Healthy Drinks to Get You through the Day

When you’re trying to eat healthy you have to be very careful not to spoil your diet by supplementing it with unhealthy beverages throughout the day.  The average American drinks 56 gallons of soda a year and many of us don’t realize the negative effects.  A can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, as well as phosphoric acid which combined can lead to problems such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural options you can mix into your diet to provide you with healthy nutrients and sustainable energy to last you through your day. Here are a few tasty drink recipes you should have on hand to get your day going, and to increase your overall productivity.

Morning – Coconut Water Electrolyte Drink
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I’m convinced that the whole “morning people” thing is just a myth.  The majority of people aren’t all that into the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. Likely you yearn for more sleep, and the fact that you’ve just starved and dehydrated your body for seven or so hours leaves you unpleasant and groggy.  That’s why coconut water in the morning is the perfect solution.  Coconut water has the ability to hydrate your body very well and provide nourishment to your cells and internal organs. Coconut also has antiviral properties, which helps to move toxins out of your body and prepare your digestive tract for the first meal of the day. Coconut water is also beneficial for balancing your electrolytes. Mix the coconut water with:
-1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup lime juice-water to taste-1/8 teaspoon sea salt -sugar or honey, to taste
Blend this mixture and add a few ice cubes. You can even include different fruits in your morning electrolyte drink to make this healthy treat even more interesting.

Afternoon – Rhodiola Energy Drink
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Rhodiola is a natural energy booster, and when you’re starting to feel tired after your lunch has set it, it can be the ideal pick-me-up, that doesn’t leave you feeling jittery and on edge.  It also have purported adaptogenic effects, meaning it belongs to a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. The herb is also beneficial for protecting your immune system and increasing your endurance during a workout. If you feel like you have a cold coming on, this energy drink is a great idea. In addition to 1 gram of rhodiola extract, you’ll also need:
-1 scoop whey protein-1 tablespoon of vitamin C powder -filtered water-1 cup frozen berries
Mix these ingredients together especially if you love going on a jog or heading to the gym shortly after work.

Evening – Berry Smoothie
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After your workout, a smoothie is a great way to reinforce the benefits from your exercise.  In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries—similar to blueberries—as well as other berries. Creating your own smoothie means you get to choose a base of your liking. You can add water, cow’s milk, soy milk or yogurt to the fruit in order to add bulk. The healthier options would include water, low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which will add flavor and nutrients without a huge number of calories. The water will provide your body with fluid that is necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients. The low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong.

To make this berry-licious smoothie, you need:
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries-1/2 cup mixed berries-1/2 cup coconut or almond milk-2 tablespoons raw honey-3 tablespoons rolled oats-1/2 a banana-1 scoop peanut or almond butter (optional)
Combine these ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste the smoothie to make sure you don’t want to add more sweetener or peanut butter. This energy drink is filled with protein, a generous serving of fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals to keep you focused and satisfied.

Nighttime – Hot Relaxing Cup of Fenugreek Tea

A lot of people are replacing coffee with tea these days, and with good reason. Coffee tends to be acidic, dehydrating, and the dosage of caffeine can negatively affect the adrenal glands.   A great herbal tea alternative to coffee in the morning is fenugreek seed tea. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor often described as a cross between celery and maple. Fenugreek seed tea is a natural source of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, which are all important vitamins for the body. Look online for places where to buy fenugreek tea and be sure you are buying from an organic supplier. This way you are protecting yourself by not putting any harmful pesticides into your body, and added touches such as using bleach free tea bags will help keep the taste pure and delicious. Fenugreek tea is actually a good source of protein, and a great source of iron, making it the perfect morning drink to add into your daily healthy routine.

The tea itself is very easy to make:
-Using approximately one teaspoon of seed per cup of boiling water, boil the seeds for between 5 and 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Cover the tea and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine strainer or colander to remove the seeds, and the tea is ready.

Fenugreek tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and as often as desired.

Coffee Addiction and Its Side Effects

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Coffee is a favorite to millions of people all over the world. Most people have been convinced that a cup of coffee gets them going early in the morning, in case one feels too tired or sleepy to face the day. An average adult drinks up to five cups of coffee in a day; something that is very worrying as coffee poses negative effects to a person. As much as some people enjoy it and experienced no associated health issues, coffee is addictive and it leads to certain health complications in the long run.

Some of the negative effects of drinking coffee include the following.

Raising Blood Pressure

Caffeine consumption raises blood pressure, especially to those who are suffering from hypertension or those who are not used to taking coffee. Too much caffeine stirs the release of cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which are the stress hormones. Such chemicals increase the tension levels, blood pressure and the body’s heart rate. The difficulty to relax caused by drinking coffee is what most people mistake for an energy boost.

