Okay, so hopefully by now you’ve already read the Eat This, Not That (the basics), and you know what you’re in for.
Welcome to the beverage edition: Drink this, Not that. In this post I’m going to discuss the changes you can make in your beverages so that they are less toxic, better for your health/immune system and lower in calories.
1. First up, Water (of course)
Drink This Not That
We all know water is the ultimate beverage for our bodies. Did you know a person can live 1 month without food but only 1 week without water! “When the water in your body is reduced by just 1 percent, you become thirsty. At 5 percent, muscle strength and endurance declines significantly and you become hot and tired. When the loss reaches 10 percent, delirium and blurred vision occur. A 20 percent reduction results in death (1).” So, you understand DRINK WATER over any beverage! Make sure you drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. I’m sure you’re wondering how I’m going to tell you to make water better. Purify it.
Nowadays, purifying your water before you drink it has become essential. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of the world’s water is contaminated in some way. Purifying your water removes the bacteria, viruses, chemicals and toxins (from waste factories and mines), heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic) and unnecessary minerals (fluoride). Yes, all of that is in your regular tap water.
Just as a suggestion I’ll go over two purification systems I use and recommend for quality filtration. At my home we have a Kenmore Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System, which requires a plumber to come out and install it right into your kitchen pipes. However, the water tastes amazing, you will be spoiled after drinking this water and never go back to the tap.
At the office we have a Big Berkey Water Filter (pictured above). This is much easier for set up, you can do it all by yourself and it can easily be taken with you when you move. It filters out just about everything (see our infographic to the right) and it tastes great!
If nothing else, at least get yourself a water filter jug for now, which will filter your water but not purify it (ex. Brita, Mavea, Zero Water). I do not recommend water bottles because they usually come in plastic bottles (filled with BPA- bisphenol-A, a chemical linked to nervous and behavioral conditions and cancer) and its not very economical. Ok, that’s enough about water, moving on.
Drink This Not That
I’m definitely in a minimal dairy camp, especially when it comes to milk. I don’t believe humans were meant to drink cow’s milk, which is why lactose intolerance is so prominent among us (we don’t have the enzymes to break it down). As a doctor I’ve noticed that when we do allergy tests, dairy always comes back as at least a moderate allergen in most people. Not to mention the growth hormones that are found in milk and consumed by humans cause an increase in IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor, a hormone that is linked with increased rates of breast, colon and prostate cancer (2)).
Also, while we’re on the subject, milk is NOT a good source of calcium, it will in fact leach calcium from your body. A study with 78,000 women over 12 years shows that women who drank milk 3 times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk (3). So, you’re better off eating greens and beans for calcium.
So, my go to for a milk replacement is coconut milk. My number one reason is because of the high medium chain fatty acid content. MCTs are hard to obtain in our diet because not many foods contain them. They are rich in anti viral and anti bacterial properties that help boost the immune system. Also, MCTs may help reduce cholesterol, assist in weight loss and are potent sources of energy.
If you are not a fan of coconut milk, my next suggestion would be almond milk because it’s still high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, however, MCTs are not found in almond milk. If that’s still not ok with you, please do not go to soy milk. In the U.S. 90-95% of soy is genetically modified to withstand all the pesticides. Furthermore, there have been numerous studies linking soy to hormonal disruption in both men and women. So, if you have a tree nut allergy (the only acceptable excuse) and can’t drink coconut or almond milk, then go with organic cow’s milk from glass bottles. Organic, hormone free, unpasteurized full fat milk actually still has nutrients (but you can’t avoid the lactose).
Drink This Not That
So, juice is probably another one that is becoming more and more obvious as a beverage to avoid. Most store bought juices are not juice at all. Just to give you an idea an 8oz glass of store bought orange juice has 24 grams of sugar in it and an 8oz. glass of apple juice has 26 grams of sugar in it. That is more sugar than half a can of coca cola. If you’re thinking that’s the sugar from the fruit, unfortunately it’s not. Make sure to always check the ingredients, you will find sugar or high fructose corn syrup have been added to the ingredients list.
If you are craving a cold, refreshing, flavorful beverage, then make your own juice! It’s so much easier than you think, just pick your favorite fruits and veggies and throw them in your juicer. Most juicers will even discard all the stuff you don’t want and pour out some juice. If you’re trying to save money, you could even use your regular household blender, you’ll just have to make sure to peel and core your fruits and vegetables if necessary. Since, you’ve all seen our coupon code and ordered your box of organic produce by now, making juice will be even easier and so much healthier for you.
An important benefit from juicing is that it allows you to absorb all the nutrients that the produce has to offer. When we heat our produce it loses nutrient content, but sometimes if we don’t heat it our bodies have trouble digesting it. Well, juicing gives you the best of both worlds, all the nutrient content without the digestion problems. It also allows you to get creative and use fruits or vegetables that you may not eat in your everyday life.
Think about juice as a great tasting medicine that your body needs without any harmful side effects. Do some research (or ask your wellness professional) the benefits of certain fruits and vegetables and apply it to any symptoms you may be feeling and have fun with it!
Keep an eye out for our favorite vegetable juice recipe that will knock out any early cold symptoms that you’re feeling.Dr. Neha Shah Chiropractic Physician | Webster Technique Certified White Oak Family Wellness P: 630-442-0057 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.whiteoakwell.com