The 10 Healthiest Drinks

The 10 Healthiest Drinks

 

Expand your beverage repertoire with these nutritious drinks that quench your thirst and improve your health.
By 
Aileen Brabazon

 

Thirsty? Instead of reaching for pop or syrupy juice, which are high in empty calories and unhealthy ingredients, turn your tongue onto a healthier beverage, such as green tea. It’s loaded with antioxidants that boost your immune system and metabolism.

Get ready to guzzle cupfuls of goodness — here are 10 healthy drinks your body will love.

Water

1)Water

Drink more water than any other beverage. It is the healthiest drink of all because it keeps you alive. But there are other reasons why you need to consume plenty of H2O.

Water is:

– an important part of digestion
– necessary for the absorption of water-solution vitamins C and Bs
– vital for excreting waste from your body
– needed for sweat
– an essential component of blood

So drink up to ensure your body runs optimally. Have about 8 8-ounce glasses a day — more when you have dehydrating drinks, such ascoffee and alcohol, or sweat a lot.

TIP: Bored of plain old H2O? Infuse it with wedges of lemon or lime, slices of cucumber or sprigs of fresh mint.

Pomegranate juice

2)Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is powerful. Research shows the ruby nectar is packed with antioxidants that may help prevent inflammation, heart disease, lung cancer and prostate cancer. So have a glass a day!

TIP: Some bottles are diluted with other liquids or are sweetened with unhealthy sugar. Check the ingredient list to ensure you’re drinking pure pomegranate juice.

Fresh veggie juice

3)Fresh veggie juice

Drink a salad. Seriously. There are many benefits to sipping on freshly juiced vegetables, such as carrots, cucumber, celery and dark leafy greens (think kale, spinach and romaine lettuce).

For one, it’s an easy way to stuff several different types of veggies, which are rich in the vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy, into your diet. And, as Kris Carr writes in Crazy Sexy Diet, “It (juicing) reduces inflammation, cleanses the body, regulates the bowels, and can even help peel off extra pounds.”

TIP: You can easily make a veggie cocktail at home if you have a juicer. Alternately, treat yourself to one from a local juice bar. Just avoid relying on bottled varieties — they’re often high in sodium.

Kefir

4)Kefir

Add a little zing and a lot of nutrition to your day by drinking kefir, a fermented milk beverage. Here’s what you’ll get in a glass:

– Calcium
– Protein
– Magnesium
– Vitamin B12

Kefir also provides a healthy dose of probiotics — more so than yogurt — which help maintain the good bacteria in your gut and boost your immune system.

TIP: Kefir is available at most grocery and health food stores in the dairy section. Choose low fat varieties without sugar (it’s unhealthy!).

Ginger tea

5)Ginger tea

Ginger has long been known to soothe digestive upset and even relieve nausea associated with motion sickness and pregnancy, so brew up a cup of ginger tea and sip your stomachache away.

Similarly, as naturopath Michael Murray says in The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, the root contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which can help relieve arthritis pain (when arthritis sufferers consume ginger regularly).

TIP: To make a brew, steep one or two thin slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. If you wish, add a dash of honey to soften its spiciness.

Beetroot juice

6)Beetroot juice

Cheers to beets. Their crimson juice can help lower your blood pressure and increase your stamina. A study out of the University of Exeter found that it helps people exercise for 16 per cent longer due to its nitrate content.

Meanwhile, another study found that a daily dose increases the blood flow to the brains in older adults, which could slow the progression of dementia, reports Science Daily.

TIP: You can juice beets at home, order it from a juice bar or buy it bottled at some health food stores.

Concord grape juice

7)Concord grape juice

Quiz time! Concord grape juice can:

A. Raise your cholesterol
B. Lower your cholesterol
C. Improve your vision
D. Boost your metabolism
E. None of the above
F. All of the above

Answer:

B. The juice from purple grapes, such as Concords, has heart-protective properties, courtesy of their antioxidants, and may reduce your risk of blood clots, reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lower blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

TIP: All juices are higher in calories, so drink in moderation (ie: one cup a day). You can find pure Concord grape juice in most grocery and health food stores.

Lemon juice

8)Lemon juice

Pucker up! This tart juice can do your body good. In Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Dr. Elson Haas reports that lemon juice helps with digestion and cleanses the liver.

What’s more, this citrus contains a lot of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and may help prevent some cancers.

TIP: Here’s a refreshing way to get lemon juice into your day: Fill an ice cube tray with freshly squeezed lemon juice, then freeze. Pop the cubes into a glass of water for a cooling summer drink.

Smoothies

9)Smoothies

In the mood for a milkshake? Since they’re unhealthy, try a smoothieinstead. Made right, they can be the perfect liquid breakfast or snack. They offer the opportunity to blend together nutrient-dense and fibre-filled fruits with lean sources of protein to create a balanced meal.

Here’s what to toss in the blender:

– Berries: They’re high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin C and low in calories.
– Bananas: They’re high in potassium and also in natural sugars, so just use half.
– Low-fat, unsweetened yogurt: It’s rich in bone-building calcium and a good source of protein. For a thinner smoothie, add a splash of milk or a non-dairy beverage (think soy or almond milk).

TIP: For a fibre boost, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to your smoothie.

 



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