Beverages are something we love to include and partner with our meals, and they are actually essential to our everyday lives. As we go through our daily tasks, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to combat stress and fatigue, and it helps in keeping us refreshed and ready to take on the things that are lined up for us to work on. Just like with the food we consume, not all drinks are created equal. There are some drinks that are best avoided, and there are some that can give you more than just a refreshing feeling: they’re actually good for you.
While a lot of people do enjoy drinking a wide variety of beverages, there are some that you would do well to avoid. These are the drinks that come laden with refined sugar or, for those zero sugar options that are available in the market, aspartame. Sports drinks are also not the best beverage option because of the high sodium content in them. This means that being careful with what you drink is just as important as being mindful of what you eat all throughout the day.
Sugar is an ingredient that is easily found in a lot of products found in grocery stores. It comes in a different names and it could be easy to miss if you’re not familiar with the many labels attributed to sugar. Because of this, a lot of drinks which are touted to be good for you such as fruit juices, lose their nutritional credibility. Excess consumption of sugar can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
Sugar can cause a lot of serious health problems.
Aspartame is a sugar replacement that’s meant to sweeten beverages without the use of refined sugar and promises a lower calorie drink. However, research has shown that aspartame, which is usually found in diet or zero-calorie beverages, brings with it side effects that are detrimental to one’s health. Aspartame has been determined to be just as dangerous as refined sugar - if not more so. It has been found to cause certain types of cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue, and mental retardation. Counting calories no longer seem to be that important when you realize just how dangerous this product is which can be found not just in drinks but in a lot of food as well such as cereals, medicine, and breath mints.
On the other hand, sodium, while an essential nutrient for our bodies, is not good for us if taken in high dosage. Sodium can cause your blood pressure to spike because it retains a lot of fluid in the body which then puts unnecessary pressure to the heart. Too much sodium can also put you at risk for kidney failure, stomach ulcers, and stroke. While sports drinks can retain some of the electrolytes you lose when you workout, it’s not exactly the best choice available because they do contain sugar or aspartame aside from their sodium content.
Unknown to a lot of people, there are many beverage options that you can have or that you can make which are not only delicious but are also incredibly healthy for you. These beverages not only bring you the refreshment that you need, it also brings health benefits that you may have overlooked in favor of the usual beverage options that are available in the market. These are beverages that you can enjoy in your home, at work, or as you go about doing your errands and most of them are also readily available in stores - or the ingredients to make them are, at least. You just have to be on the lookout for them.
Water, quite obviously, should be on top of your beverage list. Water does more than just making you feel refreshed, your body actually needs it. All the cells, organs, muscles, and tissues in your body need water to function properly. It also helps in expelling wastes from your body and it aids in digestion. An adult is required to drink at least 8 full glasses of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Actually, you should drink as much water as you needed. Your urine is a good measure of telling if you’ve been drinking enough water: as long as it’s running clear, it means you have kept yourself well hydrated.
Water should be your #1 beverage of choice
Green tea is a great detox beverage
Red wine is known to be a heart-friendly drink
Green Tea is a popular drink across Asia, specifically in Japan, and is already widely available globally. This refreshing drink contains polyphenols which help in fighting inflammations, fighting free radicals, and in fighting certain types of cancer such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Green tea has also been found to be helpful in weight management and helps improve physical performance due to its caffeine content.The same chemical that gives you that extra boost of energy also helps in boosting brain productivity, and helps to lower a person’s anxiety. Green tea has also shown effective in boosting cardiovascular health by reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body which is one of the main reasons for the development of heart disease.
Red wine is a great drink to cap off an amazing meal, and this is often the case when you follow the Mediterranean diet. Not only is this drink a refreshing flavor for your palettes, it also has health benefits which is great news especially for your heart. Red wine is known to be an incredibly heart-friendly drink which helps in neutralizing free radicals that may affect the heart, and also helps in managing blood cholesterol levels while at the same time boosting the good cholesterol in the body. The antioxidants found in wine have also shown to have cancer-fighting benefits because of the antioxidants in it that can manage these free radicals before they cause cellular damage which is one of the ways that cancer cells begin to form.
