Three best beverages for good health and three to avoid

Milk

Three best beverages for good health and three to avoid

To look and feel our best, choosing healthy food is a big part of making this happen.  But another equally important factor in keeping us healthy is our choice of beverages.  Take a walk down the beverage aisle in any grocery store in the United States and it can make your head spin.  From juices to teas to waters to sodas to energy drinks, the beverage business is alive and well.

But we as consumers need and want to know, which ones are the very best in regards to enhancing our health.  Here are 3 beverages all of us should embrace making them our main go-to beverages for each and every time we need to replenish our fluid intake:

1.  Water

No surprise here.  Given the fact we are composed of approximately 50-65% water, it simply makes sense to hydrate our body with this fluid each and every day.  Water has a host of functions within our body from carrying nutrients, lubricating joints, participating in chemical reactions, to cleansing our tissues and blood of wastes.  Naturally calorie-free, water is a friend to your waistline as it replaces and restores fluids lost each day through our metabolism, breathing, sweating, and urination.  If water tastes too plain for your taste buds, add in a few squeezes of lemon or lime juice or infuse your water with berries or your favorite herbs such as mint. 

2.  Teas

 From green to black to hibiscus, most teas are great choices for obtaining valuable antioxidants.   As we age, our body’s natural defenses against oxidation, free radicals and oxidative stress become less effective.  A high level of antioxidants can benefit your health by clearing up free radicals from the bloodstream resulting in a multitude of protective effects – reduce signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles, prevent sun damage to skin, and may even help in prevention of a number of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure. 

The healthiest teas you can consume are those that you brew at home without adding any sugars that bottled teas often have.

3.  Milk

Loaded with a powerhouse of nutrients ranging from calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, and riboflavin, milk has what it takes to keep your bones, teeth, and muscles strong and healthy. If concerned with the calorie or fat content, choose low-fat to nonfat milk.  Plant-based milks such as almond, soy, and others, do have some of the same nutrients as cow’s milk with the exception of protein.  Most plant-based milks – except for soy – usually only have 1 gram of protein per 8 ounces compared to 8 grams in 8 ounces of cow’s milk.

Beverages to avoid

A list of top beverages would not be complete without also making the readers aware of which beverages are not the healthiest to be sipping on.  These include the following:

1.  Soft drinks – Loaded with sugar and no nutrients.  Drinking more than one a day can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health problems 

2. Diet sodas – Many people want to substitute diet sodas for regular but this really isn’t a good swap.  They are devoid of calories but the artificial sweeteners may cause weight gain by tricking our body into wanting to eat more calories.  However, using diet sodas to switch from regular sodas to healthier drinks such as water, can help a person make this transition.

3.  Energy drinks – Probably one of the worst beverages to consume.  If will definitely give you an energy buzz due to ingredients such as guarana, B vitamins, sugar, and ginseng, but the huge dose of caffeine – equal to 4 to 5 cups of coffee – way too much.  That short burst of alertness can also turn into abnormal heart rhythms such as palpitations, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and digestive issues. 

Other beverages to slow the flow on but still can be used sparingly include wine, beer, coconut water, juices, sports drinks, and smoothies.  They either are high in calories, sugar, or alcohol content.