Trendy health drinks: fad or fab?

Providence Health Team

Will these health-conscious drinks live up to their hype or will they become “so-yesterday” and barely outlive their shelf life? What do you think – fad or fantastic? 

Golden Milk 

turmericThe secret behind Golden Milk is the spice turmeric. A member of the ginger family, turmeric root has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries to treat seemingly endless aliments from arthritis and Alzheimer’s to common colds and stomachaches. 

Golden Milk is aptly named. Turmeric gives this drink its natural golden color, and it’s rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to curcumin, found in turmeric. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory abilities draw particular attention – it’s currently being explored as a possible cancer preventative and treatment because of the role inflammation is thought to play in the growth and spread of cancer cells.  

Did your ancestors drink milk? The answer might surprise you. Learn more

Make your own Golden Milk

  • 1 cup milk (any variety of milk: animal, soy, almond, coconut) 
  • 1 teaspoon coconut or almond oil 
  • .25 teaspoon or more turmeric paste (see instructions below) 
  • Sweetener to taste (maybe use honey, sugar or agave) 

For paste: combine .5 cup water with .25 cup turmeric power. Heat in a saucepan for roughly 5 minutes. Store in the refrigerator until ready for use. 

Directions: combine all the ingredients – except sweetener – in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium, stirring constantly until blended. Do not boil. Add sweetener (optional) and enjoy.

Love-Your-Liver Herbal Tea 

Your liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It’s responsible for cleaning and filtering blood coming from the digestive tract before sending out into the rest of the body. And as you can imagine, sometimes our livers can use a little TLC. 

Milk thistleWhile a simple change in diet is often enough to improve overall liver health, a host of herbal teas and drinks claim to help your liver get back in tip-top operation and ultimately prevent a whole host of health issues. Particular wonder-herbs for the liver include: 

  • Milk thistle: May help strengthen the liver and protect it from new toxins 
  • Dandelion root: Can help clean the liver 
  • Alfalfa: May help restore the vitamins and minerals the liver uses to function at its best 

On the other hand, studies show certain herbs may damage your liver, including large amounts of green tea. As always, talk with your doctor about questions regarding your personal health. 

“Buttered” coffee 

Have you tried adding a tablespoon of butter to your coffee in the morning, instead of cream and sugar? This new take on a traditional cup-of-joe claims it can boost energy, ward off hunger and improve mental focus. While it may sound unusual, adding butter to coffee or other hot beverages is common in other parts of the world. Compared to cream, butter is richer in fat-soluble vitamins like A, E and K2, and contains less sugar. 

This drink is popping up in chic coffee houses, typically under the name “Bulletproof Coffee.” Entrepreneur Dave Asprey coined this term and is credited for introducing this drink to mainstream coffee drinkers. In addition to butter, his recipe calls for a two tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides and may help promote weight loss.

If weight is a concern, it’s important to remember a few tablespoons of butter and oil can easily add 200-300 calories to a daily diet. Instead, advocates for this drink suggest replacing a food or caloric beverage rather than adding this drink to your diet to regulate weight. 

Make your own “Bulletproof” 

  • 1. Brew a cup of strong black coffee
  • 2. Add 2 tbsp. of MCT oil (start out with a tsp. and work your way up over a few days)
  • 3. Add 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter (grass-fed butter is a healthier option)
  • 4. Mix with a hand-mixer or blender for roughly 20 seconds 

Camel milk 

“Camel milk” isn’t a fancy term for another drink – this budding health drink is simply that: milk from a camel. While research is insufficient, proponents of camel milk claim its health benefits have been linked to autism, diabetes, food allergies, immune deficiencies, Crohn’s disease and more.

When compared to cow milk, camel milk has less cholesterol, less fat and contains more protein, vitamin C and iron. Camel milk, in fact, is so rich in nutrients the Food and Agriculture Organization considers it a complete food, meaning you and survive and thrive on camel milk alone. 

So how does it taste? Well, getting your hands on a sample may be a challenge. While a staple in many Middle Eastern countries, the first commercial line of camel milk products is only recently making its way onto US market. But that hasn’t stopped the buzz from getting a head start. 

Water: the original trendsetter 

Our bodies are more than 60% water. Nearly every function in our body needs water to keep it running. And, without it, we can’t survive more than a few days. Water keeps your bowels and kidneys happy. It improves memory, brain function, muscle fatigue and more. While the old recommendation of eight glasses a day has almost universally been recognized as an arbitrary number, staying properly hydrated hasn’t lost its value. 

Trendy waters with added vitamins and supplements might seem to have an edge up on hydrating health. But the truth is water – without all the bells and whistles – is important enough to our health on its own. 

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Trendy health drinks: fad or fab?

Golden milk? Bulletproof coffee? Camel milk? What do you think – fad or fantastic?

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