Drinking the right types of healthy drinks will help you feel better and avoid the crash after consuming sugary or highly caffeinated beverages.Every day we consume a variety of different drinks, but many do not contribute to our overall health or even make us feel better.
Surprisingly, some of them can even be harmful to our health over the long-term. The following drinks are some of the healthiest options you should be including in your daily diet that will almost certainly make you feel good after a long hard day.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is great for the memory and keeping the mind sharp. This is because it contains a very small amount of caffeine which is wonderful for helping you wake up in the morning.
The level of caffeine is far less than that found in coffee, so you can enjoy the benefits without the inevitable crash that comes after drinking a coffee.
Green Tea contains L-theanine which has been found to induce a calming effect on the mind by releasing dopamine, the body’s feel-good chemical.
It is also packed with lots of antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins which find and destroy free radicals within the body.
Free radicals cause a number of health problems including diseases such as cancer. It can also be very useful when you have stomach problems.
Green tea is very efficient in preventing cavities, lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of various sorts of cancer and other potentially life-threatening medical conditions. Green tea can also aid those who are attempting to lose weight.
Several studies have shown that regularly drinking green tea can improve your metabolic rate and help the body to burn off fat cells much more quickly. There are no known side effects of green tea, but pregnant and nursing women should drink it in moderation as it does contain caffeine.
2. Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants and is packed with vitamin C.
It also contains other essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, calcium, potassium and lycopene.
Those who suffer from diabetes will be pleased to know that it can also lower the level of insulin in the blood.
It also lowers the risk of contracting diabetes in the first place, keeps you in good shape and helps with shedding unwanted weight at a much faster pace.
Due to its bitter taste, grapefruit juice also makes a wonderful energising drink.Try mixing two parts grapefruit juice with one part lemon juice for a great way to wake up in the morning or even provide a middy boost.
Grapefruit juice is a godsend to pregnant women as it helps with fluid retention that can cause swollen feet and ankles during the last stage of pregnancy. So if you aren’t drinking grapefruit juice yet, go ahead and pick some up next time you go grocery shopping.
Or if you want to do it yourself, you can squeeze fresh grapefruits at home. Freshly squeezed grapefruits provide lots of fibre which many people struggle to include in their daily diet.
3. Warm Milk
It is a widely known fact that warm milk has a distinctive calming effect on the mind and body.
This is mostly because it activates a particular type of amino acid called tryptophan in the brain which in turn ‘instructs’ the central nervous system to rest.
It is something many people recommend drinking before going to sleep to help get a great night’s sleep.
Warm milk delivers all the same wonderful health benefits as cold milk so you will get a good supply of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
It also contains a number of B vitamins such as B12 that helps the body to produce red blood cells. The easiest way to warm milk is to simply put a large mug of it in the microwave for a few minutes.
If you want to try a different approach, you can heat it on low or medium low temperature in a saucepan.Just make sure you keep an eye on it because it does tend to expand and overflow.
For a really warming drink, try adding a spoonful of honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Honey has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties whilst cinnamon helps to reduce cholesterol and relieve the pain of arthritis.
4. Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juice may not sound too appealing as we’re accustomed to drinking fruit juices, but vegetable juice is an incredibly healthy treat.
If you need vitamins, then vegetable juice should be your drink of choice as vegetables are the best source of a wide range of different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
A glass of vegetable juice made from a mix of vegetables such as carrots, beets, cucumber and tomatoes before bedtime helps you wake up feeling fresh and less tired.
You should always mix different coloured veggies for the best health benefits. It is highly recommended to buy fresh vegetables and juice them yourself instead of buying boxed juices from stores.
Vitamix electric juicers are probably the best juicers available on the market, but they can be extremely expensive.
A regular blender will do the job just as well, but be sure to finely chop any tough vegetables such as carrots or beets beforehand. Juice fasts have become extremely popular amongst celebrities and nutritionists who claim they can help to detox the body and provide a welcome boost of healthy nutrients.
