8 Healthy Drinks You Don’t Know About (That You Should Be Drinking)
From inflammation and heart disease to interrupted sleep and bad breath…these healthy drinks could cure a number of ailments (even your love life).
Has anyone else noticed how many ‘healthy’ drinks there are out in the world? When we started Good Hemp back in the 90s, a “healthy drink” meant the diet coke you switched your midday pint for and barely anyone was making a plant milk (let alone hemp milk.) Nowadays, there’s a new healthy drink on the block every week. “You don’t know about this obscure fruit juice foraged from Fangorn forest? Are you even into healthy drinks?”
The truth of the matter is that the healthy drink world has a good and a bad side. The good news (cause we’re Good Hemp) is that people are taking nutrition seriously and thinking about what is going into their bodies. When you used to have a choice of beer, wine or coke at a party, you now have a wealth of healthy drink options – from fruit-based fizzy water to non-alcoholic spirits like Seedlip. People are becoming more and more likely to reach for a Tenzing natural energy drink than a Red Bull to get them through a night at the office and each month everyone seems to pledge their allegiance to another favourite healthy drink (ours even has a gang name #goodgang).
The bad news is that the healthy drink world can often descend into chaos, with crazes that don’t last longer than it takes to gulp it down. In the USA “raw water” became the latest fad, with Live Water in Los Angeles selling unfiltered water for $27 a litre. They urged people to ditch tap water in favour of this “healthier option” only to be completely shut down by the scientific community. Dr Donald Hensrud, Director of the Health Living Programme at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester explained that by drinking unfiltered water, you were at risk of ingesting E coli, viruses, parasites and cancerous chemicals – “without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks”. Doesn’t sound that healthy to us…
But we digress – the aim of this article isn’t to scare you off healthy drinks. Quite the opposite. We want to introduce you to all the healthy drinks that we really love that you might not have heard of. That doesn’t mean they are a craze or a fad – some of these drinks have been around for hundreds of years. We want to demystify these healthy drinks so that you can learn to love them too.
1. Hemp Milk
Use for: Healthy heart, good skin and brain function
Ok so we weren’t going to write this whole article without tooting our own horn. We’re good, but we’re not the only good that exists. The great thing about Hemp Milk is that it’s not just great for the planet, it’s great for the people on it too with real nutritional benefits. Our Good Hemp Creamy Seed Milk is made from hemp seeds which are a natural source of good fats. They contain omega 3, 6 and 9 which we all know are important for a healthy heart, good skin and brain function. Most people get their omegas from oily fish, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, this healthy drink is one of your best options (plus it has twice as much Omega 3 as a tuna steak). In fact, one 250ml glass of hemp milk is half of nutritionist’s recommended amount of Omega 3. It’s also low in saturated fats and free from cholesterol with no added sugar or preservatives and it’s totally allergen free (that’s no dairy, no nuts, no soya, not gluten). Phew. How’s that for a healthy drink?
2. Aloe Vera Juice
Use for: The immune system and digestion
Like hemp, aloe vera is a plant species with a long history of medicinal and nutritional uses. Unlike hemp milk which is made from the seed, aloe vera is made from the green gel-filled leaves. This healthy drink is filled with amino acids, vitamins and minerals making it a natural cleanser which strengthens digestion and detoxifies the body. It’s also filled with unique immune-boosting polysaccharides which also have prebiotic properties, meaning it’s great for anyone suffering from issues with digestion. Oh and it’s pretty great for the immune system from fighting off bacteria to boosting your levels of zinc. The taste can be somewhat challenging, but don’t let this put you off. With pure aloe vera juice you can take it in small shots each morning or throw it in your smoothie.
3. Green Tea
Use for: Cholesterol, blood pressure and mouth health
Yes, we’ve all heard of Green Tea. But were you aware of just how healthy of a drink green tea is? As a result of its fermentation process, green tea is filled with rich antioxidants and flavonoids that kill free radicals (molecules that can damage your cells) and help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure too. Then there’s the fact that certain compounds found in green tea can kill bacteria in the mouth, preventing cavities and gum disease and reducing inflammation. What’s more, green tea has been proven to kill microbes that are the cause of bad breath – who knew healthy drinks could make for a healthy love life.
4. Cherry Concentrate
Use for: Brain health, memory and sleep
Cherry juice is also naturally packed with flavonoids which, in addition to the benefits listed above, fights infection and aids our immune system. It’s also been linked to brain health and can reduce the symptoms of degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers. One study showed improvements in verbal fluency and memory for participants with dementia when they drank tart cherry juice for twelve weeks. But the most interesting benefit of this healthy drink is that it could help you sleep. Researchers at Louisiana State University in the USA did a recent study on how cherry juice can block your body from producing sleep inhibiting chemicals. It was found that the average sleep time of participants in this study increased by 84 minutes over a two week period. We’re sold.
5. Beetroot Juice
Use for: Blood pressure, inflammation and muscle health
In Ancient cultures, beetroot was considered a medicine rather than a food! This was due to its high levels of naturally occurring nitrates as well as high levels of essential nutrients such as folate, potassium and vitamin C. The beauty of nitrates is they help enhance blood flow particularly to the brain and muscles. It can be used to lower blood pressure, improve athletic performance, and to help curb inflammation. While you can eat your beetroot, why not have it as a healthy drink each morning? Just one word of warning. When heading to the loo after a glass of beet juice… Don’t. Panic. It’s just the colouring.
Use for: Taking a break from booze
Have you ever uttered the words “I’m not drinking” and been left with deafening silence? We’ve got a solution for you. Seedlip is what you drink when you’re not drinking. It’s a non-alcholic spirit which comes in three flavours – Spice 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42 all of which can be served with tonic or mixed up into a non-alcoholic cocktail (the classy way to say “mocktail!”) Perfect for taking a night off, new and soon-to-be mothers that don’t want to be left out, or Gen Z-ers that aren’t that into drinking (apparently).
7. Sparkling Water Infused with Fruit and Veg
Use for: Taking a break from soda
A refreshing alternative to your fizzy drink of choice, sparkling water infused with fruit and veg is our latest obsession in the healthy drink world. At the end of the day, what’s healthier than water? Whereas in the past you might have reached for a diet coke, there’s now a number of fruity sparkling waters which quench your thirst, keep you hydrated and are tasty too. We love Dash Drinks, who use wonky fruits (that’s the stuff that isn’t apparently pretty enough for the supermarket) for their healthy drink, helping to reduce food waste.
8. Sea Buckthorn Juice
Use for: Immunity, inflammation, heart health, metabolism
This healthy drink sounds a little on the crazy side. Is it an animal? A plant? A mythical creature? Sea buckthorn is actually a shrub, which thrives in places where not much else grows – salty beaches, deserts (you get the drift). It has thorny branches which are covered with small orange fruits or berries. These fruits are a great source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential minerals and polyphenols. Importantly, it’s one of the most concentrated natural sources of Vitamin C and a great source of omega 7 fatty acids. While oils have been used for decades in Asia and Europe to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, juices are now being used to support heart health, metabolism and immunity. The taste is an acquired taste (to put it nicely) so this shot of the stuff from Farmdrop is ideal.