6 Best Drinks To Have Every Day, Say Dietitians
It may be surprising, but it's true: one of the most important things you should do every day is to make sure to stay hydrated. Choosing the best drinks for your body is crucial, as some drinks can actually make you healthier while others do the complete opposite.
It's important to choose drinks wisely, as many come with positive side effects for your health; take coffee, for example, which can help keep your brain young. But there are others, like sugar-sweetened beverages, which can have different effects, including metabolic diseases like obesity, type II diabetes, and heart failure, if you drink too much.
To stay nutritionally balanced and healthy with your beverages of choice, here are the best drinks to have every day. Read on, and for more, don't miss 6 Drinking Habits to Melt Belly Fat, Say Dietitians.
If you haven't heard about the health benefits of regularly drinking green tea, you haven't been paying attention. Green tea, which originated in China, differs from black and oolong tea not only in color but because its tea leaves have not gone through the same withering and oxidation process as other types of tea.
"Green tea is packed with antioxidants that have widespread health benefits from preventing illness, reducing inflammation, and even potentially preventing cancer," says Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.
Potential cancer prevention isn't the only benefit of drinking green tea, as it also helps to remove toxins and improve metabolism, according to Best.
"[The antioxidants] work in the body to prevent and reduce cellular damage from toxins and free radicals, which can cause metabolism to slow down significantly," Best says. "We take them in primarily through plant compounds, phytonutrients, and amino acids in the food we eat and the herbal teas we drink, like green tea."
Additionally, regular consumption of green tea can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels because of the catechins found in the tea.
If you don't want to drink water for breakfast and aren't going for the caffeine buzz from a mug of coffee, the best drink you can have to start your day is 100% orange juice, specifically orange juice with pulp.
"A benefit you get from orange juice is the water content that helps rehydrate you from either an overnight fast or if you didn't get enough water throughout the day," says Blanca Garcia, RD, a registered dietitian at Health Canal. "The top nutrient you get from orange juice is vitamin C, at 64 percent of the daily value. It's a great source of a nutrient that helps with wound healing, collagen production, metabolism of protein, and immune function."
Garcia adds that freshly-squeezed orange juice is the best option for the most nutrient-filled drink, but if that's not a possibility, the next best thing would be orange juice from the supermarket that has pulp.
An ever-popular breakfast option, smoothies are great at all times of the day and are an extremely effective way to take in a lot of nutrients in just one drink.
"Smoothies are a great option for those that are looking to nourish themselves with a nutrient-dense meal or snack," says Kara Landau, RD, a registered dietitian and the founder of Uplift Foods.
The blended drink is worth drinking every day because it's so customizable. When you're making a smoothie you can add anything into it, although smoothie drinkers typically stick to fruits, vegetables, and proteins like peanut butter or flax seeds.
"When creating a smoothie I would strongly recommend people look to incorporate a range of prebiotic-rich ingredients to nourish the gut bacteria and help reduce inflammation, strengthen immunity, and support mood," Landau says. One of the richest sources of prebiotics is under-ripe bananas."
Similar to a thin yogurt, kefir is a drink made of fermented milk that's growing in popularity because of its gut health-supporting benefits.
"This probiotic-rich dairy-based drink is a great staple to have every day to support gut health," says registered dietitian and author Molly Morgan, RD. "What is unique about kefir is that it has 12 types of probiotics in it, compared to the three to five types of probiotics typically found in yogurt, and diversity of probiotics seems to be linked to gut health benefits."
For those with any sort of dairy or lactose intolerance, dairy products aren't usually thought of as being that easy on the stomach, even if they result in better gut health, but Morgan says that kefir is an exception because "nearly all the lactose is 'used up' during the fermentation process, making it virtually lactose-free and easy on the digestive system."
Kombucha, which is an antioxidant-rich fermented tea, is a gut-healthy drink that can be had at any point in the day.
"Because it's a fermented drink, kombucha contributes friendly bacteria and yeast that our digestive systems might otherwise be lacking," says registered dietitian Willow Jarosh, RD. "Sipping daily means your digestive system is getting these friendly visitors on a regular basis, which can help to maintain a positive balance. The balance of bacteria and yeast in our bodies is being studied for links to a range of things, from staying regular to skin health to mental health."
It's fairly obvious that water is not just one of the most important drinks to take in every day, but the most important overall. It's recommended to drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day not only to make yourself more healthy but also to act defensively in avoiding dehydration and an assortment of health pitfalls.
"Drinking eight to ten glasses per day can lower dehydration levels and increase the fluid levels in your body," says Nataly Komova, RD, a registered dietitian at Just CBD. "This can aid in digestion, lower constipation, regulate blood pressure, prevent damage of the inner cells and tissues by the free radicals, heighten joint lubrication and facilitate excretion of waste."
If the taste of water isn't palatable enough, adding a slice of lemon to your drink doesn't only boost the taste, but it can also help out with anti-aging properties, according to a Japanese study.