Ulcers and Acidity

How-bout-that-cup-of-coffee-Coffee contains certain acids, including caffeine, which irritate the lining of the small intestines and the stomach too. This is why people suffering from ulcers, IBS and other similar conditions are instructed not to take coffee completely. Excessive consumption of coffee also leads to cramps, abdominal spasms, constipation and diarrhea.

Kidney Failure

Those who consume coffee heavily do not have sufficient minerals even if they eat foods rich in minerals or other supplements. Coffee tampers with the way your kidneys retain minerals such as magnesium, zinc and calcium since it affects the absorption of iron by the stomach. Not only do you deprive your body of the necessary minerals, but you also affect your kidney, leading to complications like having kidney stones or potential kidney failure.

Heart Disease

After having your cup of coffee, doctors have discovered that your heart produces frequent forced heart contractions. This is dangerous to people who already have heart problems and could also cause the same to healthy individuals. Caffeine also causes painful heartburn since it contains acids that affect the heart muscles. Such complications also lead to certain serious conditions like a stroke.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Just like any other drug, caffeine is addictive and for frequent coffee drinkers, they experience certain discomforts once they forego a cup of coffee. It is disturbing that some people cannot fully function with the productivity required in case they miss that very important cup of coffee in the morning. The withdrawal effects of caffeine include; depression, hallucinations, drowsiness, fatigue, anxiety and migraines. These effects only go away after such individuals consume some coffee.

Final Analysis

It is evident that too much consumption of coffee is addictive and could lead to serious health complications if the necessary action is not taken. There are many other healthy alternatives to taking coffee that one can embrace, depending on why they feel the need to constantly consume coffee. To stay healthy, everything should be done in moderation to avoid future health calamities.

 

Which is the Best Herbal Tea for Weight Loss?

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Today, the weight loss industry has become a big business. Many tea manufacturers are now jumping on the bandwagon at this epidemic phenomenon. Herbal tea and Green tea is a healthy and cheap alternative that can help with weight loss. Don’t be to think that just drinking these teas will achieve weight loss. The reality is that there is no magic pill, drink or potion, or lotion for that matter that can help you lose weight without much effort on your part. The keyword here is “help” and these natural teas are considered some of the best drinks that help people lose weight and maintain a healthy body. There are many herbal teas that can reduce weight. Let’s have a close look at few of them.

Green Tea

Though it’s not classified as a herbal tea (as its leaves come from the tea plant “camellia sinesis”), green tea is one of the most researched plants and it has been said that it aids weight loss. This is due to its “ployphenol” component that is responsible for its slimming effects. Its caffeine content boosts body metabolism and helps burn calories and fat. It’s these reasons why the ingredients of green tea are widely used in many diet pills.

Dandelion

Famous as a “little plant that roars”, it has natural laxatives and diuretic properties that remove food and water weight before digestion begins and also helps the body reduce the feeling of being bloated, this is one of many dandelion root tea benefits. Some dieters believe that diarrhea actually helps their bodies from absorbing fat or calories, but this is not the case and could lead to dependency on laxatives. Dandelion is one of the best aids for digestion because of its mild laxative properties. It also helps bowel movements become more regular.

Guarana

guaranaGuarana contains lots of “guaranine”, which is similar to caffeine. It stimulates the body and accelerates various functions such as digestion, heart rate, and respiration due to its caffeine content. It also stimulates the nervous system and is also a good diuretic that helps fight depression and helps you cope with stress.

Siberian Ginseng

Also famous as “king of tonics”, Siberian Ginseng is a very popular herbGinseng-Tea that helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels thus reducing any desire to eat sweets or sugar. However, people suffering from narcolepsy, hypertension, or those who are taking blood thinners should avoid it.

It can definitely stimulate the nervous system and act fast on adrenal and pituitary glands and gives you stamina; it also helps combat fatigue. As it boosts stamina, you can work out for longer without feeling tired. It can also be used to treat exhaustion, nervous disorders and for strengthening organs. It boosts mental ability and is a powerful anti-dote for stress and issues with aging.

Hoodia Gordonii

hoodiaplant01Hoodia Gordonii is a natural appetite suppressor that has been used for centuries by South African Khosian herders to endure days without feeling hungry, while they were gathering or hunting. It has active ingredient p57 that is responsible for appetite suppression and can “fool” the mind in thinking you’re full so you won’t feel any need to snack.

Herbal Tea and Its Health Benefits

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During the olden days, our ancestors ate and drank whatever came their way with little regard for calories, fats and carbs, but surprisingly they had lean, sculpted bodies. One might attribute their stature to extreme manual work, but we know it takes more than that to maintain a healthy weight and to live a disease free life.

qanda_greenteaExperts believe that with access to the right foods, you can consume more calories without increasing your risk of lifestyle diseases that are so popular nowadays. This revelation is probably the cause of a major super food craze that has taken the world by storm. People are rapidly embracing the food and beverage that help them stay healthy. Many people are unaware, but green tea is a major part of today’s healthy eating habits.

