When eating healthfully, a large focus may be on what not to drink: no sugary juices, sodas, or high-calorie cocktails. But many drinks can actually help you live a healthier lifestyle. We all know that drinking enough water is essential, but find out what other drinks should also be on your OK list below, and remember to enter our healthy living giveaway for a chance to win a $500 Under Armour gift card!
Coffee: The hot drink is the perfect accompaniment to a cold morning or a drowsy afternoon, but offering you a warm pick-me-up isn't its only advantage. Coffee has been proven to help improve memory, increase endurance, and ease muscle pain. The list doesn't stop there; read more about the health benefits of coffee here.
Watch for: The benefits of coffee don't always outweigh the risks, especially if you drink too much. Drinking too much java can cause you to become anxious or jittery, disrupt your sleep patterns, develop high blood pressure, or endure regular headaches. Stay attuned to caffeine's affect on your body and, in general, don't drink more than 300 milligrams a day (the average cup of coffee contains 100 milligrams of caffeine).
Red wine: All those studies about the health benefits of red wine makes me feel that much better about relaxing with a glass of Cab after work. Red wine contains a compound called resveratrol, which has been proven in studies to be beneficial to your health — everything from fighting cancer to antiaging, along with other disease-preventing benefits.
Watch for: The benefits of wine stop at one glass a day, so don't go overboard. You may be doing yourself more harm than good, especially since one glass of red wine usually runs around 127 calories. And while scientists have researched resveratrol in many lab studies, there have been few studies in humans — and let's not forget the recent news that a leading red wine researcher actually falsified data in dozens of studies on heart health and resveratrol.
Two more good-for-you drinks after the break!
Get the Winter juice recipe after the break!
Here's a fresh juice recipe that will help you shake off holiday indulgences and start clean. This recipe is made from an array of ingredients that have natural detoxing properties: watercress helps energize cleansing enzymes in the liver, and, like celery, it's a natural diuretic. Antioxidant-rich spinach boosts chlorophyll levels in the digestive tract, which helps the body get rid of environmental toxins. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C and helps alkalize the body. Spicy ginger aids digestion. And besides giving a boost of vitamins, apples add just enough natural sugar to mask the earthy taste of the greens. This juice is bound to become part of your daily ritual.
Get the green detox juice recipe after the break!
When talking health food trends, last year was all: ancient grains, overnight oats, and gluten-free goodness. This year's biggest health food trends? Here's a hint: chia pets, the godfather of fitness, and pina coladas.
- Coconut milk: With recent studies calling into question the benefits of soy, people were on hunt this for a dairy-free alternative that wasn't linked to breast cancer. While almond and rice milk are old favorites, they lack the richness and sweetness that soy does. Enter: coconut milk beverage. Not as thick and rich as the kind of canned coconut milk used in curries, coconut milk beverage is great in smoothies and ice cream; it's also great over cereal, in coffee, or on its own.
- Pressed juice: It seems that Odwalla just isn't fresh enough! Not since the early days of Jack Lalanne has pressed juicing seen such a heyday. Once looked at as some sort of hippie juice, everyone — even Starbucks — is getting in on the pressed-juice craze. All of Hollywood seems to be juicing, too: stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Richie, and Olivia Wilde are regularly spotted with their carrot-beet-apple-and-green-stuff blends. Are you a juice-head? Then definitely check out our recipes for pressed root veggie juice and green juice.
- Chia seeds: Move over flax, there's a new seed in town! Chia seeds (yep, the same kind used to decorate those wildly adored, '80s novelty gift, chia pets) are everywhere this year. Sprinkle them on yogurt, add them to a bread mix, or even toss them in a dressing — there really is no end to what chia seeds can be used for. The health claim to fame? Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s — zing!
Juicing has officially taken Hollywood by storm. Nicole Richie, Whitney Port, and Tracy Anderson are regulars at Pressed Juicery, and stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Szohr, and Olivia Wilde are all known for getting their green juice on. Even I'm a pressed juice convert; a few times a week I buy the "Veggie Five" from my local juicery — a blend of celery, beets, apples, carrots, and parsley. At home, I love making my own green juice with apples, carrots, and spinach. Juicing is an easy (and tasty!) way to supplement my diet with antioxidants, vitamins, and other needed nutrients.
Advocates of juicing say it's a great way to alkalize the body and take in a wider variety of fruits and veggies. And because you're getting the fruits and veggies in raw liquid form with the fiber removed, juicing fans claims that they'll be absorbed more quickly since less digestive work is needed. While no significant studies have been done to back up these claims (including the claim that raw juice has detox abilities), I always crave one on days I feel sluggish or haven't eaten enough veggies and find that I feel more alert and energized after drinking one. Keep in mind that depending on your ingredients, you might end up with more sugar than you bargained for — it takes a lot of produce to make a 12-ounce drink!