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Everything's just peachy


I’m sure, especially with this (intermittent) sunshine and humid weather, everyone is heeding my advice to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more!:)


But are you bored with lemon water and cucumber water? Then you may fancy giving this fruity beverage a whirl.


This is one of my favourite drinks to make in July - a month when flat peaches are popping up on every fruit stand and lavender is multiplying like ants in gardens and window boxes (sorry if you’ve spotted me swiping a couple of sprigs from your bush!:)


We all love sniffing lavender because of its sleep-promoting benefits, but it’s also a wonderful herb for easing bloating & nausea, reducing inflammation, elevating mood, and soothing the nervous system (studies show it lowers cortisol stress hormone output, regulating the stress response and combating feelings of anxiety and depression).


Peaches are fabulous for our digestive system - one medium peach provides approximately 10% of our daily minimum fibre requirement. They’re rich in insoluble fibre, which bulks up the stool to prevent constipation, as well as soluble fibre that feeds ‘beneficial’ gut bacteria. These good strains of bacteria ferment upon insoluble fibre and produce short chain fatty acids/SCFA’s. SCFA’s nourish the cells of your gut lining, keeping the intestinal wall healthy, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Robust levels of short chain fatty acids reduce the incidence of IBS and IBD (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s).


Peaches are also heart-healthy, as studies have shown the fibres from peaches binds to bile acids & cholesterol in intestines, helping to excrete these compounds out of the bowel (in faeces) preventing them from being reabsorbed back up to the liver, increasing blood fats and systemic toxicity.


Peaches are rich in antioxidant plant compounds such as quercetin, Vitamin C (one peach provides 13% of our recommended dietary allowance/RDA) and provitamin A/betacarotene (approx 20% of the RDA), that dampen inflammation and boost immunity. Vitamin A supports the production of Secretory IgA, the first line of defence antibody in all secretions in our mucosal surfaces, such as the gut, respiratory tract, vagina, and urinary tract linings. Vitamin C and A also provide the building-blocks for collagen production (fending off wrinkles), and protect from the damaging oxidative effects of UV sunlight and pollution.


Not only can this fruit make you pretty as a peach, studies reveal postmenopausal women who consumed 2-3 peaches (or nectarines) each day had a 41% lower risk of breast cancer over 24 years.


If you're not a fan of peach juice dripping down your wrist, consider getting your 2 peaches a day from this sweet, refreshing summer drink. Unlike many shop-bought sodas, this beverage contains NO citric acid (a preservative and flavouring). No longer sourced from lemon juice, citric acid is now derived from a process of Aspergillus Niger mould fermenting GMO corn (yuck!). Consumption of citric acid is a major cause of bloating, gas and digestive upset (double yuck!). You also WON'T find any 'flavourings' or 'natural flavourings' - code name, Monosodium glutamate/MSG. MSG is a 'neurotoxic' chemical that excites, inflames and destroys nerves and brain cells, and it's a significant trigger of anxiety and depression. Adios Coca Cola and Dr Pepper! Hola Peach & Lavender Fizz!


Ingredients:

1/4 cup (60ml) wild or raw honey

1/4 cup (60ml) filtered water

2 cups of unpeeled white peaches or donut peaches cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 Sprigs of fresh lavender

Sparkling water

Ice cubes

1 Lemon or lime (optional)


Method:

1. In a medium saucepan over a low heat, add the wild or raw honey, filtered water and peach chunks. Cook the peaches gently until they are just softened. Be careful not to bring to a boil or overcook.

2. When the peaches are ready, remove from the heat. Add the lavender ‘flowers’ and leave to infuse and cool slightly (approx 10-15 mins). Puree the mixture in a blender and decant into a glass bottle or storage container.

3. When ready to serve, fill each of the glasses with ice, then 1 part peach and lavender puree to 3 parts sparkling water. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice if desired. Stir well to combine and serve with a sprig of lavender and a few slices of peach.





Research

Fung TT et al (2013) Intake of specific fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer among post-menopausal women Breast Cancer Res Treat 138 3 925-930

Hosseini S et al (2016) Effect of lavender essence inhalation on the level of anxiety and blood cortisol in candidates for open heart surgery Irran J Nurs Midwifery Res 21 4 397-401

Huda-Fauian N et al (2010) The Impact of the level of the Intestinal Short Chain Fatty Acids in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Versus Healthy Subjects Open Biochem J 4 53-58

Fredericks E et al (2020) Short Chain Fatty Acids and Monocarboxylate Transporters in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Turk J Gastroenterology 31 12 840-847











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