Refreshing Summertime Drinks

<alt="Raspberry Lemonade"/>Are you hosting a BBQ this summer for your friends and family? Maybe you’re planning a great summer supper with all of your favorite seasonal ingredients. If you’re like us, we love hosting get-togethers and fun parties for our loved ones in the summer. You enjoy planning the event, picking out the right dishes to serve, and creating signature drinks for your guests to enjoy.

For a refreshing alternative to cocktails and punches, how about offering some delicious fruit waters to your guests? These waters are not only great for staying hydrated in the sun, but they’re also great for those guests who may not drink alcoholic beverages or want a “lighter” libation alternative.

Here are some great fruit waters to make and serve at your next summer party:

Cinnamon Apple Water

For a great water that both adults and kids alike will enjoy, mix up a pitcher of cinnamon apple water. Cut up your favorite apple—or add a few different varieties—and sitr in some fresh cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, place your water pitcher in the fridge for a few hours, and you’re all set! This water is perfect for sipping at parties, as well as when you’re lounging by the pool or sitting on the beach. You’ll stay hydrated, fuller longer, and cleansed of harmful toxins.

Cucumber, Ginger, and Lemon Delight

Cut up some cucumber, wedge lemons, slice up fresh ginger, and add all of your ingredients to a large pitcher of ice water. The cucumber and citrus not only give this fruit water a great flavor, but these ingredients also have detox properties that cleanse the body of toxins, stimulates fat burn, and boosts your metabolism.

Watermelon Refresher

Who doesn’t love biting into a juicy watermelon when it’s hot and sunny outside? This watermelon drink is suitable as an everyday treat, or a crowd pleaser at your next outdoor dinner. Slice up and muddle some watermelon—and remember to take out the seeds first! You can even create watermelon or mint ice cubes to include in your pitchers for a tasty and visually stunning surprise. Watermelon keeps your liver and kidneys clean and healthy, making this fruit water one of the best choices to include on your beverage table.

Triple Berry Threat

This one is a true favorite of ours. If you’re hosting a party, a bridal shower, a dinner with friends, or even your kids’ birthday parties this summer, try making this tasty fruit water. Slice up some local strawberries, pop in some fresh blueberries, and add in ripe raspberries to a pitcher of cold water. Add berry or mint ice cubes to the water, and voila: an instant hit. Hosting a party? Berries are known for their cancer- and age-fighting properties, so you’ll help stave off cancer and keep your skin beautiful and clean this summer!

Have a favorite fruit water recipe you love? Share the recipe with us below.

Reducing Risk: Common Factors that Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer

breast cancer risksThe American Cancer Society estimates that the lifetime risk of a woman developing breast cancer to be 13% in 2012—more than one in 8. Furthermore, 75% of all women with breast cancer today have no known risk factors, or anything that would potentially increase a person’s chance of developing cancer.

Though having a cancer risk factor, or even several of them, does not necessarily mean that a person will get cancer, it’s always a good idea to reduce risk as much as possible. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer—such as being a woman, age, and genetics—can’t be changed. Other factors, like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking cigarettes, and eating nutritious food, are dictated by a person’s choices. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options, you can make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible, and find empowerment in your good decisions.

Family History: Though you cannot change your heritage or genetics, being aware of your family’s history means you’re more inclined to protect yourself against diseases that are prevalent in your family tree. Research shows that women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancerhave a higher risk of developing the disease. If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average. A family history of cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus, or colon increases your risk. Female descendants of Eastern and Central European Jews (Ashkenazi) also face increased risk. Caucasian women are at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer than are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women. The exception to this is African-American women, who are more likely to have breast cancer than whites under the age of 40. If you inherited risk, you can minimize its development by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, adhering to a nutritious diet, exercising, and abstaining from alcohol.

  • Alcohol Consumption: Compared to nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk, and those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have a 15% higher risk than women who do not drink. That risk goes up another 10% for each additional drink women have regularly each day. (Note: one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor). Research shows that alcohol of any sort can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells. The bottom line is that regularly drinking alcohol can harm your health, even if you don’t binge drink or get drunk.
  • Smoking: Smoking causes a number of diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. Research also demonstrates that there may be link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Smoking also can increase complications from breast cancer treatment, including damage to the lungs from radiation therapy, difficulty healing after surgery and breast reconstruction, and an increased risk of blood clots when taking hormonal therapy medicines. To reduce your risk associated with smoking, the only solution is to quit smoking [] immediately.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Diet is thought to be a main contributor for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. Though no food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer, some foods can boost your immune system and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible. Getting the nutrients you need from a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can give your body the energy it needs to fight off infection and disease. Eating food grown without pesticides may also protect against unhealthy cell changes associated with pesticide use. Additionally, avoiding high-fat diets can also decrease breast cancer risk factors. Overweight women are thought to be at higher risk for breast cancer because the extra fat cells produce estrogen, which can cause extra breast cell growth and lead to the development of breast cancer.
  • Exercise: Research shows that exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for 4 to 7 hours per week can lower the risk of breast cancer. Exercise consumes and controls blood sugar and limits insulin spikes in the bloodstream—an important preventative measure considering insulin is a hormone affects how breast cells grow and behave. People who exercise regularly tend to be healthier and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. As we mentioned earlier, extra fat produces more estrogen. When breast cells are exposed to extra estrogen over time, the risk of developing breast cancer is higher Limiting fat in your diet is necessary for good health, and it is equally important to burn extra fat cells with exercise as an additional preventative measure.

What are some ways you combat the risk of developing breast cancer?