Take a moment and think about how many calories per day you drink. This may include your morning stop at Starbucks for coffee, your afternoon energy drink pick-me-up, your glass of milk with dinner and your nightly glass of wine before bed. These four drinks alone total about 800 calories — calories you may or may not have even been aware you were consuming. Drinks are tricky like that. If you're trying to eat healthier or perhaps even drop a few pounds, here are five drinks that are healthiest for your overall diet (and they don't add hundreds of calories to your day).
We've all heard green tea is good for us, but just how good? For starters, it's packed with antioxidants known for fighting cancer, and it guards against heart disease. Green tea is also good for your teeth, helping to prevent cavities, and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. Sounds like a winner! You can drink it hot, iced, sweetened (opt for a natural sweetener), with lemon and honey or even with some fresh mint leaves. It's an acquired taste — so if you don't love it at first, keep at it!
Soy milk offers some health benefits you can't find in cow's milk. Unlike cow's milk, it contains almost no saturated fat and zero cholesterol. It helps prevent postmenopausal symptoms in women and prostate cancer in men. Soy milk is also good for heart and eye health and promotes bone health — therefore preventing osteoporosis. If you don't like soy milk by itself, have it for dessert as hot chocolate or pour over cereal in the morning.
Just about everyone seems to be on a juicing cleanse, and, with all the health benefits they provide, we see why. Green juices are loaded with fruits, vegetables and plenty of vitamins and minerals. They're naturally sweet, since they contain fruit, and reach your blood quicker than if you were to eat the veggies raw. Make one as a meal replacement or post-workout snack for an instant boost of energy.
Tomato juice is extremely low in calories (about 40 per 8 ounces) yet tastes good and is filling. Tomatoes reduce your risk of lung and stomach cancer plus help prevent cardiovascular disease. It's also a natural treatment for high cholesterol and is a good source of fiber. Try making it homemade!
If all else fails, drink water. The recommendation is 64 ounces per day, but if you live in a hot climate or workout on a daily basis, you should be drinking more. Water aids in digestion, it absorbs vitamins and minerals, it's needed to produce sweat and it keeps you hydrated. If you're not a fan of the rather plain beverage, add your favorite fresh fruit slices to it and let it sit overnight. Our favorites are strawberries, lemon wedges, cucumbers and fresh mint leaves.
Try to avoid sugary sodas and juices as much as possible. Though juice does have health benefits, it's usually very high in both sugar and calories. Try to limit your consumption of coffee and red wine. Since both are good for your heart, it's OK to have a cup of coffee or two in the morning and a glass of red in the evening, but don't overdo it.
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