There are only so many times you can say, “Just water for me, thanks,” when the waiter takes your beverage order before you start to get bored. Water is a healthy and safe bet, sure. In fact, it can’t be beat. So what do you do when you want more options but don’t want to stray from the healthy side of things? Luckily, there are actually several beverages that can do you one favor or another while spicing up your waterlogged palette.
1. Pomegranate Juice
The powerful pomegranate has been consistently praised recently for the hefty antioxidants it packs. Research has suggested that the red juice may help prevent inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. So having a glass every now and then is a good choice. Just make sure you look at what you are drinking, as some bottles are diluted with other liquids or have added sugars. You want pure pomegranate. Don’t accept anything less.
2. Low Fat Milk
Milk has always been there for you, hasn’t it? Touted as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D since you were a child, it may seem like less of a grown-up drink than other options, but low fat and skim milk are still great sources of protein and other essential micronutrients. And these low-fat varieties are the best choices because they contain much less saturated fat than reduced-fat milk or whole milk.
3. Green Tea
A cup of green tea is a better choice than a cup of joe when that afternoon slump hits. You are jonesing for a caffeine buzz, so this will do the trick, with just enough caffeine to give you that energy boost but not so much that you crash later. And you’ll also get a nice side of antioxidants with each cup.
4. Orange Juice
A glass of fresh squeezed OJ really hits the spot, but some feel it takes too much effort to make on a regular basis. If that is the case, save it for when it will be most handy, like come allergy season. Seasonal allergies have been shown to be soothed with both vitamin C and quercetin (a form of flavonol found in certain fruits and vegetables), both of which that freshly squeezed orange juice contains.
5. Beet Juice
Get ready to hear the intimidating resume of the beet. Beets have the ability to lower your blood pressure, increase your stamina, increase the blood flow to the brain in older adults (slowing the progression of dementia), and make for a healthy liver with their zero trans and saturated fats and high magnesium, calcium, and iron levels.
6. Hot Chocolate
Yes, cocoa has a place on this list. How could that possibly be? Well if it weren’t for your least favorite monthly friend, it might not have made it. But if you’re dealing with menstrual cramps, one of the best natural ways to ease the pain is through drinking beverages with high magnesium content.
In order to get that magnesium, you need make your own homemade hot chocolate with raw cocoa powder (not that powdered stuff). If you need to sweeten it up a bit, try almond milk and honey or a little bit of maple syrup.
7. Kale Juice
Kale, kale, kale. Everybody loves kale. It might seem annoyingly trendy, but there are legitimate reasons why so many people are in love with this stuff. The dark, leafy green is packed with vitamins and minerals that help with everything from bone health to regulating your bowels.
And drinking your veggies is an excellent way to get multiple servings in one drink. Just avoid buying bottled, as those varieties tend to be pretty high in sodium. It might not be a bad idea to invest in a juicer and start making kale juice, and other veggie juices, at home.
8. Lemon Juice
Yes, you read that right. Not lemonade, lemon juice. You should drink lemon juice. That’s gross right? Well, it certainly takes care of gross stuff for us, like cleansing the liver, stimulating bile production, and helping with digestion. Lemon also brings vitamin C to the party to boost your immune system.
But no one was going to make you drink it on its own. Promise. Squeeze a half into a cool glass of water in the morning to get your day going right.
And yes, this healthy beverage involves water, but water is really being used as a mixer here. So it still earns a place on this list.
9. Ginger Tea
Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for all tummy troubles. It has been promoted as a way to sooth an upset stomach, relieve motion sickness and pregnancy related nausea, and ease digestion.
If this sounds like something you might enjoy, brew a cup of fresh ginger tea yourself by steeping one or two thin slices of fresh gingerroot in a cup of hot water. Spoon in a little honey if the resulting brew turns out to be on the spicy side.
10. Cranberry Juice
Nobody likes a UTI. And once you have one, it can take up to 2 days after treatment starts for your symptoms to go away. So let’s get on the proactive side of things and help prevent the UTI by drinking pure cranberry juice, which one study found can work “against infections and bacteria within 8 hours of consumption.”
Now that study used cranberry juice cocktail, because it is the most popular cranberry beverage. But you can get the same benefits from pure cranberry juice and should choose it over cranberry juice cocktail. Why? One is loaded with added sugar. The other is not. Hint: The one with sugar is the one with cocktail in the name.