The leaves of camellia sinensis are popularly processed to produce black tea especially in the West, but in China and other parts of Asia, minimal oxidation of the leaves results in a green type of tea which has gained lots of attention in other parts of the globe. This is because unlike black tea, the green tea has numerous benefits to health. Damiana leaf tea is becoming increasingly popular and is a great choice not only because of its great quality, but also because of the many vitamins and minerals it provides. It’s important deciding where to buy damiana tea. Some unscrupulous people may sell brands with so many additives and fillers that diminish the effects of this pure tea. To reap the full benefits of herbal tea, make sure that it is pure and prepared in healthy conditions.

Herbal tea is good for the heart owing that to its ability to lower cholesterol and improve blood flow around the body. A review of major studies in 2013 showed that people who consumed herbal tea are less likely to get high blood pressure and congestive heart failure among other problems.

green-tea-mainAlzheimer’s disease is associated with formation of plaque but by consuming this tea, you will reduce the chances of getting it. The tea is a great memory booster as proven in MRI studies that showed increased activity in the working-memory part of the brain. It stabilizes blood sugar levels in diabetics thanks to catechins which lower both cholesterol and blood sugar. This means that drinking this tea can protect you from the harmful effects of high-fat diet. Some reports show that green tea is helpful in weight management among obese people.

Herbal tea is popular to people looking to lead a healthy lifestyle but the numerous benefits should not be reason for you to overload it into your body. Moderation is the key because large doses of tea could lead to liver toxicity. You may buy supplements, condiments or extracts but make sure you get them from authorized dealers for your safety. Supplements are very popular because they provide an affordable, less time consuming way to enjoy its benefits.

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If more people embraced tea, the world would definitely see a decline in people suffering from lifestyle diseases. It is certainly worth taking advantage of this incredible gift of nature in order to safeguard your health, sip by sip.

 

A Guide to Delicious Mouth Watering Smoothies

There is no question that smoothies are nutritious and delicious. This is the reason why it is easy to get into the healthy habit of drinking a glass or two of delicious smoothies every day. They also fit people’s fast paced and active lifestyle since its preparation is hassle free and doesn’t need much time. However, finding the perfect smoothie is not easy and usually takes several trial and errors, combining various ingredient and fruits until you have one that suits your taste. If you still haven’t found a perfect smoothie, here are few tips that will help you get there.

pineapple-ginger-smoothieThese days most of the people are health conscious and prefer low fat smoothies. They are mostly made using non-fat or skimmed milk to reduce their calories without sacrificing the nutritional value. All those who are trying to lose weight can replace their meal with a smoothie. They will find that this delicious blended drink can keep them fuller longer and they won’t have any desire to snack. Low fat smoothies also help in curbing the cravings for chocolates or other sugary treats due to the presence of natural fructose from various fruits in them.

Since these low fat smoothies are liquids, drinking them is helpful as it’s a part of your required fluid intake. And it’s much more than drinking water as these smoothies contain minerals and vitamins that are not available in a glass of water. If you are trying to lose weight, proper hydration is doubly important. Your body cells need water to function properly and people who regulate their calorie intake should keep their body in optimal health condition at all times.

tumblr_niw1rybRnS1u9x1ljo1_1280Bananas are widely popular smoothie staples due to their creamy texture and sweetness. Just one or two pieces are sufficient for any single-serve smoothie recipe. Avoid using bananas that are not fully ripe because your smoothies won’t taste as good. If you don’t like bananas, you can use avocados or pears as substitute to provide a creamy base for your smoothie. Also, avocados are full of the good type of cholesterol, but avoid using too much. Even if they are healthy, they still have calories.

Besides creamy fruits, you will have to mix your smoothie with liquids to incorporate all components together. Some prefer to add milk, which can be either cow’s milk, nut or soy milk. You can get soy milk from health food grocery stores and grocery stores and nut milk for your smoothies can be made at home. All you need to do is mix a handful of nuts and water in a blender and thoroughly mix until the nuts have been fully incorporated. Another nutritious liquid is coconut milk but is sparingly used due to its intense taste.

Bombay-Banana-Smoothie-6In addition to milk, another dairy product that is often added to smoothies is yogurt. Yogurt adds a creamy texture and has a lot of nutrients.

With smoothies, the possibilities are seemingly endless. If you’re creative, you can even come up with your own smoothie recipe. This makes preparing them fun especially because you can drink them in place of any meal and still stay healthy.