They used to say you are what you eat (just call me nacho), but lately the health focus seems to be on what you’re glugging. It’s all getting a little confusing though—while we used to think we were being sah healthy sipping on freshly squeezed OJ, nowadays the fructose-police would skin you alive.
So what’s a health conscious guy or gal to do? If you want to impress your #cleaneating clique, grab a straw and hydrate yourself with one of 2015’s hottest health drinks!
If you like that post-coffee buzz and clarity, but also want to detox and boost your metabolism and immune system, we’ve found your perfect matcha. Aussies are a bit late to the party with this one—Buddhist monks have been using this stone-ground green tea powder for thousands of years!
Better late than never, we’re casually pretending we’re the trailblazers, ordering delicious, lightly-caffeinated, antioxidant-amped matcha lattes all over town. Also out-of-control good in milkshakes and even on nachos. Mmm, nachos.
Last year, we were NutriBulleting our little hearts out, this year we’re fermenting like a boss. It ain’t sexy, but gut health has suddenly become acceptable ladies’ lunch conversation. And when it comes to welcoming in the good little gut critters and banishing nasty gut critters, fermentation is your BFF!
Fermented foods are full of good bacteria that help with digestion, boost immunity and are even said to aid weight loss (huzzah!).
While pickles, kimchi and sauerkraut are pretty darn delicious, they’re a little hard to consume on the go. So we’re sipping Kombucha like it’s going out of business. Kombu-what? Basically, it’s a fermented tea that is made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast (stay with me!) to a mix of tea, sugar and sometimes fruit juice or flavours. It is slightly bubbly, kinda sweet and tangy, and totally delicious. It’s like the yummiest, healthiest soft drink you’ve ever had and is available at health food stores and cool cafes in both pasteurised and unpasteurised forms.
We’ve long been loco for coco, cooking with coconut oil, rubbing it into our scaly body bits, swishing it around our mouths in an odd ritual known as oil pulling… And curing our hangovers by guzzling coconut water.
Seen in the perfectly manicured hand of many a celeb and sports star, coconut water is the clear liquid from inside a coconut, that has been pegged as nutritional manna from heaven. It’s also regularly been taken down a few pegs by other health experts who say the popularity of packaged coconut water is a marketing Cinderella story.
Either way, coconut water is natural (especially when you go with the health shop version—fresh coconut+hole+straw), low fat, low carb, low calorie and delicious. It contains electrolytes, which is why it’s so popular with the sporty and the hung over, plus it’s said to lower cholesterol, moderate blood sugar and give you soft, silky skin. We’re not taking any chances—somebody climb that palm tree.
Cold Pressed (Green) Juices
By now we’re all well schooled that not all juices are created equal. Your jumbo, corner store variety blend of tropical fruits may be full of fibre, but it’s a calorific combo that’ll wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Mid-afternoon slump, we meet again…
So what’s the fuss about cold pressed? Is it really necessary to spend up big on a juicer? Surely any old blender will do. Well, not really. Ye old school juicers use fast-spinning blades to tear the fruit and vegies apart, heat is added to the mix and the juice is exposed to air, which snuffs out a lot of the living nutrients you want in your very berry smoothie.
Good quality cold pressed juicers, on the other hand, do what the label says—they simply squeeze out the juice by pressing the produce. There’s no heat, less oxidisation, and more vitamins, minerals and live enzymes making it into your glass.
And if you want to be really saintly, make it green. Cos, let’s face it, when else are you going to eat kale?
Pass me the pancakes while I jump for joy at my new favourite superfood! Oh no, wait… That’s syrup. Not a superfood. So what the heck is maple water?
Basically, it’s the ‘water’ or sap that is extracted from maple trees and traditionally turned into syrup (thus making the world a happier place for all). Touted as the new coconut water, clever farmers have recently introduced new technologies to give this maple sap greater shelf life, making it a viable and marketable health drink.
It’s a bit sweeter and more delicious than coconut water, but, like its predecessor, maple water is still up for debate as a legit ‘superfood’. If you believe the hype, it’s good for bone strength and managing blood sugar, full of antioxidants and helps you absorb vitamins and magnesium (good for muscle function).
While it’s not totally sugar free and the purported health benefits are a bit TBC, maple water is yummy, refreshing, hydrating, and far better than a soft drink.
Image credit: PopXO