4 Healthy Drinks You can Make Yourself
Like yogurt, kefir is a probiotic food, containing lactic acid bacteria (LAB). It is famous for its longevity properties, as some of the oldest living people in the world, from Bulgaria and the Northern Caucasus, use it as a staple in their diet. Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist Dr. Metchnikoff had a theory that the lactic acid bacteria in the fermented milk was responsible for these populations’ exceptional health and longevity. He believed that there was a connection between disease and the microorganisms in the digestive tract, and that bacteria in the fermented milk products consumed by these populations competed with the harmful microorganisms in their digestive tract.
Kefir contains, in addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes – particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, and vitamins K, A and D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, important for a healthy nervous system, kefir can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir grains cause the liquid, either milk or water, to ferment, producing a large quantity of beneficial bacteria. You can buy kefir grains and make your own beverage, or you can purchase ready-made versions of the drink. But, be a wise consumer, as different brands may vary in their concentration of the beneficial bacteria, and always read the labels to ensure quality ingredients.
Kombucha is quickly becoming a famous beverage among health seekers. The ancient Chinese called it the ‘Tea for Immortality,’ having used it for over 5000 years for preventing illness, improving your immune system, boosting energy and keeping a healthy digestive system.
Kombucha is made from a tea that has been specially sweetened and fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, called a Scoby. Scoby has a strange mushroom like appearance that reproduces fast in the right conditions releasing beneficial nutrients in the process. You can save money by making it yourself.
Kombucha is rich in B-vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. It can be purchased in most health food stores in different flavors, such as combined with ginger, orange and other well-known healing teas and herbs with ingredients that have proven health benefits.
- Lemon/Lime Drink
Mix lime and/or lemon juice with plain or slightly sparkling mineral water, with a hint of honey or stevia for taste and sweetness. The benefits are: lowers PH of body which slows aging; has vitamins and minerals, Vitamin C which kills bacteria in your mouth so it freshens your breath; it helps the liver detox and lowers toxins in the body; improves digestion and it speeds up metabolism, which reduces reliance on caffeine and decreases craving for coffee and soda pop. How cool is that?
- Green Tea
Green tea is a great alternative because it contains an alpha wave stimulating amino acid for treating anxiety that also doubly serves as an antidote to the harmful effects of caffeine. Various herbal teas added, all have their own health benefits such as improving digestion, adding vitamins and minerals and containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
I personally grow fresh herbs and make a killer iced tea with green tea bags, mint, stevia, tarragon and some other plants from my garden. Many of my customers have taken my “Its Tea Time” workshop and make their own. They have replaced the soda for the tea, they love the flavor and feel much better. I have several families that the kids actually make the tea fresh from the garden. You don’t get the fizziness but they don’t seem to miss it.
Those of you who love to drink tea and coffee sweetened with lots of sugar, you can switch to natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol which are good for the body. Stevia is a natural sweetener not an artificial sweetener like many may think. It comes from the stevia plant which is naturally sweet by nature. But the good news is that it does not boost your blood sugar so it is safe for diabetics. Some people just need to get used to the flavor but I use it for almost all of my sweetenings.