L-R: lemon, original and mint flavour birch water
It's been heralded 'the new coconut water' and is already being consumed in the United States by the health conscious. As I'm always interested in trying new health products, I was very excited to be given the opportunity by TreeVitalise to sample some of their organic birch water for myself.
What on earth is birch water?Sounds strange, but it's actually tree sap. Yes, really – it's water from inside a tree. During the first weeks of spring in the Carpathian Mountains when the sun comes out and the snow melts, the roots of the birch tree absorb the new water and draw it up into the tree, giving it new life for the year ahead. This is when the tree is tapped to extract some of the nutrient-dense, health-giving water for us to drink.
Why would I want to drink tree sap?Birch water has been drunk for hundreds of years in Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia and Northern China where it's well known for its health benefits. It's packed with antioxidants, electrolytes, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals including calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. I'd call that a great nutritional profile.
Birch sap is an ideal detox drink – as a natural diuretic, it's believed to flush out toxins such as alcohol, excess salt, uric acid, urea, phosphates, ammonia and pesticides from the liver and kidneys (basically helping them to do their job well) and therefore cleanse the body. It's also thought to lower cholesterol, eliminate cellulite and rejuvenate skin cells.
Birch trees in spring
It has very few ingredients and there's no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The original (plain) flavour just contains organic undiluted birch tree sap and citric acid. The mint flavour contains these two ingredients plus organic dried mint and the lemon one contains lemon juice and lemon peel. All three flavours contain just 9 calories per 250ml bottle. Not bad at all.
What does it taste like?The original flavour tastes like plain water with a slightly sweet edge to it (this is due to xylitol – a naturally occurring sugar). It kind of reminded me of when it's been raining and you go outside and everything smells all fresh (so, yeah – to me, birch water tastes like rain!) The lemon flavour has a very subtle lemony taste but the mint one is my favourite. It tastes like fresh mint leaves and is very refreshing. You can tell there's nothing fake and no nasty ingredients in these drinks.
Where can I buy some birch water for myself?TreeVitalise's website has a list of UK stockists.
Have you ever tried birch water? What did you think of it?
Thanks to Zahra from TreeVitalise who sent me a selection of their birch waters to review. If you have a health/fitness/nutrition related product you'd like me to review, you can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via Twitter. I will aim to post my review within a week of receiving your product and will always give my honest opinion.
Also in the 'Have You Ever Heard of' series:Pineberries and Kiwi Berries
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