Replace those empty-calorie, sugary sodas with these ten healthy summer sippers and let summertime drinking improve your health.
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Beyond WaterCertainly water is important for keeping you healthy and hydrated. But it's just one of many beverage choices offering health benefits. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, a variety of beverages and foods is well suited to satisfy the different fluid requirements of people of all ages and activity levels, in different climates and states of health. The many flavor options certainly make it more enjoyable to drink all that we need each day, approximately 9 to 13 cups for adults.
Fresh Ginger BeerWith a flavor similar to ginger ale, this ginger beer is not an alcoholic beer, but a fizzy mixture of sparkling water, lime juice and fresh ginger. Ginger has been used as a home remedy for years to combat stomach aches and morning sickness. There have also been some studies showing that ginger may help reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.
Citrus Tea PunchTea itself offers significant health benefits because of its antioxidant compounds, but you can double the antioxidant benefits by stirring in some orange juice. Keep a pitcher at poolside all summer long.
Strawberry Agua FrescaAgua fresca is a refreshing, fruit-infused drink that is served throughout Mexico. Drinking a fruity water-based drink is a great way to stay hydrated in the summer while getting some extra vitamins.
Raspberry LemonadeThink pink when it comes to lemonade and add pureed raspberries to the lemonade concentrate. Raspberries offer fiber and vitamin C, and are a rich source of cancer-fighting antioxidants. And if you toss in a few mint sprigs, you get even more antioxidant action.
Blackberry-Mango Breakfast ShakeStart your day with a shake that's packed with protein, fiber and vitamin C. You'll have energy for the morning and a head start in fighting heart disease with the nutrients in blackberries, mangos, orange juice and tofu.
Watermelon CoolerEnjoy juicy fresh watermelon without dealing with seeds in this tangy and sweet melon drink. Watermelon is a top source of lycopene, the compound (also found in tomatoes) that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Blackberry LimeadeTake a break from lemonade and perk up with a glass of limeade featuring summer blackberries. Blackberries have been shown to have higher antioxidant activity than blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries, and are, therefore, helpful in reducing the risk of cancer. They're also rich in vitamin C and fiber, so you're getting a lot of nutrition in one glass.
Spicy Mango-Orange SlushKick up the flavor of this fruity frozen drink with a sprinkle of ground red pepper and a splash of lime juice. There's no added sugar in this drink–all the sweetness comes from orange juice and mango. Mangos are a good source of fiber and contain enzymes that help with digestion.
Festive Fruit PunchThis triple juice drink is a refreshing nonalcoholic option for entertaining. Just mix up a pitcher just before the guests arrive. The three juices–orange, pineapple, and cranberry–all contribute disease-fighting vitamin C.
Moroccan Mint TeaGreen tea is rich in a powerful antioxidant that not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells but also kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Green tea may also increase mental alertness, aid in weight loss, reduce LDL cholesterol, and protect the skin from sun damage. Seems like plenty of reason to enjoy a glass of this sweet, mint-scented tea every day.