Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Healthy Drinks

Depending on your age, gender and body composition, 50 to 75% of your body is water. An average, healthy adult loses about 10 cups of water daily through perspiration, urination and expiration. To maintain hydration, daily intake should equal daily losses. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily can be challenging, so vary your hydration routine with a variety of healthy beverages.  Here’s a few ideas…

Coconut water
Coconut water has gained popularity for its crisp and refreshing taste. Coconut water contains less sugar, acidity and calories compared to soft drinks – but more electrolytes. Coconut water is excellent for rehydration. When researchers in Malaysia compared the rehydration efficacy of water, sports drinks and coconut water – coconut water proved the best for whole body rehydration and was better tolerated by the athletes. Interestingly, coconut water has also demonstrated benefits to those suffering from dehydration due to diarrhea. Check the ingredients panel for added sugars or undesirable preservatives when purchasing coconut water.  

Green and Herbal teas
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants and regular consumption has been shown to reduce risk for several cancers including breast, skin, lung and bladder. Green tea consumption has also been associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and a 45-65% reduction in hypertension risk. Enjoy green tea warmed with honey or over ice. Chamomile, peppermint and spearmint teas are naturally caffeine-free and believed to benefit digestion.

Non-dairy nut milk
Almond, coconut and soy milk are available in health food stores and most major grocery chains.  Almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts are all nutritious options.  Almond milk, for example, contains the same amount of Calcium as cow’s milk with fewer calories. One cup of almond milk supplies 25% and 50% of the Vitamin D and Vitamin E daily requirements, respectively. Non-dairy milks are lactose-free and an excellent option for the lactose-sensitive. Add nut milk to baking recipes, smoothies, or granola – or substitute for milk or cream in ice cream recipes. Enjoy nut milk warmed with honey as a comforting beverage or on ice mixed with cinnamon and chai spices for a rich and creamy treat.

Green juice
Green juice is an easy way to meet your daily vegetable quota and benefit from easily digestible vitamins and minerals, albeit without the fiber. There is no scientific evidence that drinking your vegetables is more beneficial to your health than eating them; however, if you don’t eat vegetables, juicing may be a fun way to incorporate them into your diet. Make sure your juicing ingredients are as fresh as possible and store juice in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Smoothies are a fun and refreshing way to hydrate and add fruits and/or vegetables to your and your family’s diets. Fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories – but generally rich in both vitamin C and fiber – both of which have numerous demonstrated health benefits. Vitamin C is central to immune function and promotes cellular healing. Fiber is important for proper bowel function; regular consumption reduces risk of constipation and diverticulosis. Adding spinach to a strawberry-banana smoothie is a sneaky but probable way to incorporate a green vegetable into a toddler’s diet. Try blending a frozen banana, cup of coconut milk, scoop of nut butter and drizzle of honey for a satisfying and hydrating treat.

Harvard Health Publications: Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Global Healing Center: Benefits of Coconut Water
PBS: Juicing

Written By:
Sara Police, PhD


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