Top 20 Healthy Drinks
- Dark raw hot chocolate
- Lemon water
- Cranberry juice
- Green tea
- Dandelion tea
- Stinging nettle leaf tea
- Turmeric tea
- Red raspberry leaf tea
- Watermelon juice
- Parsley juice
- Blueberry juice
- Tart cherry juice
- Blackstrap molasses drink
- Coconut water
- Plant-based milk
- Aloe vera juice
- Holy basil tea
- Green vegetable drinks
Dark Raw Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate, a popular and cozy drink enjoyed during the cold season, can actually do wonders for your health — if you chose the right chocolate, of course. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for having a positive mood and feeling happy. Reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol and improved insulin sensitivity all have been associated with this tasty delight.
Lemons offer more than pleasant smells and sour flavor. The bright yellow fruit comes with potential uses from cleaning and scenting your house to improving your health. Add flavor to your water, help skin conditions, improve hair or add years to our life by utilizing the benefits of lemons. Of course, lemons are known for having high amounts of vitamin C, with a single lemon offering you approximately 51 percent to meet your daily vitamin C needs.
Most people think of cranberries as a delicious addition to holiday celebrations in the form of cranberry juice, sauces, stuffing and decorations. Cranberries are rich in health-promoting materials that are essential for all-around wellness. They’re known to store constituents that protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, and that’s not even half of what cranberries are capable of. They can improve oxidative stress, inflammation and urinary antibacterial adhesion activity to prevent urinary tract infection.
Tea is the second most widely enjoyed beverage in the world behind only water. Green tea made from unfermented leaves reportedly contains the highest content of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, making it one of the top healthy drinks around. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals, which are cell-damaging compounds that damage DNA and even cause cell death. Research points that free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as the development of a number of medical conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Dandelion tea is near the top of the list of healthy drinks due in part to its place among the best detox drinks as well.
Dandelions are everywhere, visibly present throughout most of the year. They make the ground healthy by restoring its mineral health to the depleted soil. Dandelion leaf is used for arthritis, gout, gastric headaches, edema and skin ailments — plus it’s excellent for detoxification due to its action on the liver. The whole plant, especially the roots, is roasted and can be used as a coffee substitute. The high inulin content, especially during the fall season, makes dandelion root a good food source for beneficial gut bacteria.
Stinging Nettle Leaf Tea
If you’ve ever gone outside to gather stinging nettle leaves by mistake with your bare hands, you know it feels like you’re being attacked by a group of angry bees. Ouch! Despite it being painful to the touch, this underestimated plant is a powerhouse of benefits.
Stinging nettle is beneficial as a liver tonic and rejuvenator. It has supportive effects on circulation, the immune system, urinary tract, nervous system, respiratory tract, digestive tract and endocrine system. Its high magnesium content may be the reason for nettle tea’s ability to reduce leg and menstrual cramps.
Turmeric has been rising quickly in popularity worldwide, especially the golden milk drink. Curcumin is one of the main active constituents in turmeric that gives it its benefits. It is commonly combined with bromelainor black pepper for increased absorption and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has been long used in the Chinese and Indian medicine as an anticancer agent, protecting against wide variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, toothaches, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and wounds.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red raspberry leaf tea has a long history in women’s health, particularly during pregnancy and labor to help prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Due to its drying effects of tannins, the leaves are used as a mouthwash in tonsillitis, diarrhea, skin conditions, abrasions and urinary tract infections. Red raspberry leaf is high in nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium and iron, which can help ward off all sorts of conditions.
Watermelon is a natural source of most powerful antioxidants. Perhaps no other fruit is as crunchy, thirst-quenching and hydrating than watermelon. It provides a good serving of vitamin C and vitamin A, particularly through its concentration of beta-carotene. The beautiful red color is a source of a potent carotene antioxidant known as lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Surprisingly, watermelon contains a higher concentration of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable known.
Parsley is a fairly small Mediterranean herb that leaves a nice presentation on your plate. Drinking parsley juice can decrease the risk of cancers, such as breast, prostate and skin cancer. The high amount of flavonoids, known as apigenin, makes it a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb. Folate in parsley encourages cardiovascular health by reducing pro-inflammatory homocysteine, and parsley offers protection from an extensive selection of disorders, including asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and more.
Blueberries are an excellent choice to add to your diet because they not only taste great, but they have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. Blueberry drinks improve glucose control and decrease blood cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life. Anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in blueberries, is a very effective immune builder and antibacterial agent to prevent infections.
