I’m all about hydrating and there are many options available for you that you can make all on your own. Try some combos like the following instead!

1) The Classic – Lemon & Cucumber:

Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

2The AntiOX – Blackberry & Sage

Note: apart from the berries, sage leaves are the herb that have the highest antioxidant content.
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been very slightly muddled, add 3-4 sage leaves. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Be A Smart Consumer: Vitamins Aren't What You're Led To Believe

3) The Digestive – Fennel/Citrus

First: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel seeds in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the infusion of fennel seeds. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Some very simple recipes and many more are available for you to make ahead of time to enjoy your own homemade vitamin water. The same message is still present, make good choices for your health, but always be a smart consumer. Think critically when you see something appealing to your need to get more from less; ask questions, research about products.

Be a smart consumer.

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