When it comes to healthy beverages, water is still the undisputed reigning champion for keeping you hydrated, restoring your lost fluids, and preventing constipation and the formation of kidney stones. For those on a diet or are watching their weight or waistlines, it’s also the best choice. After all, water contains zero calories per glass!
It can be boring to confine yourself to only drink water, though, variety is the spice of life, after all. If you’re looking to diversify your drinking choices but don’t wish to veer towards anything bad for you, check out our list of excellent alternatives.
Steer clear of artificial sweeteners and preservatives and make the switch to healthier beverages derived from natural and organic sources.
You may have already heard of kombucha if you’ve paid any sort of attention to recent trends in healthy food and drink in the last couple of years. It’s a fermented drink that’s made by combining cold sweet tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that is more commonly referred to as ‘scoby’. What results is a beverage typically called “kombucha tea“ to differentiate it from the starter culture.
People who buy kombucha and consume kombucha tea regularly are said to benefit from the naturally occurring probiotics that result from the process of fermentation, reporting improvements in their digestion and overall gut health. Kombucha tea also contains trace amounts of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamins C, B, B1, B6, and B12.
Don’t be fooled by its relatively tame appearance because green tea can pack a caffeine punch that’s just strong enough to pull you through when your energy begins to flag by midday. It’s also one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, which can lower your risk of developing certain cancers. Aside from the caffeine, green tea contains L-theanine, a compound that can boost brain function and help you stay more alert, leading to an increase in productivity at work. It has also been shown to help your body burn fat and improve your metabolic rate. By integrating green tea into your daily afternoon routine, you may find yourself feeling lighter and much better overall.
According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), individuals aged 9 and above should have at least 2 servings of fruit daily as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Fruit juice is a great way to get that recommended amount into your body in an easy-to-ingest manner, but do beware – not all are created equal. Most pre-packaged fruit juices sold at the supermarket or in convenience stores can have as much added sweeteners and preservatives in them as a can of soda. To fully reap the health benefits of fruit juice, look for juice products that have undergone a minimal amount of processing and don’t contain any additional sugars or sweetening agents.
As with fruit juice, drinking vegetable juice is a terrific way of getting your recommended daily allowance of vegetables in. The NHMRC recommends at least 5 to 5.5 servings of vegetables every day for Australian adults.
Vegetable haters will be glad to know that the taste of veggies can be easily masked if you mix it in with fruit juice such as pineapple, orange or lemon juice. Doing so can only double the health benefits you reap, too. For the best results, seek out nutrient-dense vegetables and juice them yourself at home: green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre that can regulate your digestion and give you a boost of energy in the mornings while carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that can do wonders for your skin and help strengthen your vision.
Simply being more discerning with your beverage choices can help you make great strides towards a more balanced and wholesome diet. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners and preservatives with names you can barely pronounce and start making the switch to products derived from natural and organic sources! Your body will surely thank you in the long run.
What are your favorite healthy beverages?
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