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How to turn a caiparinha into a healthy beverage

If you ask foreign tourists the things they associate with Brazil, one of the items likely is a caiparinha, which, for better or worse, seems to be the national drink. Let’s look at a twist on how you can turn it into a health drink, by simplifying it.

You might think of this modified caiparinha as a healthy alternative to boxed fruit juices. Many people drink fruit juices thinking they are doing a good thing. Maybe they have moved from sodas to these juices. But while probably healthier than sodas, these “juices” are also full of sugar, artificial chemicals, and often contain very little actual fruit, so they are not really so healthy.

The modified caiparinha is this: remove the alcohol and the lime peels, and minimize the sugar content. What you are left with is an amazingly healthy limeaid. For sweetness, you could use artificial sweetner or add some “simple syrup”, which is equal parts sugar and water, briefly boiled to dissolve the sugar, then stored in your refrigerator.

Limes were one of the first cures for scurvy—which killed or sickened many early sailors—until they discovered that drinking lime juice (full of vitamin C) would prevent or cure the disease. Nowadays, lime juice (along with sunlight and salt) is being used in some areas of the world to disinfect drinking water. Eating just one lime a day will give you about a third of your daily vitamin C requirement, and vitamin C is one of our most important antioxidants that we consume.

Limes also contain many other types of antioxidants (such as the liminoids, and the flavonoid kaempferol), which seem to, at least in the laboratory, have many anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. While limes have not been proven to have these benefits when eaten, it is likely that lime consumption will lower your risk of cancer and serious infectious diseases. Limejuice is already used in Africa to lower the risk of cholera.

Regarding potential anti-cancer effects, cancers of the lung, skin, mouth, breast, stomach, and colon have been studied as possibly affected by the components in limes. Limes and other citrus fruits have been hailed as a “super-food” for diabetics, and research is underway regarding limes’ apparent cholesterol lowering properties. Further, it has been noted that the liminoid antioxidants may stay active in your body for up to 24 hours, whereas the antioxidant activity from other antioxidant-rich foods such as chocolate or green tea last only up to 6 hours.

When you buy limes, pick the bigger ones with a dark green color, and before you squeeze them, make sure they are at room temperature to maximize the juice output, and roll the (washed) lime with your hand over a hard surface before you cut it to help liberate more juice.

Most people find that the best ratio of water to limejuice is 4 parts water to 1 part juice, but find what works best for your taste. The tricky part is the sugar, and you should experiment with what is the minimum quantity of sugar (or simple syrup or sweetner) you need to add to make the juice palatable. Over time, see if you can minimize whatever sweetener you are using, and some people are fine with no added sweetness at all.

Should you wish to find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, use our main website: www.procuramed.com

Read also in ProcuraMed:

Three hints to lower your exposure to pesticides

Five actions women can take to cut their risk of breast cancer

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

Category : Nutrology