By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine
There was coconut water, maple water, and now we have birch water.
Head to the health food store and you’ll see this ‘new’ health beverage filling up the fridge. This stuff is becoming increasingly popular in the health food world and for good reason.
Birch water is literally the sap tapped straight from the birch tree, which grows in the Northern Hemisphere. While it may be new to us in Australia, birch water has been enjoyed for its flavour and health properties in Eastern Europe as well as Russia and Scandinavia for some time. Also referred to as the ‘Tree of Life’, a birch tree drinks 300 litres of water each day and therefore contains several thousand litres of sap. Through its natural root filtering system, the birch sap is purified and gains nutrients.
For optimum flavour, birch sap has to be harvested in early spring – when the sap tastes sweet and the nutrients are most concentrated. If it’s left too late, the sap can become bitter.
With a soft, pleasantly sweet (but not sickly sweet) flavour, birch water tastes like springtime. It’s delicious cold and straight up, like in BIRK’s Original Birch Tree Water, or paired with other natural ingredients – try it with fresh ginger or orange slices, or a squeeze of lemon.
We’re also loving BIRK’s naturally flavoured range of Birch Tree Water at GoodnessMe Box HQ – the Ginger and Lime has the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and sour, and the Elderflower is a great non-alcoholic beverage to serve over the silly season to health conscious guests.
A natural source of electrolytes and trace minerals, birch water’s nutritional profile is similar to other health waters, like coconut water and maple water. See it as a healthy alternative to highly processed sports drinks to replenish you on a hot day or post-workout – minus the undesirable artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.
Because birch water contains natural sugars, it isn’t kilojoule free, however it’s still low in kilojoules and more nutritious than refined sugar sweetened drinks that we tend to crave in the summer.
Birch water’s subtle sweetness is also largely thanks to its xylitol content, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol in the sap. Besides helping to prevent tooth decay, xylitol has a low GI and so provides a steady energy supply, unlike high GI refined sugar - which can give you a blood sugar spike and crash.
Good quality brands of birch water – like Sealand BIRK - are also organic, so you can be assured that your beverage is free from nasties like pesticides.
Sealand BIRK Birch Water: An explosive fluid that is a real boost for the body and soul! No preservatives, no additives. Sealand BIRK is born organic. There is no point in trying to improve on nature.
Find out more head to www.sealandbirk.com