Anyone up for a drink? Cheers to our health!
It’s no secret to most of us that good old fashioned h2o is the top health drink that we can consume.
Most of the time we hear that it is a common health code to have 8 glasses of water per day. While water is certainly the best choice and we should drink it to almost no end, vegetables and fruits have water content that can make up for any missed glasses of water. So don’t sweat the 8 glasses rule if you’re staying on your fruits and veggies. Also the argument on bottled water versus tap water isn’t as extreme as studies show. The chlorination in tap water blocks the possibility of infectious diseases and has very low risks in comparison with other habits. I mean if you are struggling financially and wanna save on water filters and bottled water, just go for the tap water!
One thing that can rival water in health content is the famous pair mentioned above known as fruits and vegetables. These days many of us are stocking juicers in our kitchens. The great thing about juicing fruits and veggies is that you are not only getting the water and hydration needed, but also the vitamins and minerals fruits and veggies are packed with. Fruit juice in it’s most natural form (not from concentrate or bottled sugar water with artifcial flavors) is very tasty for certain and gives out great benefits. Although fruits are great they can pack on calories in one single glass. Use fruit juicing or blending sparingly. If you are a new comer to fruit juice or blending, then try to ease in by diluting your juice with some water or sparkling water.
Vegetable juice is probably hands down one of the healthiest drinks you could have. The calories are much lighter than fruits and certainly contain less sugars. Dark greens are a super healthy group of vegetables. They create an alkalizing benefit. These alkalizing vegetables are a great aid in cleaning out our digestive system and give us a substantial amount of energy. A few years ago a friend and I went on an alkalizing diet designed by the great Tony Robbins. We were able to stay up for hours and stay happy about life! The juicing of vegetables brings many ways to get creative. Find yourself a juicer and get down to the grocery store and try out any combo of vegetables you desire! Go for it with veggies. Unlike fruits you could probably go every day with these.
Now we come to soda….. Though there are some sodas now a days that are not using high fructose corn syrup, they are still pretty much a “no-no” for healthy beverages. If you must have a soda (what…at least once a week?…once a month?…your call) try the bottled coca cola imported from Mexico, Hansen’s, or Jones sodas.
We often hear that milk is a “must” for calcium intake. It turns out there are some better sources. Milk is certainly high in calcium but it also has extra calories, saturated fats, and a sugar called galactose. Calcium is important to the body. Not only does it strengthen bone, but it also helps with weight loss, blood pressure, and colon cancer. It is said that an 8-oz glass of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium and the US recommends about 1000 mg per day. So let’s say you are lactose intolerant and don’t want to gain the extra calories and saturated fats in milk. Here are some foods that contain a high amount of calcium:
- total cereal + 3/4 cup = 1104 mg
- Tofu + 1/2 cup = 861 mg
- calcium fortified orange juice + 6ozs =350
- soy beans + 1/2 cup = 130 mg
- spinach + 1/2 cup = 122 mg
Other sources of calcium are tablets and substitute milks such as soy, rice, or almond made.
Coffee surprisingly has benefits as a beverage! Of course it contains caffeine. Most of us are aware of the effects of caffeine and either drink coffee or sodas on a daily basis. We know the headaches we get when we don’t get our caffeine fix. We know caffeine is considered a drug and that it is a addictive. But in moderation coffee has three possible benefits I found in researching:
- decreases the possibility of developing kidney stones. Caffeine is diuretic, which means it helps create water and allows a urine that is too dilute to form kidney stones.
- Gallstones can also be prevented because caffeine interferes with cholesterol crystallization, which is a crucial step in forming gallstones.
- Regular coffee drinkers in a study were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes
Though these are some more positive outcomes there is still the risk of developing osteoporosis. Excessive use weakens the bones making it a drink to enjoy in moderation.
Speaking of drinks to enjoy in moderation…alcohol is a dangerous choice for some of us adults but has a few benefits if it is not used to excessive levels. Alcohol’s benefits are as follows:
- If used before a meal it can aid digestion
- reduces formation of clots that can block arteries to the heart, neck, and brain.
- aids in protection against heart disease and ischemic strokes
- like coffee in moderation it protects against diabetes and gallstones
Other benefits are to relax at the end of a long stressful day or to enjoy a drink with friends. It just goes to say this is another drug that has major consequences if used in excess. Traffic accidents, a long bout with addiction, or hasty decision making are the usual negatives we hear about. The point is if you haven’t identified yourself as an alcoholic or you do not binge drink then you should be fine enjoying one to two drinks per day. A glass of wine has always a popular choice to stand in for a healthy alcoholic beverage. Just have two catch the relaxing aspect and DON’T BE THAT ANNOYING BINGE DRINKER!!!