Traditional diets have a variety of foods and beverages that are naturally refreshing and healthy. Almost all healthy diets have a high moisture content from cooked grains and beans, vegetables, soups, fruits, and fermented foods. The modern diet with staples such as meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, and baked/fried foods, is a very dry diet that creates cravings for unhealthy refreshing foods such as soda and ice cream. This is a practical example of how healthy foods create cravings for healthy beverages and vice versa.

Having a diet with a high moisture content reduces the need to drink as often or excessively. The most important liquid is in food. When we eat foods with a high moisture content, our bodies can utilize the fluids in these foods more efficiently. Healthy foods want to be chewed more as well, and become naturally sweet and refreshing as we chew. Drinking to quench thirst, however, is a natural supplement to refreshing foods. Mild beverages, such as herbal and grain teas or room temperature/chilled water are thirst quenching.

I see “refreshing” as one of the most important nutrients; it is something everyone craves. Refreshing helps us to naturally feel mentally and emotionally revitalized. These foods naturally reduce stress because they gently disperse heat and energy.

A bowl of refreshing vegetables. Photo by Susan Waxman

A bowl of refreshing vegetables. Photo by Susan Waxman

A list of some naturally refreshing foods and beverages
-boiled grains, especially when chewed
-steamed greens with lemon
-blanched vegetables
-any type of juicy lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, or celery
-sweet corn
-watermelon, and other juicy fruits like strawberries, peaches and plums
-sauerkraut and mild vinegars (cider vinegars, brown rice vinegars)
-sweet, fruity olives
-mints and cooling herbs, such as peppermint, basil, and parsley
-chilled, roasted barley tea (though bitter) is a very thirst quenching beverage

What are some of your favorite refreshing foods and beverages?