There’s definitely no better way to quench a sizzling thirst than to drink arctic ice cold beverages. Unfortunately, some of us prefer to grab a can or a bottle of that readily available, tempting, satisfying taste of the unhealthy, bubbly drink…soft drinks!
You see, (which I know you already knew) soft drinks pose more cons than pros. Making a habit of drinking those bad boys will only increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, caffeine dependence, tooth decay and, would you believe it, it can even weaken bones – now that’s another article all in itself.
While I don’t have anything against drinking soft drinks, because I myself sometimes (very very rarely to be exact) drink one, it’s just that I don’t think it is a smart choice of beverage considering the harmful effects it has on our health. Now, given the facts at hand, let me just suggest these top five 5 alternatives for a smarter, healthier choice other than the boring but just as better, the ever-reliable water. Be surprised of the benefits and all the vitamins and minerals these drinks have to offer:
It is definitely, one of the most popular beverages around. Drinking 100% orange juice can provide each and every one of us a variety of vitamins and minerals, what’s better is that this drink is free of fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and added sugar, which makes it a very healthy drink. It is recommended though that we consume orange juice in moderation or probably around 4-6 ounces for younger children aged 1-6 yrs and 8-12 ounces for everyone else. This is because of orange juice’s acidic nature.
The benefits of drinking 100% natural orange juice are as follows:
Considered to be one of the most important anti-oxidants that helps support a healthy immune system, drinking an 8 ounce glass of 100% orange juice already provides the 100% daily value of vitamin C our body needs for the day. That’s great, right?
This mineral plays an important role to help reduce high blood pressure risks and strokes. Also helps muscles to perform and function better.
Folate (Folic Acid)
Every woman of childbearing years, especially those that are already pregnant are strongly advised or instructed to take this very essential vitamin to reduce risk of birth defects of the spinal cord and cognitive impairment. It is also for a healthy cell division and red blood cells.
You can get calcium in fortified orange juices. As we all know calcium is the key building block that makes our bones strong and healthy. But it is not only limited in making our bones healthy and strong but it also helps support healthy blood pressure and promotes cardio vascular health. Besides from milk, orange juice is an excellent source of calcium, providing at least 35% of the daily value. Now that’s a fairly considerable amount.
Helps reduce risk of Parkinson’s disease, Pre-Menstrual Syndromes (PMS), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, depression and so many other things. This vitamin helps the body process or metabolizes energy from the foods we eat and is needed to produce new cells including healthy red blood cells.
Thiamin (or Vitamin B1)
Helps lower risk of acquiring Beriberi Disease, which is a neurological and cardio-vascular disease. Thiamin is also associated with enzymes or in the conversion of food energy and the production and repair of DNA.
This drink, especially in spring or summertime, is also one of the favorite drinks of all time. Many kids (and even adults too) have already made good money out of it because it is readily available and, of course, let’s not forget the hassle free preparation – very easy to make and even small kids can do it – with not many ingredients to worry about.
Like orange juice, lemonade, limeade, or simply lemon or lime juice also has its fair share of health benefits – but did you know that there are also other things this citrus fruit can do outside our bodies? They can be used as deodorizers, stain removers, as garnish and ingredients to our dishes and so many more. But let’s focus on the healthy benefits first:
– When taken regularly in the morning, lemon juice could serve or act as a booster for our livers which help stimulates it to produce bile for digesting foods for the day.
– Known to be an alternative medicine in dissolving gallstones.
– Helps prevent and treat many infections, making wounds heal faster and lower high fevers because of its high vitamin C content.
– Relieves symptoms of asthma, tonsillitis and sore throat.
– Helps flush out toxins and bad bacteria inside the body. This is very beneficial for people suffering from urinary tract infections, high uric acid problems, arthritis and rheumatism because lemons are a natural diuretic, making the body produce more urine.
Now this is the type of drink very well-suited for people who like to get the benefits of drinking wine but hate the taste of alcohol. Purple grape juice contains the same powerful antioxidants called flavonoids that are known to ward off diseases and are believed to provide many heart health benefits.
Since flavonoids are present in grape juice, like those in wine, it has been known to prevent the oxidation or corrosion of bad cholesterol (LDLs) that leads to the formation of plaque in artery walls. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School tested 15 patients who already have signs of heart diseases, including plaque and constricted arteries. After 14 days of drinking a tall glass of grape juice daily, the results revealed a reduce in LDL oxidation. Images through ultrasound showed a significant change in the artery walls of the patients, and that blood was flowing more freely.
Unlike alcohol or wine, grape juice can improve the function of cells in blood vessel linings. The worst part is alcohol generates the deadly free radicals, while grape juice doesn’t. So you get more of the benefits that both wine and grape juice has to offer (in fact even more) without the hassle of being intoxicated.
Another fruit and its juice known to be a contributor in the prevention of heart diseases, Pomegranat juice contains about 40% of the USRDA of vitamin C. Also has vitamin A, E and folic acid to add a few. Another excellent source of anti-oxidants.
– Shown to work well as a blood thinner. Reduces plaque in the arteries and raises good levels of cholesterol while lowering the bad ones.
– Consuming the juice can deter viral infections. Have antibacterial effects against dental plaque.
– Useful in fighting certain forms of cancer, slows the growth or reduce (tentatively) incidence of breast and skin cancer as well as in the prostate.
Maybe the less popular juice compared to the other four juices above, but equally beneficial and healthy. Contains a high level of anti-oxidants, excellent source of Vitamin C, good source of fiber, and vitamin K. Contains no cholesterol, very low fat about 0.1 gram only.
Now what sets this fruit juice apart from the others is its well known reputation and ability for treating and preventing urinary tract infections (UTI). Can also reduce the risk of cystitis. All these and more by just drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day.
Other important benefits are:
– Helps reduce high cholesterol levels.
– Prevention of kidney stone formation because of quinic acid.
– Combats Herpes Virus.
– Protection against problem of the eyes called Macular Degeneration.
– Reduction of dental plaque because of the anti bacterial properties of the cranberry.
– Prevents stomach ulcers, cancers and other stomach related problems.
If you can drink all of these juices naturally, 100% with no additives, it will be very good for you and will always be the best way to go. If if you can’t find one, then at least try to look somewhere else, even online. Maybe check out some brands and try them too and see which brand suits you best. Do your own research as well for more information and guidelines.