Switchel could perhaps be one of the earlier thirst quenchers as it became a favorite drink during colonial times. Some say that the drink originated in the Caribbean, but others believe it has its origin in the New England colonies. This may be termed as the soft drink, energy drink or vitamin water of old. In any case, switchel is not only a thirst quencher or a refresher during those hot summer days but also an energizing, healthful drink. The four main ingredients are water, vinegar, ginger, and a sweetener. Initially, a switchel was a mixture of water, vinegar, and sweeteners only. Ginger was later added to prevent the occurrence of bloating.
Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Body fluids and minerals get lost because of physical activities or when feeling under the weather. After such conditions, we usually will experience some or all types of body discomforts. These include headaches, muscle aches, heart palpitations, anxiety, joint pains, stomach cramps, lack of concentration, dizziness, and fatigue. Drinking a solution of electrolytes can immediately replenish the lost water and minerals which can include calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sodium. The vinegar used in switchel is the apple cider type, and this is rich in potassium. Maple syrup can provide potassium too, together with magnesium, sodium, and calcium. What makes switchel unique is that it's a natural drink that can help maintain the balance of electrolytes.
Drinking switchel can also help in soothing digestion issues. The ginger ingredient works to ease out or prevent upset stomachs. Furthermore, it can prevent the occurrence of bloating. Again, switchel offers a natural remedy to physiological issues like stomach problems, eliminating toxins in the body, strengthening the immune system, and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
An active component of ginger is gingerol, and this is a useful and strong pain reliever. As an ingredient in switchel, it can work just like the medications that you can purchase over-the-counter and which are commonly used in alleviating pain. The great thing about this is that there are no side effects. A few shots of switchel will make inflammations in your body subside. Think of the savings you can make against OTC painkillers.
Health-wise, maple syrup, is an excellent sweetener. This is rich in minerals as well as antioxidants, all of which can benefit the body. It's the best substitute for processed sugar when making switchel. Being directly drawn from the sap of maple trees, there is very little processing involved, unlike refined sugar. It's more expensive but health benefits-wise as a sweetener, maple syrup is tops. It's also a healthier choice instead of using sugar in making baked goods and desserts.
Another switchel ingredient that can give benefits to the body is apple cider vinegar. Aside from the earlier discussed electrolyte benefits, apple cider vinegar also helps in balancing the body's pH levels, protecting the heart, maintaining levels of blood sugar, aiding in the digestive process by promoting the growth of "good" gut bacteria, and supporting proper weight loss. Many people today mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water for health benefits. This sounds and tastes unpleasant to many. Fortunately, a switchel shot offers a more appealing way to consume apple cider vinegar.
Many of our food recipes today have ginger as an ingredient because the root can enhance the taste of food. Better still are the benefits derived from ginger. It helps in controlling cholesterol, reducing blood sugar levels, helping in the prevention of digestive issues like bloating, indigestion, and nausea, and improves blood circulation too. Aside from minerals, ginger also has very beneficial antioxidant properties which can help in improving mental processes, attention spans, reaction time, and working memory.
After a heavy workout or some strenuous physical activity, drink some switchel. It's an excellent and healthful post-workout tonic. Ginger, again, is the main ingredient in the tonic because of its ability to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory enzymes associated with pains and aches caused by intense exercise or physical activity. Ginger is also effective against inflammations such as arthritis, depression, eczema, and physical signs of aging. Amazingly, ginger is a natural remedy for reducing inflammations. Some inflammations, especially internal ones, can be dangerous and can cause severe pain.
Honey is another natural sweetener which has its benefits. However, maple syrup has been the traditional sweetener when making switchel. This is the best alternative to refined or artificial sugars because it comes directly from the sap of the maple tree. It's natural. Furthermore, maple syrup contains several good minerals like calcium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, and zinc. Being a sweetener that's plant-based, maple syrup contains various antioxidants, 63 types to be exact.
This healthy tonic can be easily prepared in the comforts of your kitchen. All of the ingredients may already be there. Think of all the benefits you get from each switchel shot. You have healthy doses of electrolytes, potassium, sodium, and calcium. You can quickly make it yourself although we now have brands of switchel available in the market now. Some have even discovered that switchel can be an excellent mixer for your favorite alcohol drinks.
Switchel can also help in balancing the pH levels in the body. If taken regularly, you can get all the benefits that apple cider vinegar has to offer. Potassium, probiotics, magnesium, and more are all found in ACV, and they all help in promoting the health. These include a healthy digestive tract and the detoxification process where it helps the liver in ridding the body of toxins and wastes.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.