These sweet and delicious recipes will help you kick that soda habit and keep you hydrated.
(via EveryDayHealth) If you’re a serious soda-lover, and have tried many times to kick the fizzy and sweet habit, you know how difficult it can be to find a beverage you love just as much. However, with perseverance and several tasty, easy beverage alternatives, you might be able to say goodbye to your favorite can once and for all.
If you’re committed to finding healthier alternatives to soda, here are four tasty ways to brighten your daily beverages:
Love Your Water
If drinking your daily eight glasses of water sounds tedious and bland, spruce up nature’s best with your favorite fruits or veggies — slices of lemons, oranges, cucumber or limes or even a sprig of mint. You can easily make a pitcher in the morning and dip into it all day long!
Bubbles in Your Beverages
If it’s the fizz in your glass you’re craving, why not add some seltzer water to your juices? Tart, thick juices such as cranberry, pomegranate or grape are ideal for bubbles because they can easily be diluted. To make: Mix one part juice with three parts seltzer for this light, fruity concoction.
Drink Your Veggies
Getting in some extra nutrients throughout the day is never a bad thing, and one easy way to do this is by drinking vegetable juices. You can purchase them at the store — be sure to choose low-sodium! — or simply make your own at home with a juicer. And if you’re craving a kick, add a little hot sauce and some black pepper.
Wide World of Tea
High in antioxidants in its natural state, tea is an easy, healthful way to stay hydrated. Green tea drinkers reap additional benefits — several studies say it naturally protects you from several types of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and kidney stones. Plus, tea is good iced or hot — perfect to drink year-round!
Ready to swap out soda for something new?
Lynice Anderson, Registered Dietician and Manager of Health Improvement Programs at Renown Health has some helpful tips for moving toward a soda-free lifestyle.
The health risks of soda have been widely shared, including its link to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, rising rates of obesity and triggering sweet cravings by dulling your sensitivity to sweet tastes.
“Soda — even diet soda — is a poor beverage choice for a number of reasons,” she says.
Just consider the ingredients of soda, which Lynice details as nothing more than water, a sugar source (often sucrose and/or high fructose corn syrup), added colors and various chemicals.
For soda-lovers who are challenged with giving up the bubbles, Lynice says progressively cutting back will help you get over the urge to drink as you work your way to removing it from your diet altogether.
“There is no minimum ‘good’ amount of soda you should be drinking,” she says, noting that any decrease you can make in any amount is a positive move towards better health. Lynice recommends setting small goals for replacing some of the soda with other more healthful beverages.
“Certainly if you drink two sodas per day now and you go to one per day that is great, but it’s not a good end goal,” she says.
Lynice explains that drinking soda can be addictive because it is a habit just like any other. She suggests finding a replacement beverage to help you slowly move toward better health if quitting cold turkey is not an option.
“Often soda is part of a routine, and you must change things up to build a new and different routine,” she says, recommending that you remind yourself why you are trying to decrease your soda intake and what you envision for your overall health goals. “Remember that to achieve your goals, your actions must match your vision.”
For more soda alternatives, go to EveryDayHealth.com.