What many of us overlook is that the beverages we sip on play an important role in keeping our bodies happy and healthy. Unlike water, which always keeps you hydrated, these drinks each possess unique benefits that support your overall health in more ways than one.
It’s important to choose drinks wisely, as many come with positive side effects for your health. Take coffee, for example, which can help keep your brain young. But there are others, like sugar-sweetened beverages, which can have different effects, including metabolic diseases like obesity, type II diabetes, and heart failure, if you drink too much.
Here Are Healthiest Drinks Besides Water
1. Green tea
Green tea has been hailed for its health benefits in Asian countries for centuries. While many know green tea as a healthy drink that hydrates and soothes the soul, this drink does even better than you may know.
Green tea contains a high level of polyphenols which are believed to prevent certain types of cancer like breast cancer and prostate cancer. Studies suggest it can also help reduce sharp increases in blood sugar after a meal, which can be especially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
Potential cancer prevention isn’t the only benefit of drinking green tea, as it also helps to remove toxins and improve metabolism. Additionally, regular consumption of green tea can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels because of the catechins found in the tea. Give it a try with these warm and soothing herbal teas.
2. Homemade smoothies
Homemade smoothies can be made by blending fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, and nuts. They contain tons of nutrients and are an extremely effective way to take in a lot of nutrients in just one drink.
When creating a smoothie I would strongly recommend people look to incorporate a range of probiotic-rich ingredients to nourish the gut bacteria and protect cells from damage caused by stress, inflammation, and ageing, and are packed with immune-boosting vitamins and weight-regulating fibre.
Stick with homemade smoothies as bottled smoothies may contain lots of added sugar.
Start with plain yoghurt (Greek for extra protein), then add in fresh or frozen fruits (eg. berries) and a handful of leafy greens (spinach or kale work great). I use bananas for a creamy texture and natural sweetness, then add milk (or a milk alternative) and ice until I get a nice consistency. Feel free to add other ingredients like cashews, almonds, chia seeds, and hemp hearts for bonus benefits.
Similar to a thin yoghurt, Kefir is a drink made of fermented milk that’s growing in popularity because of its gut health-supporting benefits. This probiotic-rich dairy-based drink is a great staple to have every day to support gut health.
What is unique about kefir is that it has 12 types of probiotics in it, compared to the three to five types of probiotics typically found in yoghurt, and the diversity of probiotics seems to be linked to gut health benefits.
For those with any sort of dairy or lactose intolerance, dairy products aren’t usually thought of as being that easy on the stomach, even if they result in better gut health, but kefir is an exception because nearly all the lactose is ‘used up’ during the fermentation process, making it virtually lactose-free and easy on the digestive system.
What Is Kombucha, anyway? This elixir is one of the hottest healthy drinks on the market. Wellness junkies rave about Kombucha’s health benefits. Like other healthy fermented foods, fizzy kombucha is packed with probiotics that promote healthy bacteria in the gut.
These bacteria aid in digestion and help your body absorb vitamins and minerals.
Kombucha which is an antioxidant-rich fermented tea can be had at any point in the day. Sipping daily means your digestive system is getting these friendly visitors regularly, which can help to maintain a positive balance. The balance of bacteria and yeast in our bodies is being studied for links to a range of things, from staying regular to skin health to mental health.
5. Coconut Water
There’s a good reason why coconut water has become a health trend of late in the west. Loaded with essential nutrients, such as potassium and even calcium, it is also a great source of antioxidants that can help combat free radicals and toxins in the body.
The flavour of this tropical water is a bit controversial. Some people love it, and some hate it. But there’s no debating the fact that this healthy drink can hydrate the body and provide a surprising amount of potassium. Potassium plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heartbeat and regulating blood pressure. Have a glass of coconut water (around 250-500 ml) first thing in the morning. Stick to fresh coconut water to reap its complete benefits.
6. Golden Milk
Golden milk, also known as turmeric tea, is a bright sun-coloured beverage made with turmeric, warming spices, and a creamy base. There’s one compound in turmeric that’s responsible for the majority of its health benefits: curcumin.
Curcumin is extremely effective in fighting inflammation, an underlying cause of several chronic diseases including arthritis, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Research shows that curcumin may have mood-boosting effects.
Golden Milk is made by slowly brewing some freshly chopped and grated turmeric into some warm milk, along with natural herbs like pepper. It is one of the fastest ways for your body to absorb the nutritional qualities of turmeric as well. This mixture is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral, making it one of the top weight loss drinks to consume all year round. As a bonus, you might feel more alert and attentive too.
Consuming fluids regularly is as important as taking in air, and this is why it is possible to switch glasses of water with glasses of any of the above-listed healthy drinks, and you’d still enjoy the same health benefits that you would enjoy if you drank water!!!