What Are You Drinking?
Hey there, friends! I am thrilled to discuss beverages with you in today’s lesson, because calories also come in many forms, including drinks. Are you noticing a common theme here with the flexitarian approach? Yes, it is moderation, and that goes for what you are drinking, too.
Alcohol and Wine
So let’s talk about alcohol. It is hard to find any benefit to drinking alcohol, but wine is different. I see a huge benefit in a lovely plant-based meal of creatively cooked vegetables, perhaps some flavorful beans or quinoa and roasted fish like salmon, paired with a lovely pinot noir. In fact, there are health benefits linked to red wine. Wine contains the antioxidant resveratrol. Some research suggests that resveratrol may have a role in preventing heart disease by raising good cholesterol and lowering the risk of artery damage. But most alcoholic beverages other than wine are simply empty calories without any nutritional value or health benefit. Health.gov guidelines call moderate drinking one glass per day for women and two for men.
Coffee and Caffeine
Many of us require some caffeine to start the day, and maybe in the afternoon to push through the afternoon slump. Good news—there are health benefits linked to caffeine. Research has shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia and have few cases of cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. Safe caffeine intake is pegged at 400 mg per day, which is equivalent to four cups. Also, don’t overdo it at the coffee house with sugary, fattening add-ins like syrups and whipped cream that can transform your humble cup of coffee into more of a milkshake.
It’s Cool to Hydrate!
Instead of drinking sugary, nutrient-void beverages like soda, what you should be drinking plenty of on a daily basis is water. Experts recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces, especially if you live in a hot climate or are exercising regularly. You will notice less bloat and maybe even welcome changes in your skin, like a smoother, plumper texture. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in addition to ridding your body of waste, water helps maintain proper body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, and protects the spinal cord and tissues. Fifty to 65 percent of our bodies are made up of water. So drink up! How about you delete a soda from your intake and add some cool, clear, quenching water?
Tomorrow: we take a good long look at your current diet.
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