Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Sipping Your Serenity: The 5 Healthiest Beverages For Relaxation

Humanity loves their beverages. The multibillion-dollar beverage industry knows this well and offers a dizzying array of choices. Unfortunately, the beverage market is flooded with less-than-healthy options. Beverages from juices to sodas and coffee drinks are often sweetened and loaded with sugars, artificial colors and flavors.

To maintain your health, it is essential to choose beverages that are natural and free from additives. Refreshing drinks are a delightful part of a daily relaxation routine. However, choose drinks that support your unwinding while giving you valuable nutritional support. There are several beverages that naturally support relaxation and refreshment — without added sugar or artificial chemicals.
The following five delicious drinks have long histories of being used to relax and refresh the mind, and can be safely imbibed every day. They also have science to back their relaxing effects.

Warm Milk

You are indulging in an ancient tradition if you choose to sip warm milk at night to feel sleepier. While there is evidence to suggest the presence of the amino acid, tryptophan, is what gives warm milk its mildly sedating effects, there is no conclusive evidence. Other studies have shown there is a psychological influence behind warm milk’s relaxing influence. If you associated warm milk with going to sleep as a child, you may be more likely to feel its influence as an adult. High in several essential vitamins and nutrients including calcium, vitamin D and protein, warm milk may be a great ally against insomnia and a great way to unwind before bed. For an added flavor kick, add a few pinches of cinnamon and cardamom spice.

Chamomile Tea

A drink with extensive scientific research to back up its sedative effects is chamomile tea. Made from a small, yellow, honey-scented flower, chamomile tea can be served as a hot or cold decoction. Delightful with honey and a sprig of mint, chamomile tea contains medicinal compounds known to promote a relaxed state of mind. The fragrant floral tea also has a natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant quality, making it an excellent choice for people who suffer from either. The calming, aromatic beverage has a gentle taste and is safe for children to drink at bedtime. For hundreds of years, herbalists have been recommending chamomile tea for those who need help forgetting their worries and getting a good night’s rest.

Homemade Low-Sugar Lemonade

A simple drink made from lemons, water and a few pinches of sugar can be extremely relaxing — especially on a hot day. While store-bought lemonade brands tend to be loaded with sugars, you can make a healthier version inexpensively. Just a couple of lemons will provide enough juice for a large pitcher of the homemade, low-sugar brew. For an extra kick, add sprigs of mint, lavender or even cucumber. All of these have a “cooling” effect.

Green Tea With Honey

One of the most ancient beverages known to mankind, green tea is replete with nutrients that support your health. Though green tea contains caffeine, a known stimulant, it also contains a component called theanine which helps relieve mental stress. Theanine has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety as well as some prescription anti-anxiety medications. It’s a natural substance derived from an amino acid called glutamate and is concentrated in the leaves of green teas. Green teas with the highest levels of theanine include the Japanese-style Matcha tea as well as the higher-quality green loose teas. Add raw honey to your hot or cold green tea as a gentle and healthy sweetener.

Red Wine

Research has proven one glass of red wine can improve the quality of sleep. Just one glass can also increase circulation and benefit the heart muscles and the blood vessels. Enjoy a glass of red wine at night without feeling guilty. However, research also shows that the benefits of red wine stop after one glass. In other words, if you overindulge, you can do more harm than good. Red wine in moderation is an ideal relaxation beverage.




About the Author: Trina Valley is a nutritionist and a tea aficionado. When she’s not helping her clients design delicious and healthy meals, she enjoys relaxing with a delicious cup of tea from www.buddhateas.com.

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