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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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The latest trendy drinks from the USA

Coconut water is history. Nowadays everyone who is anypone in Hollywood is drinkng cactus water, or maybe birchtree water. They have even fewer calories. And they're said to be very refreshing, while up at the same time keeping their users looking young and lovely. At the moment, however, there's no scientific evidence to back this claim.

Cactus water: a natural energy drink

People living in or travelling through the Mexican desert have known about cactus water for centuries. The sweet and slightly lemony drink is made from the fruit of prickly pears. Typically these store water much prized by travellers in the desert partly for the fact that it contains some of the vitamins and minerals that are concentrated inside the plant. These include vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Its content of the acid taurin, which is also an ingredient in energy drinks, is a natural stimulant. Regular use is said to tone up and tighten your skin. This wonder water is not yet available in Europe, but with the media hype currently going on, this can only be a matter of time.

Birch tree juice: fashionable but with a long tradition

Alternatively, Hollywood stars are drinking birch tree juice, a beverage already valued by the Vikings. In Scandinavia and eastern Europe, "milking" birch trees for their sap has a long tradition. The process takes place in spring when the nutritious sap is rising from the roots to the budding leaves. Birchtree water has a fresh, sweet-sour taste. In folk medicine it is said to be a mild stimulant, to help people detox and to reduce headaches. Beneficial substances in birch tree water include potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and sodium. And all that for only 5 kilocalories per 100 ml. This is largely because the sweetness comes from the birch sugar xylit which has only half as many calories as normal household sugar. In Scandinavia birch tree water is not only drunk, it is also used to sweeten coffee and muesli, for example. If you'd like to try it, check out organic food stores or try ordering online. You'll find it pure, but also flavoured. And it's not cheap; a 0.3 litre bottle costs at least 2.50 euros.


Trends may come and go, but the healthiest way to quench your thirst is still water – simply tap water or mineral water if preferred. They're both guaranteed to have zero calories and to be highly affordable.


Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de