Natural Choices to Add Flavor to Water

There are several options to add more flavor to water. (Getty Images)
There are several options to add more flavor to water. (Getty Images)
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Natural Choices to Add Flavor to Water

There are several options to add more flavor to water. (Getty Images)
There are several options to add more flavor to water. (Getty Images)

A recent report published by the Harvard Heart Letter stressed the importance of quitting soft drinks for their potential negative health effects, and to replace them with natural or flavored water.

Dr. Katharine Riccrod, professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard University, who participated in a large study on the link between soft drinks and the risk of strokes or heart attacks, said water is always the best choice, but there are many options to make it more appealing and flavorful, like drinking a cup of water that contains fruit slices.

If you're seeking for a low-cal alternative for soft drinks, you can try flavored water, which is available in cans or bottles and can be either sparkling or regular. You can also prepare your own drink at home. But, if you do not have the time, you can buy a bottle of fruit-enhanced water, which has a place for sliced fruit, or other flavors such as peppermint or cucumber to intensify the taste.

There are more ideas for other options to add flavor to your drinks:

- Sweet flavor: Frozen fruit, such as strawberries, berries, or pineapples, can be added to iced water or orange juice can be added to sweeten sparkling water.

- Refreshing: Some fresh mint leaves can be added to iced water.

- Strong: Unsweetened black tea or unsweetened coffee (decaf or regular) can be added on ice.

- Delicious: You can try cold herb drinks with their different flavors, such as pear, peach, raspberry, licorice or mint.

- Strong: You can drink vegetable juices such as tomatoes, cucumber, and celery. You can also prepare your own blend by using a mixer or juicer. If you buy ready vegetable juice, make sure to choose a low sodium type.

- Spicy: A few drops of honey can be added to hot water, then sprinkle a few of your favorite spices such as cinnamon, or cayenne pepper.



India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
TT

India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)

India's monsoon has delivered a fifth less rain than normal so far this season, the weather department said on Monday, in a worrying sign for the vital agricultural sector.

Summer rains, critical to economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy, usually begin in the south around June 1 before spreading nationwide by July 8, allowing farmers to plant crops such as rice, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.

India has received 20% less rainfall than normal since June 1, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), with almost all regions except for a few southern states seeing shortfalls and some northwestern states experiencing heat waves.

The rain shortfall in soybean, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses-growing central India has risen to 29%, while the paddy-growing southern region received 17% more rainfall than normal due to the early onset of the monsoon, according to the data.

The northeast has received 20% less rainfall than normal so far, and the northwest some 68% less.

The lifeblood of the nearly $3.5-trillion economy, the monsoon brings nearly 70% of the rain India needs to water farms and refill reservoirs and aquifers.

In the absence of irrigation, nearly half the farmland in the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat and sugar depends on the annual rains that usually run until September.

"The monsoon's progress is stalled. It has weakened. But when it revives and becomes active, it can erase the rain deficit in a short burst," an IMD official told Reuters.

The official sought anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in northern states for a few more days, but temperatures could start coming down from the weekend, the official added.

The maximum temperature in India's northern states is ranging between 42 and 47.6 degrees Celsius (107.6 to 117.7 degrees Fahrenheit), about 4-9 C above normal, the IMD data showed.