Citrus fruit is so popular this time of year. It is so cool and refreshing in a pitcher of ice cold water with your favorites: oranges, lemons and limes and of course, a sprig of mint.

Why is citrus fruit so important to your anti-cancer health?

Antioxidants called flavonoids are in citrus fruit. They help to prevent the growth and spread of tumors. Certain flavonoids also been shown to have cancer-fighting properties which help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and suppress the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis).

Research points to the role of citrus fruit in lowering bladder and breast cancer risk.

So this week your mission is to add some citrus fruit to your diet. Rebecca Katz has the perfect spa inspired, citrus drink with a hint of herbs she calls Spa in a Pitcher.

If you’ve ever had a Pimm’s cocktail (or Pimm’s Cup as it’s known among the British faithful), you know it often contains a variety of herbs and sliced fruits. I was watching a friend make his version of a Pimm’s cocktail with orange, lemon, cucumber peel, and a secret herb blend when I thought, “Wow, that looks so refreshing; it’s like going to a spa!” Of course the 50 proof Pimm’s had to go (sorry, folks), but I could work around that.

What I wanted to create was something that would inspire people to drink, because hydration is so vital to maintaining the body’s equilibrium, especially in hot weather. This tonic is like art floating in a chilled pitcher, with thin rounds of orange, lemon, and cucumber interspersed with sprigs of thyme and mint. MAKES 8 CUPS

1 orange, thinly sliced into rounds
1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
1 unpeeled English cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
3 sprigs fresh thyme, tarragon, or mint or fennel fronds, or a combination
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
8 cups water or sparkling water

Put the orange, lemon, cucumber, herbs, and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Press the fruit, cucumber, and herbs against the bottom of the pitcher with a wooden spoon, pushing down and twisting slightly to release their juices and volatile oils. Add the water and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Variation: In place of the water, use a weak tea made with 8 cups of boiling water and 4 chamomile, ginger, or green tea bags. Let the tea cool to room temperature before adding it to the pitcher.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Rebecca says that as a culinary translator, she simplifies the science of food to your plate and gives you that “YUM” factor.

More Reading
The World’s Healthiest Foods – Flavonoids
Citrus Fruits shown to be Antiangiogenic and Reduce Risk for some Cancers

More Recipes
Lemon Gremolata Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
Orange, Carrot, Ginger Juice (No Added Sugar, Dairy and Gluten Free)
Guacamole with Sunkist Lime


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