Green smoothies help add more greens into your diet
All-natural fruit juices are a lot healthier than boxed juice
Coconut water is full of electrolytes and is a natural energy drink
Green Smoothies are an effective way of adding in more vegetables, particularly greens, and fruits into your diet. It’s a great way of starting your day because it comes packed with all of the health benefits of the vegetables and fruits that you put into your smoothie and it still contains the dietary fiber found in the ingredients that you add into it. Green smoothies are low in calories and yet are nutrient dense which helps in making you feel energized without feeling weighed down. Green smoothies are said to provide your body’s daily requirements for certain vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E, and folate. Because the primary ingredient of green smoothies are green, leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach, this means you also get a good amount of calcium into your diet. The benefits of green smoothies also include having high antioxidant levels and being a heart-friendly beverage that helps in reducing cholesterol levels. It’s also a great way of detoxifying your body which is all due to the chlorophyll content that you get from these drinks.
All-natural Fruit Juice is the best way to have your daily dose of fruits which contains a wide range of vitamins that can help in boosting the immune system. Extracting the juice from fresh fruits not only saves you from the added refined sugar that’s usually found in ready-made juice drinks, it also helps in maintaining the nutritional value of the fruit. Because the fruit is in liquid form, it becomes easier for the body to digest it and absorb the nutrients that it imparts which is great news for those wanting to include more plant-based food items in their diet.
Coconut Water is the natural alternative to sports drinks. It contains a high concentration of electrolytes which is similar to what sports drinks are said to offer, but without the added sugar and sodium content. Coconut water is also low in calories and has a good amount of calcium which helps in making our bones stronger, and magnesium which prevents muscle spasms and strains. Coconut water also contains amino acids which are incredibly helpful in muscle building and in muscle repair. This delicious tasting natural drink also contains antioxidants that not only fight oxidative free radicals, it also has cancer-preventing capacities.
Moon Milk is a growing trend that has roots in the Ayurvedic tradition that is said to help in giving us a more peaceful and relaxed sleep. It’s a combination of milk, cinnamon, honey, and your spice or herb of choice which is said to be helpful in procuring that much needed snooze at the end of the day. Milk naturally contains the amino acid tryptophan which actually helps in making you feel relaxed and ready to cap the night off. Cinnamon on the other hand helps in regulating the warmth in our bodies and helps in blood circulation which in turn makes it easier for us to relax and feel at ease. Traditionally, moon milk is made with the ashwagandha which is known to help in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and in managing symptoms of depression.
Hot Chocolate is a great way of warming up especially now that the cool weather has started to envelope us in preparation for Christmas. Cocoa powder is a good source of fiber and iron, and has antioxidants called flavonoids which can help in reducing inflammations, fighting off free radicals, and boosting the immune system. Cocoa is also said to help in boosting brain functions and in helping prevent and/or delay Alzheimer’s disease because it does have an effect on the neurotransmitters on the brain. Hot chocolate also contains serotonin and tryptophan which has amazing effects on your mood and in your stress and anxiety levels.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink created with yeast, sugar, and certain bacteria strains which is rich in probiotics and antioxidants. Kombucha is slowly becoming more popular because of its flavor but also for the amazing health benefits that it contains. The acetic acid that is formed during the fermentation process of kombucha actually helps in fighting off bacterial growth without affecting the good bacteria found both in the drink and in our body. It has also been shown to provide the same health benefits as green tea, and the high levels of antioxidants found in this drink has been found to also be helpful in preventing gene mutations that can lead to the development of cancer.
Bulletproof Coffee is a new way of having your coffee which intends to give you more than just a caffeine boost. This drink which is created using high quality coffee beans and fat derived from good quality organic butter or bone broth, is a great way to jumpstart your morning. It’s a ketogenic diet-friendly drink that’s said to help in making you more focused and in curbing hunger. Bulletproof coffee is also known to help in boosting weight loss and in increasing lean muscle mass.
Knowing that you have options is a great motivator for making the right choices. While some of these drinks may take a little extra effort in making them, they are definitely a much healthier alternative to the ones that you can readily buy in groceries and supermarkets. Making that extra effort for your health is always worth it because you are investing in yourself, and when you invest in yourself, you’re definitely going to reap amazing benefits.
As we say here in Lark Ellen Farm, feed your body, feed your soul. By making the right choices, you not only assure that you will be healthy, you also ensure that everything else that follows suit will have amazing and astounding results.