(WellnessNova.com) - Approximately 1 in 5 Americans drink at least one soda a day, according to a report. If you’re not already aware, soda contains a lot of sugar. A 590-milligram bottle of Coca-Cola, for instance, contains 65 grams of sugar. You’re supposed to consume no more than 50 grams of added sugar a day, so guzzling down a small bottle of Coca-Cola leaves you over the limit.
Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, liver toxicity and even increase your risk of a heart attack. That’s why you need to kick the habit. This summer, switch sodas for healthy, sugar-free beverages and watch your waistline shrink, your mood improve and your energy skyrocket.
Here are 10 of the healthiest drinks to drink this summer:
1. Iced Fruit Tea With Lemon
Let’s start off with a bang — iced fruit tea with lemon. It’s healthy and easy to make! At only a couple of calories a glass, you won’t pile on the pounds with this drink.
Fruit teas are packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants — they’re also caffeine-free. The only negative point is that, while they’re watered down, they still contain fruit sugars. Thereby, stick to only a couple of glasses a day.
To make this tasty beverage, boil up the tea of your choice and leave it to cool. Once chilled, fill a glass with ice and a slice of lemon, and pour in your tea infusion. Voila, you’ve got yourself a tasty, tangy summer beverage!
2. Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Fruit smoothies are the best, aren’t they? Believe it or not, they’re also mega healthy provided you add plenty of fruit and skip the sugar. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to fill your body with essential vitamins, whilst giving you a delicious treat at the same time.
A nice and easy one to try is the strawberry and banana smoothie. All you need is one banana, a handful of strawberries and a splash of any plant-based milk. Rice milk, coconut milk and oat milk are recommended for this recipe.
Blend all the ingredients together in a food blender until the mixture is smooth. This should take about a minute. Leave the mixture to chill in the fridge and serve over ice. How easy is that?
3. Fresh Orange Juice
Forget supermarket orange juice and juice your own instead. The trouble with most supermarket brands is they’re laden in preservatives, additives and sugars. Freshly squeezed orange juice is far healthier.
Packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, a single glass of fresh orange juice provides you with a multitude of essential vitamins and nutrients. Plus, it’s the perfect beverage to cool you down on a hot summer’s day.
Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink using three main ingredients: plain yogurt, water and salt. As it contains lactobacillus, the good bacteria you need in your gut, Lassi can reduce acidity in the stomach and improve digestion. It’s also full of calcium, protein, vitamin A, and riboflavin.
To make this cooling beverage, blend 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt until the mixture is frothy. Serve in a tall glass with lots of ice.
5. Iced Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea eases insomnia, reduces stress, boosts your immune system and much more. However, a hot cup of tea isn’t the most appealing summer drink, is it? That’s why you should try making iced chamomile tea.
Brew two chamomile tea bags in 6 cups of water for several minutes. Chill for one hour and serve over ice.
6. Coconut Water
Forget plain H2O and choose coconut water instead. Some studies found that coconut water rehydrates you better than actual water! It’s the ultimate thirst quencher to beat tropical summer thirst.
Packed with protein, calcium, iron, B-vitamins and a host of other nutrients, coconut water is also the ultimate health booster. While you can buy it in stores, the overall nutritional profile isn’t as high as homemade. Luckily, it’s not that hard to make. You’ll need a raw, tender coconut and a long sickle.
Using the sickle, cut open the coconut’s outer layer at the top and also cut open the inner hard shell. Tilt the coconut upside down to transfer its water into a wide bowl or jug, pour into a glass and serve with ice.
7. Lemon Water
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C. Hence, if you’re looking to boost your immune system, opt for lemons. Lemon water is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin C.
Not only is it the ideal drink for summer, it also comes with a variety of health benefits. Lemon water can help you lose weight, improve digestion and help kick your coffee habit. All in all, it’s a miracle worker.
Squeeze half a lemon into a cup of cold water and guzzle it down. Drink first thing in the morning to enhance its health benefits.
8. Cucumber Mint Water
If you want to stay hydrated this summer, opt for cucumber mint water. Because cucumbers are 95 percent water, they keep your body hydrated, and eliminate toxins. In other words, they’re a summer staple.
This two-ingredient water is healthy, refreshing and most of all, delicious. To make it, place four mint leaves, 15 thin slices of cucumber, and 1 gallon of water to a pitcher and leave in the fridge overnight. Serve with ice and a slice of lemon.
9. Tart Cherry Juice
Sip on tart cherry juice this summer, and you’ll forget all about pina coladas. Sweet and tangy, this drink was made for hot summer days. But the greatness of this drink goes far beyond its taste.
Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, tart cherry juice protects you from asthma, insomnia, heart disease, and even cancer.
The only down side to this juice is its sugar content. Like most fruits, tart cherries are quite high in natural sugars. Thereby, it’s a good idea to stick to one small glass a day.
10. Iced Green Tea
Green tea is a superfood. High in antioxidants and nutrients, green tea can improve brain function, curb obesity, improve dental health and reduce your risk of many types of cancer. It’s definitely a drink to add to your menu. However, hot tea isn’t exactly the kind of drink you fancy on a sticky, summer’s day, is it? Hence, try iced green tea instead.
Boil up 2 green tea bags in 4 cups of water and steep for five minutes. Set aside and let it come to room temperature. Once cooled, serve over ice.
Try these healthy drinks this summer. Some are even better and more nutritious than plain old water!