Orange has gone green in many American homes as the once popular morning orange juice routine has yielded to the trendier “green drink” made popular by daytime television’s health wizard, Dr. Mehmet Oz. A melange of spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger root, parsley, lime, lemon and apples, the green drink may not have the refreshing “wake up, awwready” flavor of orange juice, but fans of the Dr. Oz green drink are willing to sacrifice that refreshing citrus kick for a Martian-colored megadose of fiber and anti-oxidants.
Other Healthy Drink Trends
Healthy Drink Trend: Water-Although water has never gone out of style, it has become more stylish and popular in the past decade. Whereas in the old days one just turned on the kitchen faucet and drank whatever came out of the tap, many sinks and refrigerators now boast fancy water filters to filter out harmful chemicals, including prescription drug residue from groundwater. Some people even have giant containers of water delivered to their home or purchase spring water at the supermarket in fancy designer bottles, some of which are almost too pretty to toss in the recycle bin.
While an article on WebMD argued the health claims of drinking a lot of water may have been over-hyped by some health gurus (the author suggested the perceived benefits of drinking water could largely be attributed to placebo effect), water is still a healthy drink if only because it hydrates the body without containing all of the sugar found in most soft drinks and fruit juices.
Healthy Drink Trend: Fruit Juice-Although health experts debate whether fruit juice is truly a healthy drink because of its relatively high sugar content, a 2008 UCLA study that used antioxidant levels as its criterion for labeling a drink “healthy” listed many fruit juices among its healthiest drinks. The best of the bunch were pomegranate juice; concord grape juice; blueberry juice; black cherry juice; açaí berry juice; cranberry juice; orange juice; and, surprisingly, even apple juice.
If you were to Google the words “acai juice,” you would think this purple potion sprang directly from the fabled Fountain of Youth since so many health claims are made for this spendy drink. But the UCLA study found pomegranate juice to be the healthiest of all of the fruit juices because it contains the highest amount of almost every type of antioxidant. Many health experts believe pomegranate juice could lower the risk of heart disease and protect against certain cancers, such as prostate cancer.
Regardless of how healthy a fruit’s juice is, many health experts suggest it is healthier to eat the fruit itself. For instance, the seed of the concord grape, which is not usually contained in concord grape juice, contains many of the fruit’s antioxidants. One can also cut the sugar content of fruit juice by diluting it with plain or sparkling water, although the diluted version of the juice will have fewer antioxidants per serving.
Healthy Drink Trend: Green Tea-Another popular “green” beverage is green tea, whose popularity as a health drink is increasingly supported by scientific data. According to an article on the University of Maryland Medical Center website, possible health benefits of green tea range from boosting metabolism, protecting against liver disease, controlling blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation and protecting against certain cancers.
Healthy Drink Trend: Red Wine-Perhaps most appealing to people who like to wind down with wine at the end of a stressful day, red wine is trending up as a health beverage. Although health experts don’t recommend splitting a whole bottle of red wine at dinner with a friend, possible health benefits of moderate amounts of red wine may include preventing heart disease–partly because red wine increases the levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and lowers the level of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. An article on the Mayo Clinic website suggests the resveratrol in red wine may help prevent damage to blood vessels and the formation of blood clots.
In what has become known as the “Red Wine Diet” trend (see article here), a recent weight loss study suggests that red wine could help women shed pounds, although at this point the link between red wine and weight loss is more of an association than a cause and effect relationship.
Will Mocha Frappucinos be the Next Health Drink Trend?
Although a decade ago it would have been surprising to find red wine on a list of “healthy” drinks, it is unlikely that 10 years from now Starbucks Mocha Frappucinos or McDonalds Mocha Frappes will be on anyone’s healthy drinks list. At more than 400 calories per serving and loaded with sugar, such frothy habit-forming drinks are not only dangerous to our waistlines, they also displace healthier drink options, such as green tea and other health friendly beverages that contain more antioxidants and fewer empty calories.
Official Dr. Oz “Green Drink” Recipe from the DoctorOz.com website
When Dr. Oz shared this drink on the Oprah show, she took a sip and called it a “glass of fresh.” What do you think?
2 cups spinach
2 cups cucumber
1 head of celery
1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
1 bunch parsley
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a blender. This makes approximately 28-30 ounces, or 3-4 servings.
Tip: Read comments about the Dr. Oz green drink on the Oprah Message Board for advice from Oprah viewers on how to make the green drink taste better.