How do you start your day? By drinking a glass of water? A cup of coffee? While there is no specific answer for this, some drinks are healthier than others. What you take in the morning can either give you a boost for the rest of the day or it can be the other way round.
What is the best way to start your day healthily? We have some ideas for you!
The classic glass of water
Water is a great way to rehydrate yourself after a good night’s sleep. It’s like a magic fluid. There are plenty of benefits in drinking water in the morning – it detoxifies your liver, helps with your bowel movement and makes your skin look great. But drinking water need not be boring, you can infuse it with fruits to change things up a little. It’s a healthy way to get yourself a yummy drink! Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Water + lemon: Lemon water is a great way to detoxify your body and get yourself a good dose of vitamin C. Add on chia seeds and this healthy drink is also great for weight loss.
- Water + apple cider vinegar: Add a tablespoon of this to your ½ glass of water and it can help in keeping your heart healthy and lowering your blood sugar level. Plus it certainly contributes to weight loss and kills harmful bacteria.
- Water + black pepper + turmeric: Spice up your morning with a dash of this in a glass of warm water to boost your immune system. The drink not only improves your digestion, it also helps in fighting of cancer cells.
- Blueberries + orange + basil: Blueberries are high in antioxidant, orange is rich in vitamin C while basil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Strawberry + cucumber: This incredibly refreshing drink breathes freshness into your day. This drink is great to rehydrate your body, reduce bloating and boost your immunity.
Pro-tip: If you’re infusing water with fruits, use room temperature water and infuse for at least 3 hours. Have fun in creating your vitamin water!
A cup of coffee
Can you imagine starting your day without coffee? Does everything seem off to you when you miss that morning coffee? Well, you are not alone. 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day. Believe it or not, the coffee culture in Malaysia pre-dates Starbucks! Local kopitiam have been around since the colonial era. But whether you drink kopi-O, kopi-c, Americano, double-shot espresso or hot latte, coffee is a great way to start day as it gives you an energy boost to start your day. But it also does more than keeping you alert.
Coffee addicts would be thrilled to know that the right amount of coffee (that is a maximum of 4 cups of coffee for most people) is good for you. Not only can it act as an antidepressant, some studies have also suggested that drinking coffee regularly might reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Both regular and decaf coffee may also guard your liver as research shows that coffee drinkers have more liver enzyme in a healthy range than non-drinkers. On top of that, coffee has a protective effect against conditions more common in women such as Alzheimer’s and colon cancer.
In all these excitement, do remember to consume your coffee in moderation and introduce some healthier habits to your coffee routine. Switch your sugar and cream with milk alternatives (almond, soy, oat milk, etc) or naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon. Consider taking your coffee Americano style.
A cup of leisurely tea
If you don’t drink coffee, tea is a great alternative to start your day. Though its caffeine content is lower than coffee, it is still enough to give you a gentle nudge to wake you up in the morning. Tea served at any temperature is a healthy choice to start your day.
Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea all have natural antioxidants to help you detox and polyphonic compounds in tea can also prevent cardiovascular and help to manage your sugar level as well as your blood pressure.
Green tea, while rich in antioxidants it is also able to boost your metabolism thus helping you to lose weight!
A cup of leisurely tea
Drinking a glass of juice every morning is a great way to get your nutrients. Especially if you’re not a big fan of fruits and vegetables. Increasing your fruits and vegetables intake can even help manage your high blood pressure and reduce risks of certain types of cancer. However, too much of a good thing is always a bad thing. If not done right, juicing can actually cause more harm than good for you. Juicing removes most of the fibre in a fruit, making the sugar in it to be absorbed more quickly than human body. But fear not, there are easy fixes to make your juice healthy.
- Blend your juice instead of juicing. This way, you can also include the pulp and skin of the fruit which contains more phytonutrients and fibre. Fibre also helps you to feel full, decreasing the likeliness of overconsumption of food.
- Add vegetables to your drink. Vegetables are naturally full of fibre so even if you’ve tossed away the skin of the fruits, the vegetables can make up for it. Add lemon or apple cider vinegar to mask the vegetable taste.
- Control your portion: Don’t overdo your drink or you’ll just be drinking extra sugar! A simple tip would be to take a handful each of two types of fruits to add to your (frozen) vegetables. Adding chopped walnuts or flax seeds can also slow down the absorption of sugar.
Here are some quick healthy juice combo for you to try:
- Green apple + carrots + mint leaves
- Goji berry + lemon + watermelon
- Banana + strawberries + baby spinach
- Blueberries + avocado + spinach + chia seeds
- Green apple + celery
p/s: You can also add some yogurt and almond milk to the mix and voila! It’s a healthy smoothie!
Hot chocolatey warmth
Yup, you read that right. A good cup of hot chocolate made of raw or organic cocoa powder provides great health benefits for you. Dark chocolate cocoa can make a difference to your health; it contains three times the amount antioxidants found in green tea. Besides reducing the risk of heart attack and aiding cancer prevention, a study has also shown that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day can improve your memory and protect you against Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, a cup of hot chocolate is always a mood booster!
To make sure you have a healthy cup of hot chocolate, switch your dairy to plant-based milk such as almond milk, soy milk or oat milk. Use at least 85% dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder for your drink. If you need a little bit of sweetness, add some honey.
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to start a healthy habit to your morning with these healthy, yummy drinks. Ditch your sugary, processed drink and swap them with one of the healthy alternatives above. You might get a short boost of energy but that mid-morning low will sneak in pretty fast.