5 Healthy Alternatives to Soda
Posted on Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 8:00 am
With the back-to-school season upon us and hectic routines in full swing it is definitely easy to get into bad habits. Whether it be bad diet, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep, it’s important to take care of our bodies. One easy way to do that is to cut soda out from our diet. This idea may not be music to your ears, but health-wise it’ll do you wonders, and budget-wise it’ll save you some serious dough. To make things easier on you we’ve come up with a list of 5 healthy alternatives to soda that should be easy for you and your family to try.
If you’re guzzling your favorite soda for some extra pep in your step tea may be the perfect alternative for you. Not only are certain brands of tea all natural or organic, but some varieties are also loaded with caffeine and antioxidants. In fact, tea consumption has been linked to cancer prevention, better heart health, bone mineral density improvement, the prevention of certain neurological diseases, and increased immunity! Whether you like it hot or iced tea is a delicious and healthy alternative to consider.
Lately juice has gotten a bad rap as being unhealthy, but we’re here to clear up some misconceptions. Yes, juice is good for you, but be sure to consume it in moderation. Juice, and juicing in general, is a great way to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. The combinations of flavors is endless! The best choice you can make, nutritionally speaking, when it comes to selecting a juice is to get one that is: made from 100% fruit or vegetables, one that has pulp , and one without any sugar added. Be wary of any containers stating the contents are “fruit drinks” or “fruit flavored” because they’re unlikely to contain any actual fruit juice.
3. Water or Infused Water
That’s right, it’s an oldie and a goodie. Instead of guzzling down a bottle of soda you should definitely think of turning to water instead. The body needs anywhere between 2-3 quarts of water per day, which is about 8 cups of water per day, and most of us aren’t getting enough of it. A recent Boston College study found two-thirds of Americans don’t drink nearly enough water per day and that can lead to negative effects like dehydration, lethargy, headaches, and dry mouth. You might be saying to yourself there is no variety with water, but that is where you’re wrong. Try adding a fresh slice of lemon or lime to your bottle, or investing in a flavor infusing water bottle. Flavor infusing water bottles allow you to create your own flavored water by choosing which fruit flavors to add to your water. Switch it up to keep it interesting!
Similar to juice, smoothies are a great way to add some extra nutrition into your diet. They are also a great way to sneak fruits and vegetables into the diet of picky eaters (ahem, young kiddos). In addition to making delicious and endless combinations of fruit and vegetables, smoothies are a another vehicle for protein. Adding protein powder to your daily smoothie is a common way for athletes and vegetarians get the protein they need especially if they’re on the go. If you’re wondering how to go about creating a delicious smoothie check out the wide variety of recipes at AllRecipes.com. However, just as a warning, not all smoothies are nutritious. Typically the smoothies you purchase from stores or restaurants, like Jamba Juice, aren’t the best thing to consistently add to your diet.
Okay, we didn’t see this one coming either. As it turns out coffee in moderation can be healthy! Minus the cream and sugar, coffee has zero fat and few calories. Research has shown that coffee drinkers have a lowered risk for heart disease, are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, and experience certain forms of cancer less! However, be careful when walking the line between not enough and too much coffee. According to BBC Health article “How Much Coffee is Safe?” the daily caffeine limit for an individual is about 400 mg, but it is also important to note that caffeine levels in coffee vary depending on roast, the size of the cup, the brewing method, etc. Here is a quick guide for how much caffeine is in your cup of joe or tea:
- 1 mug of instant coffee: 100 mg
- 1 mug of filter coffee: 140 mg
- 1 mug of tea: 75 mg