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Staying healthy takes two things: pushing yourself in the gym, and restricting yourself in the kitchen. While some people find it easy, and might even enjoy pushing themselves in the gym, it is no doubt that restricting the food you eat sucks for everyone. Cravings for the foods that you used to enjoy overindulging in come on even stronger when your restrict your diet.

Fruit infused water is a great way to satisfy these cravings while barely adding any calories to your diet, helping you burn fat and improve your heart health at the same time! Here are some of the best fruit-infused water recipes for cardiovascular health and weight loss:

Honeydew-Kiwi Water

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Honeydew melons is one of the sweetest fruits available. It is full of natural, healthy sugars that don’t get stored as fat and instead provide you with energy throughout the day. This also makes it great for satisfying your sweet tooth without breaking your diet.

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Kiwis are rich in fiber, which helps improve your digestion, making sure you get the most out of your food and don’t experience hunger cravings. It is also very low in energy density, which means that it provides you with plenty of energy without adding excess calories to your diet.

Chop up two cups of honeydew melon, and peel and slice one full kiwi. Fill a  jug up with water, throw your melon and kiwi in and let it sit. You can begin drinking from it immediately, or wait until the water absorbs more of the fruit’s nutrients.

Strawberry-Blueberry Water

blueberry

Both strawberries and blueberries have been proven to be incredibly beneficial to heart health. One study found that women who ate more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing a heart attack.

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Researchers attributed these heart-protective benefits to the flavonoids found in both of these berries called anthocyanins. These are antioxidants that give the berries their unique colors, and prevent heart attacks by preventing the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries.

To make strawberry-blueberry infused water, slice one cup of strawberries into halves. Put them in a jug of water along with one cup of blueberries and let it sit.

Lemon-Cucumber Water

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The lemon-cucumber combination is a classic when it comes to infused waters, and for good reason. Both citrus fruits and cucumber have been proven to boost blood flow, which can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, including incidences of strokes and heart attacks.

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Cucumbers are a healthy, low-calorie source of potassium, a mineral which greatly benefits fluid balance and overall blood flow in the body. Multiple studies have linked consumption of potassium with lower blood pressure. Researchers believe that potassium increases the elasticity of the arteries, allowing them to widen appropriately to accommodate blood flow.

One study found that citrus fruits could help improve blood flow and circulation by testing how warm they made you. The participants were split up into two groups: a group who drank a solution containing phytonutrients from citrus fruits, and a group who drank a placebo.

Participants were than placed in a highly air-conditioned room and had their body temperatures measured. Researchers found that participants who drank the citrus solution lost body temperature at half the speed that placebo drinkers did. Researchers attributed this steadying of blood flow to the phytonutrients found in citrus fruits.

Overall, fruit-infused water is easy to make, improves your heart health, and can help you lose weight by acting as a almost zero-calorie replacement to sugar-filled fruit juices.

For more infused water ideas, click here.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319811

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/121112p50.shtml

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3468671/High-blood-pressure-Try-glass-orange-juice-Citrus-reduce-risk-stroke.html

Image sources:

http://cache.trustedpartner.com/images/library/PalmBeachIllustrated2010/News%20&%20Blogs/Dining/Weekend%20in%20Cocktails/August%2010/kiwi-infused-vodka.jpg

http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/images/1HT03755/blueberry.jpg

https://goodmotherdiet.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lemon-water-e1401467164981.jpg

http://blog.weddingsnap.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Fruit-Infused-Water1-1024×512.jpg

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