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Quench thirst with a glass of fresh lemonade

Have you ever wondered why having a tall glass of lemonade is so refreshing on a hot day? Well, there is a scientific reason that this particular drink is actually good for you when you’re hot.

According to research, drinking acidic drinks, such as lemonade, stimulates salvation which helps to moisten the mouth and give you that thirst-quenching feeling. Although I prefer to give lemonade a try for this particular purpose, apparently the settlers used to drink vinegar water to achieve the same results. The acid in these drinks is what gives you that quenched feeling even after the drink is finished.

Lemonade has to be one of my favorite summer-time drinks (and I even have some in the winter, too). I like just about every version of the tart, tangy drink that has been made available to me. For some reason, I’d rather have a glass of lemonade than a glass of sweet tea. I know that may sound odd coming from a true southern woman, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t drink tea. But, given the choice, I’d probably choose lemonade unless you’ve put something really crazy in it.

Years ago I was at a diner at a popular restaurant that had added a picture of a glass of strawberry lemonade on their menu. Of course, I had to give it a try. I fell in love with the taste of the drink and quickly set about trying to recreate it at home. After a few attempts, I finally hit on just the right tartness and just the right sweetness to offer the drink up to family and friends. Over the years, other restaurants have added other fruits to their lemonades and I can say there was only one version that I vowed never to try again – Jalapeno Lemonade. Yep, it was offered. I drank it. I checked that off my bucket list and marked it off of my “try this at home” list as well.

I know there are theories on whether to use freshly squeezed lemon juice or bottled juice is best. I honestly think it’s a matter of convenience that makes me pull out that tall green bottle from the refrigerator when I mix up a batch. I usually make lemonade by the gallon and I certainly don’t have the time or elbow grease to squeeze that many lemons in a short amount of time.

If you are of the school of thought where using only fresh-squeezed lemons will do for you, then you may be just a half step ahead of the rest of us in the health benefits of the drink. Aside from helping with hydration during hot days, the lemon has many other health benefits. And since lemonade is simply the juice of a lemon combined with a little water and sugar, it’s safe to say there are certainly some good reasons to chug down a glass or two any day. The following is a list of benefits provided after research by a group of lady scientists – so you know it’s good stuff.

Here are just six of the many benefits you can gain from drinking lemonade.

Digestive Assistance: Lemon juice is highly effective in fighting both indigestion and constipation. Drinking lemonade can give your digestive tract the extra assistance it needs to break down foods you’ve consumed, while loosening waste that is lining the walls of your bowels.

Kidney Stone Prevention: If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you know just how terrible it can be. Increasing your water consumption can definitely help to stave off future occurrences, but lemonade can help even more. The citrate you get from drinking lemonade can increase the amount found in your urine, which goes a long way in preventing the stones from even forming.

Weight Loss Support: You may have heard of lemon juice and lemonade being used as part of a weight loss regimen. It’s for a good reason. Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has demonstrated weight loss properties. Lemonade can also help you feel full, which aids in staving off a nagging appetite.

Fever Treatment: Lemonade can help increase perspiration output, which is one of the best ways to break a fever. If you are suffering from the flu, or any other sickness that involves fever, try drinking some lemonade to speed up the fever’s breaking point and get back on track to a normal body temperature.

Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants found in lemons have been shown to prevent cells in your body from deforming, which is what leads to cancer developing and spreading. Drinking lemonade on a regular basis can ensure a constant intake of these antioxidants.

High Blood Pressure: Lemons contain a high amount of potassium, which can help to calm numerous cardiac issues. If you are experiencing high blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness, try drinking some lemonade for a calming and relieving effect.

 

Quick and Easy Lemonade

1 cup Real-Lemon Lemon Juice

2 cups sugar

8 cups water

Add sugar to a serving pitcher or jug. Pour in half the water and stir to begin dissolving the sugar. Add all of the lemon juice and continue stirring until all sugar is dissolved. Pour in remaining water and stir well.

 

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 gallon cold water

Sliced lemons for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large glass pitcher, add the gallon of water and 2 cups of lemon juice and stir well. Pour in the cooled simple syrup and stir well. Throw in a few lemon slices for garnish. Pour over ice and enjoy.

 

Strawberry Lemonade

This is as simple as it gets. Make your favorite lemonade and add in two cups of fresh, lightly smashed strawberries. If you use frozen strawberries, thaw them first and check to see if sugar has been added to them. If using sweetened strawberries, omit ½ cup of sugar before adding berries. Check for sweetness and adjust sugar as needed.

 

Blueberry Lemonade

Add 2 cups fresh, slightly smashed blueberries to your favorite lemonade. Again, if they are frozen or pre-sweetened, adjust the sugar in your recipe accordingly.

 

Frosted Lemonade

1 cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 cup Sugar

2 1/2 cups Water

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (your favorite brand)

Just a quick note, if you don’t use fresh lemon juice, bottled juice is fine. Just increase to 1 ½ cups if using bottled.

Add the lemon juice and sugar to a pitcher. Stirl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the water and stir until mixed well. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least an hour. Once the lemonade is chilled, add one cup to a blend and add in 2 cups of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Blend well. Pour into a cup and enjoy with a straw or a spoon.