Forget energy drinks and sugar-filled sports beverages. Here are four all-natural, healthy drinks you can make yourself. These tasty liquids will cool you down, rehydrate you, and offer you a supply of healthful nutrients to boot.
Coconut water is full of beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and enzymes. Coconut water has some advantages over other fruit drinks in that it contains good amounts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It also contains a variety of trace elements such as zinc, selenium, and iodine. Why does coconut water have so many minerals in it? Palm trees grow near seawater and in soil that’s rich in mineral content. The end effect is that coconut juice makes an excellent drink during and after exercise.
Rooibos Iced Tea
Rooibos is native to South Africa and is a naturally caffeine-free tea. It’s said to be very high in antioxidants (maybe even beating out green tea in this category). Rooibos can give you a break from caffeinated beverages, while at the same time retaining a unique and satisfying taste. Rooibos is low in tannins compared to other teas, which can be a bonus. Tannins are often referred to as anti-nutrients because they could reduce your ability to absorb minerals. Rooibos also contains a surprising number of nutrients for a tea: calcium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, and magnesium are just a few of the beneficial minerals you’ll get when you drink a cup. Try rooibos tea cold with a little lemon (which, incidentally helps to reverse the negative effects of drinking tannins).
Fresh Mint and Honey
Mint, while known as a breath-freshener, is also full of other beneficial nutrients. Mint is high in vitamins, making it a good source of folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is also high in minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Mint is naturally antibacterial and can calm your digestive system. Add a few fresh leaves to cool water and let steep for an hour. Add a teaspoon of honey to your mint water for even more antioxidants and a great taste. Incidentally, for those wanting a ready supply of fresh mint, the herb is one of the easiest plants to grow on the planet—put one sprig in the ground and before you know it, you’ll have a whole garden full of mint!
Natural Lime Soda
Lime juice is antibacterial and a potent antioxidant. Loaded with vitamin C, this delicious citrus fruit could help to keep harmful bacteria in check. Lime juice could also help you digest food better and prevent the onset of summer gastric illnesses caused by warm-weather loving bacteria. Lime juice could also play a role in boosting your immune system. This tiny fruit can even tackle a scary disease like malaria. When given along with malaria medication, lime juice can help to speed recovery times.
While concentrated lime juice may be a bit too potent to drink on its own, mixing it with naturally-carbonated spring water is a great way to enjoy a sugar-free, fizzy summer drink.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Adegoke, S.A., et al., “Effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance,” Phytother Res. October 2011; 25(10): 1547-50.
Greenfield, R., “Many Coconut Waters Aren’t Actually that Good For You,” The Atlantic Wire web site, August 8, 2011; www.theatlanticwire.com, last accessed June 25, 2013.
Kilham, C., “Red Tea: Even Better For You Than Green Tea?” Fox News web site, March 27, 2012; www.foxnews.com, last accessed June 25, 2013.