Try a 24 hour juice fast by consuming only freshly juiced vegetables in place of your regular diet to flood your body with a range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Juice fasts should only be attempted by those that are in good health and are never recommended for pregnant women.
5. Chocolate Milk
This is a fantastic blend because milk has generous amounts of calcium while cocoa is packed with a variety of antioxidants.
Chocolate milk helps repair all the body’s tired and worn out muscles and provides massive amounts of carbohydrates which are very helpful in restoring glycogen back to the body.
A recent study performed at the Human Performance Laboratory in Indiana found that chocolate milk has twice as much protein and carbohydrate than regular milk.
It also helps to replenish fluids lost through sweat and gives a much needed boost of energy after a particularly strenuous workout.
This beverage is best consumed after a long hard day at work. Kids who don’t get enough calcium often cite chocolate milk as their preferred source of this vital nutrient.
It is important to remember that not all types of chocolate milk are created equal. Certain brands such as Yoo-Hoo and Frijj are packed with additives, sugar and colourings and are often made from powdered forms of milk which are not as healthy as the fresh variety.
Make your own chocolate milk by taking one cup of the milk of your choice, skimmed milk or even almond milk is ideal, and add a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder. Sweeten the drink with a little honey or natural stevia powder and mix well.
6. Apple Juice
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apart from being tasty, apple juice also provides you with an impressive number of different health benefits.
Apples have high antioxidant content and are commonly considered as a great cure for minor medical conditions such as headaches.
Always opt for cloudy, unfiltered apple juice as it contains far more health benefits than the clear variety.
Cloudy apple juice contains four times the amount of polyphenols than the boxed version. Polyphenols are life giving antioxidants that prevent disease and repair cells within the body. They can also help to protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
A study performed at the Agricultural University of Wroclaw in Poland discovered that the process used to make apple juice clear stripped it of all its natural antioxidants. If you are lucky enough to live close to an orchard, why not try making your own organic apple juice at home?
Juicing apples is a great way to get more nutrients in a single serving as eating the same amount of apples that it takes to make one glass of juice may be difficult for some. Another interesting fact is that the smell of apples is therapeutic and commonly used in the teachings of aromatherapy.
7. Light Coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular drink choices in the world today, and for many it is a necessity.
Just a small amount of coffee should be sufficient to give you that much needed ‘kick’ in the morning.
One should avoid beverages with a high amount of caffeine such as those made from instant freeze dried coffee as they can lead to nervousness, hypersensitivity and insomnia along with many other unwanted effects.
Coffee energizes your brain and stimulates the nervous system, but it needs to be light in order to provide the body with the right effect.
Many different trials involving humans have found that drinking coffee can lead to sharper focus, improved concentration and faster reaction times.
Coffee is also an appetite suppressant, so it is incredibly useful for those attempting to lose weight.
Almost every diet pill contains some form of stimulant or appetite suppressant such as caffeine or sometimes even mild forms of amphetamine. A cup of coffee is far healthier and more delicious than taking a potentially harmful supplement.
Coffee is also a wonderful source of nutrients such as manganese, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium and pantothenic acid. Always opt for fresh roasted filter coffee over the instant version and try to limit yourself to one to two cups per day.
8. Lemon or Orange Juice
Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges strengthen the immune system. This is mainly due to the fact that they are among the best sources of vitamin C and other highly important antioxidant nutrients.
Orange juice is a popular choice for those who are battling the flu or a cold as the high level of vitamin C gives the immune system a welcome boost.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice is always recommended. Make sure you do not use any sweeteners as they will spoil the healthy effect of the beverage.
Citrus juice is a great way to purify the blood, and a glass of lemon juice mixed with a little water or orange juice is a fantastic way to start the day right by flushing out all the toxins.
Lemon juice is also extremely alkaline. Many studies have proven that diseases such as cancer thrive in an acidic environment, so maintaining a healthy alkaline level within the body is a great way to prevent the onset of this disease.
