5 Healthiest Beverages
You can boost your health by eating and drinking healthy. If you’re into healthy living at all, you know water is one of the most healthiest beverages you can consume. A lack of hydration is known to be a cause of ulcers along with things like not thinking clearly, low energy, constipation, and more.
In general, stay away from anything factory prepared. So avoid most bottled drinks and even though they may be organic. If you do want a prepared bottled drink watch out for the preservatives and “sweeteners”. Make sure it is stevia or some other low glycemic alternative. Other hidden ingredients that aren’t so healthy are typically labeled as “natural flavors”. There is no certainty as to what something labeled as “natural flavor” is. It is better for the label to explicitly say what is included. For example, lemon juice, vanilla extract, etc.
If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try a natural sparkling mineral water like Pierrer. Carbonated water has been shown to relieve dyspepsia (pain, bloating and nausea) as well as constipation. And if that still doesn’t have enough flavor, try adding a slice of fruit or the essential oil of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. Fresh mint leaves, cucumbers, sliced strawberries, or sliced ginger are also delicious.
In addition to water, here are the 5 Healthiest Beverages:
1. Green Tea
Green tea is frequently cited as one of the best beverages for cancer prevention. In addition, is has also been found to improve artery function. It is thought to have a more beneficial effect in women than men. One study has found that adding lemon to tea was found to increase the levels of antioxidants in the tea. Antioxidants are known to help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout the body.
2. Hibiscus Tea
In 2010, an extensive study was conducted on the total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs, and supplements used worldwide. This study included 283 beverages. Of all beverages included, hibiscus tea was found to be highest in antioxidants. For comparison, green tea has 36 mmol/100g of antioxidants, a cup of coffee has 47 mmol/100g, matcha tea (powdered green tea) has 100 and hibiscus tea has an extraordinary 136!
3. Water with Apple Cider Vinegar
A glass of water with the addition of 1 or 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy for many ailments. Recent studies have confirmed that consuming vinegar with a meal reduces the spike in blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides. It also increases satiety – the feeling of being full after a meal. If you are low in stomach acid, a glass of water with organic apple cider vinegar may eliminate heartburn like symptoms.
In a recent Japanese study, vinegar intake was found to reduce body weight and body fat mass. During the 12-week trial, study participants were randomized into three groups and given similar vinegar beverages to drink each day – a high dose group, a low dose group and a control group, which was given a vinegar flavored drink containing no vinegar at all (a placebo).
The high dose group was given a beverage containing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day and the low dose group was given a beverage containing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day. Both vinegar groups saw a reduction in weight and fat mass over the course of 12 weeks, while the control group gained weight. The high dose group lost more weight and fat than the low dose group – an average of 5 pounds and one inch of abdominal fat!
4. White Tea
White, green, oolong, and black teas all come from the same tea plant – Camellia sinensis. But they differ in how they are processed.
White tea is the least processed, followed by green, then oolong, then black, which is the most processed. The leaves and buds of white tea are simply steamed and dried. White tea also has a light, delicate flavor. It’s my personal favorite. I drink a cup of this white tea every morning.
Green tea has the highest level of antioxidants of the camellia sinensis teas at 5.73 mmol/l Fe2+ and once lemon is added, the levels of antioxidants are slightly increased to 6.39. White tea, however begins at 4.02 mmol/l Fe2+ but adding lemon more than triples its antioxidant levels to 15.2! So, white tea with lemon is by far the tea highest in antioxidants.
Besides adding lemon juice, here’s another way to get the most out of tea. Scientists in Italy studied the effects of cold-brewing – adding tea to cold water and steeping it for at least 2 hours. They found that contrary to what you might think, brewing tea in cold water rather than hot, increases levels of antioxidant activity – presumably because some of the catechins, the antioxidants in tea, may be destroyed by hot water.
So, rather than brewing a pot of tea using the traditional hot water method, consider simply throwing a few tea bags in a pitcher of cold, filtered water at night, putting it in the fridge and drinking it cold in the morning
5. Mint Tea
Mint tea has been know to eases cramps and helps ward off indigestion. “Mint is an antispasmodic, so it can relax muscles, which combats stiffness and aches,” says Susan Lark, M.D., author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books, 1999). The antispasmodic affects also mean that it is good at relieving mental stress and reduces the chances of nausea. It also aids in digestion by promoting the movement of food through the digestive tract. Since peppermint tea has menthol as a main component, drinking the tea can cause external sweating, while the menthol cools down your body internally. This essentially “breaks” a fever, and can reduce the associated inflammation and discomfort.
In addition, the strong, mentholated flavor and antibacterial quality of peppermint tea make it an ideal way of improving your breath. The antibacterial element kills the germs that can lead to halitosis, while the menthol overwhelms the foul smell and leaves your breath fresh and clean! The aroma of peppermint oil and some of its organic components can actually eliminate appetite, so smelling this substance can help reduce overeating, and subsequently, obesity.