Each one of these drinks helps to promote your health in different ways! The key for any healthy drink is moderation and variety – so don’t stick with the same thing all the time.
1. Coconut Water – is rich in good carbohydrates, electrolytes like potassium, chloride, and sodium as well as hydrating to the system and providing lots of good nutrients at the same time. This is great to consume when it is hot out or you are exercising, as it replenishes your system and prevents you from becoming dehydrated.
2. Dandelion Leaf Tea – a great detox tea that is high in minerals, which helps to get toxins out of the system through the liver. This tea is used for a variety of ailments including the prevention and treatment of arthritis, gout, headaches, edema, and skin ailments. Dandelions picked in the fall are also high in inulin, a soluble fiber, which is beneficial for your good gut bacteria and can help treat bacterial gut dysbiosis.
3. Green Tea – is one of the most highly consumed beverages, made form unfermented Camellia sinensis leaves. Green tea has a moderate amount of caffeine at 35mg per cup vs 95mg a cup for black coffee (depending on the particular tea). This amount of caffeine can help to perk you up, but doesn’t make you crash like black teas and coffee can. This is why you often see green tea in better made energy drinks and pre-workouts. Green tea also contains polyphenols, which include EGCG, epicatechins, and flavonoids (kaempferol, quercitin, and myricetin). These compounds are antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory. EGCG has been used in prevention and treatment of cacner, cardiovascular concerns, glycemic control, and hyperlipidemia. It has also been researched based on its component L-theanine, which can help with your ability to cope with stress more efficiently and increase a neurotransmitter called GABA to feel less anxiety. Green tea thus helps improve brain functioning, energy, mood, and physical performance.
4. Green Vegetable Drinks - very high in vitamins (A, C, E, and K), iron, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Green veggies also have an abundant amount of antioxidants called flavinoids, which help stop cellular damage and protect against development of chronic diseases. There are very small amounts of carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium in greens, so they are safe for all health types. If you are having difficulty getting in at least three servings of dark vegetables per day, this is a great way too add them in. 2-3 servings per day of greens has been shown to lower ones risk of breast, stomach, and skin cancers as well as many chronic conditions. Add in some green apple, ginger, cucumber, and lemon to make your drink more palatable and higher in overall nutrients!
5. Kombucha – a fermented probiotic drink that helps to properly digest your foods by breaking them down in your gut so you can absorb nutrients better. Kombucha helps decrease gut irritation and inflammation, prevent disease, improve mood, increase your immune system, and support a healthy heart and liver. Although the research on this drink can sometimes be controversial, the overall health benefits are hard to argue. Just be sure to get a source that has good manufacturing practices to avoid any potential harmful bad bacterial contamination.
6. Lemon Water – many people are aware that lemon water is tasty, and may have some health benefits. But… Why? Not only do lemons add flavor to a drink, but it’s ability to help the liver to work helps many areas of health. Lemons are high in Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which can improve skin conditions, bowel problems, immune function, and some research shows it can lower fevers. Once lemon juice enters the stomach, it helps to alkalinize the system and decreases acidity in the body. Acidity is associated with many chronic health problems, as well as the development of many types of cancer. Lemon water is especially helpful in the morning to help get digestion and the liver working… so to utilize it’s health benefits the most on a daily basis – first thing in the morning drink half a freshly squeezed, organic lemon in a warm glass of water.
TIP: Lemon water is acidic when it first enters the body, so when drinking lemon water frequently… be sure to avoid continual contact with your teeth to prevent enamel erosion Drink it with a metal or glass straw, rinse after your morning consumption with a swish of pure water, brush your teeth, or gulp it down to avoid sustained teeth contact and enamel erosion.
For a homemade illness prevention and treatment tea recipe (with lemon in it!) – check out Dr. Della’s blog at: Cold and Flu Prevention Tea
Drinks to Avoid
These are BAD for digestion, disease, and overall health by creating inflammation, acidity, and irritation: colas/pops, diet anything (aspartame should always be avoided), alcohol (it is sugary, a diuretic, and has lots of harmful chemicals), energy drinks (lottss of sugar, and when mixed with depressants like alcohol - these can actually cause heart failure), and any sugary drinks. Coffee should be consumed with caution and only infrequently, as it can irritate the gut lining, cause malabsorption syndromes, and actually make you more tired over time.
For Your Information…
For more tips and health promoting information by Dr. Della (Dr. Adella Gerry, ND) – keep an eye on her blog, viewable at DrDella.ca or on her facebook page. Dr. Della is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, highly trained in Pain Management and Woman's Health in Victoria, British Columbia.