Orange juice also helps to relieve inflammation within the body. Inflammation causes a wide range of diseases within the body such as diabetes. Chronic inflammation can lead to increased insulin resistance and cause Type II diabetes and atherosclerosis.
9. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its effect on the respiratory tract.
It works wonders for people with weakened immune systems or auto-immune diseases caused by inflammation.
Its characteristic flavour makes it irresistible, and many people replace their regular tea or coffee with this healthy alternative.
Ginger has been used as a herbal medicine for over 5000 years in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.
Ancient healers were well aware of its healing properties and regularly prescribed ginger tea as a powerful healing tonic.
It is an old folk remedy for nausea and a whole range of digestive complaints. It is also a safe and natural way for pregnant women to cope with morning sickness. Another well-documented benefit of ginger is pain relief from conditions such as arthritis.
Pain in the joints is often caused by inflammation and a soothing cup of ginger tea every day will soon help with painful symptoms.
For a really healthy drink, cut and peel a small piece of ginger around one centimetre long. Chop it into small pieces and add to a cup of boiling water. Add a few slices of fresh lemon and a big teaspoon of raw, unfiltered honey and leave to cool.
10. Cranberry juice
Like all fruit juices, cranberry juice comes jam-packed with vitamin C and several different kinds of antioxidants.
Cranberry juice is beneficial for the the urinary tract and is especially helpful in supporting the bladder.
Research has shown that drinking cranberry juice can decrease the frequency of urinary tract infections and help the body to fight off existing infections much faster.
Some studies have shown that it can also help to prevent the formation of painful kidney stones by detoxing and removing build-up from the entire urological system.
A surprising benefit of cranberry juice is that it helps to promote healthy teeth.
Cranberry’s natural antibacterial properties help to control the natural bacteria found within the mouth that can lead to tooth decay and bad breath.
It is estimated that up to 85% of the populations of developed countries such as America are suffering from some form of bacterial or fungal overgrowth.
Candida infection is becoming increasingly popular and is the most common form of fungal infections in the world. If left untreated, a candida infection can cause infections of the blood or organs. Drinking fresh, unfiltered cranberry juice can help to flush fungal and bacterial infections from the body in a short amount of time.
11. Blueberry Juice
Blueberries are commonly declared as the favourite berries of them all. Blueberry juice is a low-calorie fruit juice that comes with lots of vitamin C, various antioxidants and tons of important nutrients.
The best part of this drink is the high fibre content. For those who are not familiar with the concept, fibre assists the body’s digestive system in performing its normal functions.
Drinking a glass of blueberry juice after a meal should make it easier to digest your food. The humble blueberry has come to be known as a super food due to its incredible effects on our health.
Blueberries are rich in a compound known as anthocyanin which helps to remove plaque build-up from the arteries.
This greatly reduces the chance of developing cardiovascular disease and suffering a serious medical complication such as a heart attack.
Those that find it difficult to remember things should snack on blueberries as a study performed at the University of Cincinnati found that people who drank blueberry juice scored higher points in a series of memory tests than those who were given a placebo.
Like cranberries, blueberries can also help to prevent urinary tract infections in women. They have also been shown to reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
Yes, the most common drink of all is actually the healthiest and possibly the best refreshment for your body.
Scientists everywhere recommend that we should have at least eight glasses of water every day.
This is essential so that all the vital organs in our bodies can function at optimum level. All the different chemical reactions and different processes within the body could not be possible without water’s help.
It refreshes each and every cell in the body and is still the best way of quenching one’s thirst. Every minute of the day we are losing water through sweat, evaporation, breathing and waste elimination.
This water needs to be replaced regularly as beverages such as tea, coffee and fizzy drinks do not provide enough pure hydration for the body to remain healthy.
Water is also a great, and free, way of losing weight. Regularly sipping water throughout the day helps to reduce hunger cravings and can even help with fluid retention that leads to bloating.
One of the greatest benefits of water is related to our physical appearance. As water flushes toxins out of the body it leaves the skin clear and radiant and helps with conditions such as acne, dark circles under the eyes and dry, flaky skin.