Blueberries are surprisingly high in iron, and their vitamin C content reportedly improves night vision, helps build collagen and maintains healthy gums. A handful of blueberries consists of the recommended daily fiber intake to help keep your body regular, and the manganese helps the development of bone and converts carbohydrates and fat into energy.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherries contain high levels of phytochemicals, including melatonin, a hormone important in regulating sleep cycle.
Cherries also are an excellent source of phenolic compounds, known for their anti inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Phenolic compounds may help yield a protective effect to muscle damage and pain before and during strenuous exercise.
Blackstrap Molasses Drink
Blackstrap molasses has a long tradition as a health food and remedy for all sorts of ailments, known for having a low amount of sugar and a high nutrient content. Blackstrap molasses drink is a good source of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Mixing one tablespoon in water with lemon provides 70 percent of your daily iron requirement, making it the greatest plant-based source of iron available. It contains a small amount of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium as well and is a completely delicious and nutrient-dense sweetener. Look for unsulfured blackstrap molasses from organic sugar.
Is coconut water good for you? Yes, which is why it’s among this list of healthy drinks. It’s rich in carbohydrates, chloride, potassium and sodium and viewed as a hydrating drink of choice in various parts of the world.
Kefir is a probiotic drink that provides that healthy gut bacteria. It, along with other probiotic drinks, promotes efficient digestion by achieving a healthy gut flora, fighting against pathogens and boosting energy levels. Probiotic drinks are “pre-digested” as the sugars in the beverage have been broken down, making them easier to digest creating less work for the pancreas which secretes digestive juices.
Studies have shown that they can help alleviate symptoms constipation, yeast infection, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, candida and ulcers.
Are you allergic to cow’s milk and want another non-dairy choice? Plant-based beverages choices, such as almond, coconut, hemp, oat, quinoa and rice milk, may be for you. Almond milk has more vitamin E since it’s made from grounded almonds. Hemp milk made with ground, soaked hemp seedsand water, delivers a significant amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Coconut milk has monolaurin, a molecule responsible for antimicrobial properties. Oat milk is rich in fiber and iron and, like rice milk, higher in carbohydrates so these two plant-based milk choices are not the best option for those with diabetes. Choose fortified nondairy milk alternatives with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Look for unsweetened and reduced sugar options, and limit those with a significant amount of protein.
Aloe Vera Juice
The gel of aloe vera has been used extensively in beauty products for years. It’s also been used internally to alleviate arthritis, constipation, coughs, diabetes, headaches and ulcers . One of the constituents, aloe-emodin, has been shown to possess potential anticancer properties as well. Add aloe vera to water, with lemon, and your favorite organic sweetener for a refreshing and tasty drink.
Holy Basil Tea
In Ayurvesda, holy basil, or tulsi, is known as “the queen of herbs” and is recommended for conditions such as fever, cough, arthritis, ringworm, and insect, snake and scorpion bites. It’s a potent adaptogen, which are herbs to help your mind and body cope with physical and emotional stress.
Tulsi has been shown to prevent brain, kidney and liver injury by protecting against cellular damage caused by industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. In additional to protecting against toxic chemicals, holy basil has been shown to protect against the damaging effects of heavy metals as well.
Green Vegetable Drinks
Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritious, offering a large amount of vitamins A, C, E and K. The abundant amount of antioxidants called carotenoids protect against cellular damage and help prevent development of many cancers. They also contain a high amount of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium. Importantly, dark leafy vegetables have little carbohydrates, cholesterol and sodium.
Dark leafy green drinks supply a significant amount of vitamin K, which helps prevent inflammation and protect bones against osteoporosis. Leafy vegetables may best your best choice when it comes to cancer prevention due to the high amounts of antioxidants. Studies have shown that eating two to three servings of dark leafy greens per week may help lower the risk of certain cancers, especially breast, skin and stomach. The significant amount of folate can help prevent birth defects and improve cardiovascular health as well. Folate is crucial for proper DNA repair and replication and may help reduce the risk of breast, cervical and lung cancers.
Like kefir, kombucha is a fermented, probiotic drink that does wonders for your health. It’s been shown to help prevent disease, support a healthy gut, potentially improve mental state, benefit the lungs, fight bacteria, manage diabetes, support heart health and maintain a healthy liver.