While water is the ultimate healthy beverage with zero calories and ideal hydration, we understand that sometimes you’re looking for a little extra flavor. Today, we’re bringing you heart healthy beverage alternatives to help keep you hydrated and provide some added benefits for your body.
Naturally flavored water:
Okay, you caught us. Yes, technically flavored water isn’t quite an alternative to water, but with how important drinking water is for your body, we had to sneak it in. To shake up your water routine, try adding fresh citrus fruits, cucumber, or mint for a boost of natural flavor with some added nutrients.
Commercials have been telling you that milk “does a body good” for years now, and they aren’t wrong. Thanks to the high calcium content and vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium, drinking a glass of milk can be good for your bones and your waistline. Not only does the calcium in milk help your body to burn fat instead of storing it, the great combination of carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat can help to stabilize your blood pressure and ward off cravings. Stick to a 1% or fat free variety unless you’re lactose intolerant, then try a soy, almond, or goat’s milk variety.
Studies have suggested that this powerful beverage blend might help your risk of cancer, heart disease, and even cavities. The antioxidants in green tea help ward off illness and relax blood vessels, fighting against the formation of dangerous clots that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Drinking green tea might even help inhibit the growth of tumors and protect cells against carcinogens that cause cancer. If you aren’t a fan of hot drinks, try it over ice with a squeeze of lemon.
Your morning cuppa might have more benefits to your body than just helping you wake up. Research has shown that moderate consumption of coffee can be good for your heart by limiting damage to your arteries caused by inflammation. Coffee is also jam-packed with antioxidants--even more so than green tea! However, be careful about how your drink it: added cream, sugar, and other sweeteners can take the health benefits from high to low in less time than it’ll take you to stir and sip.
Whole fruit juices:
100% fruit juice can be a great addition to your diet, just be sure to check the label and make sure you aren’t unknowingly consuming added sugar (or worse, high fructose corn syrup). Thanks to high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C in juices like orange, cranberry, and pomegranate, you can pack a lot of nutrition into one glass. Just watch your serving size—even without added sugar, fruit juices are naturally sweet and can be high in calories.
What are some of your other favorite heart healthy drinks?