Warm weather is quickly approaching and it's time to reexamine your summer beverage options. Water is the best choice for calorie-free refreshment. But when you crave a little flavor, consider some summer drink recipes that make sweet alternatives to sugary sodas and over-sugared fruit drinks. By adding your own sweeteners to homemade thirst-quenchers like fruit juice, green tea, and even soy milk, you’ll be able to control the sugar content and bypass unnecessary additives. With these liquid concoctions from the Rodale Recipe Finder, you’ll satisfy your thirst while you fill up on disease-fighting nutrients.
#1: Strawberry Lemonade. Any collection of summer drink recipes has to start with lemonade. Here, seasonal strawberries add vitamin C, natural sweetness, and a nice pink blush to tart lemonade. And the lemon juice in this classic warm-weather sipper is vitamin C–rich, as well. Just ½ tablespoon of lemon juice provides nearly 20 percent of your daily requirement for the vitamin, while the juice of two lemons gives you your entire daily quota. This powerful antioxidant fights heart disease, bolsters immunity, and forms the collagen needed for healthy ligaments, bones, and blood vessels. For another rose-colored lemonade option, try adding pink grapefruit juice. Compared to yellow grapefruit, the red and pink varieties contain more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene. What’s more, a recent study found that people who ate half a grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost more than three pounds over 12 weeks.
#2: Limeade Shiver. This frosty, pucker-inducing wonder is made with lime sherbet and fresh lime juice. That’s a good thing, because eating a daily serving of citrus fruit, such as a lime, can reduce your risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancer by up to one half, according to a recent Australian metastudy. Limes and other citrus contain some of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits, and come with more than 170 phytochemicals, including 60 flavanoids that help fight tumor growth, inflammation, and blood clots.
#3: Mint and Tea Coolers with Lime. These überhealthy refreshers are made with antioxidant-rich green tea, which boosts metabolism and protects against disease. According to a study in theJournal of the American Medical Association, women who habitually drank just over three ounces of green tea daily had a 31 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who drank significantly less. Wait, there’s more. Researchers in Japan found that people who drank at least five cups of green tea daily had a 62 percent reduced risk of dying from certain types of strokes. Researchers think that the antioxidants in green tea help keep platelets from clumping together.
As a nice added bonus, the lime juice in this drink actually compounds the benefits of the tea. A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that adding two to three tablespoons of citrus juice to one cup of green tea increases the amount of catechins (antioxidants) available for digestion by as much as five times.
#4: Pomegranate Spritzer. This sparkler is made with tart, ruby-red pomegranate juice, which is the most antioxidant-rich beverage out there, according to a UCLA study. It even surpasses green tea and red wine, two well-documented antioxidant heavyweights. Pomegranate juice is also a good source of potassium and vitamin C, and may offer some protection against Alzheimer's disease, according to research. Israeli researchers found that when people with diabetes drank pomegranate juice every day for three months, it prevented the absorption of bad cholesterol into certain body cells, which in turn may help lower heart disease risk.
#5: Orange Spritzer. For a frothy, orangey thirst-quencher, you have to try this soy milk spritzer. Soy milk contains loads of protein, vitamin D, and B vitamins, and is high in heart-protective isoflavones. A study of 65,000 women found that about two cups of soy milk daily reduced their risk of heart disease by 75 percent and heart attack by 86 percent.
Source: Amy Ahlberg @ http://www.rodale.com/summer-drink-recipes?page=0%2C0