Health Drinks: What Should You Be Drinking?
With the stream of so many drinks like teas, kombucha, coconut water, fruit juices, smoothies, protein shakes, and flavored waters, it’s confusing to know what is healthy and what isn’t. First and foremost, water is the best drink for you. Water is cheap, accessible, and sugar and calorie free. It’s the perfect drink because it provides exactly what the body needs, restoring lost fluids, quenching thirst and restoring hydration. However, if you’re like most people you like variety in your drinks. Here are a few healthy drink options:
Fruit Infused Water: If you are thirsty but need that extra something to keep you satisfied, fruit infused water is perfect for you. Infusing water with fruits and herbs keeps you happy without the drawback of extra calories, sugars and sweeteners. Before making your drink, be sure to wash your produce to remove chemicals and pesticides. Softer fruits like lemon, lime, and berries can be sliced thick or thin, but harder fruits like apples need to be cut thinly because they take longer to release flavors. You can also add herbs such as: rosemary, ginger root, mint and basil to release oils.
Lemon Water: Lemon water can provide some vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Lemon water boosts mood and energy levels, as well as your immune system (slightly). Some claim the drink improves mental and digestive health, and the high amounts of antioxidants help keep skin looking fresh. Resist the temptation to dump sugar into the lemon water. Once you drink lemon water without sugar a few times, you’ll find that it satisfies without the sugar.
Kale Juice: With its varied health benefits, kale can’t help but be involved when discussing a contestants for healthiest drink. The leafy green contains high amounts of iron (one of the most important nutrients for your body), is low in calories, boosts heart health, detoxifies the body, fights cancer, improves eye health and fights inflammation. Although the leafy green may not be the tastiest to some paletes, it serves a great purpose!
Kale Juice Recipe
You’ll need: a juicer
- 1 cup dinosaur kale
- 1 cup red russian kale
- 1/2 medium cucumber
- 2 apples (honeycrisp or fuji)
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1/2 inch ginger
Run all ingredients through a juicer, chill, and serve. Some other ingredients to try to change it up include mint and coconut water.
Cranberry Juice: If you need some big flavors in your beverages, you won’t be disappointed with cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is filled with vitamin C, salicylic acid, and antioxidants. Cranberry juice improves cardiovascular health, dental health, and bone health. Aside from providing you with nutrients, it also prevents urinary tract infections, respiratory infections and cancer. Watch out for added sugar!
Kombucha: What is it? Kombucha is a fermented beverage containing probiotics, antioxidants and polyphenols (micronutrients). The fermentation process creates large amounts of healthy bacteria that support the immune system. Other benefits include: nutrient absorption, decreased risk of developing allergies and diseases, body detoxing and increased energy levels. Warning – not all kombucha’s are created equal, so be cautious when choosing. Some kombucha’s may contain high amounts of sugar and/or a trace amounts of alcohol.
Milk: Milk is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, Vitamins A, D, B-12, and niacin. If you’re one with allergies, soy milk is a great option, it’s also packed with Vitamin D, protein and calcium. Because milk is high in calories, adults should limit their intake.
Tea: Tea is filled with many health benefits. Certain teas contain antioxidants which help protect your body from free radicals and dangerous chemicals. Tea boosts the immune system, decreases the risk of cancer, soothes digestive system, and is a great no-calorie alternative to water.
Top Herbal Teas to Try
Numi Honeybush: Taken from a flowering shrub in South Africa.
Harney&Sons Rooibos: An herb indigenous to South Africa, vanilla tasting, and calming.
Rose Hips: A great source of vitamin C, intriguing flavor.
Trader Joe’s Red Refresh: Hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass, peppermint, orange peel, lemon verbena, wild cherry bark.