Tired of Water? Read This! - By Lucy Danziger

You already know that drinking water is key to your health.
Downing at least six cups of water daily can minimize bloating, prevent
headaches, help prevent you from getting sick and smooth the appearance of
wrinkles. It may even temporarily rev
your metabolism
, if you drink it on the cool side (72 degrees). That's a
lot of benefit from a beverage you don't even have to pay for! But H20 isn't
the only sip that can safeguard your health. Coffee,
which some people accuse me of being addicted to, is basically liquid gold. It
may lower your risk for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, breast cancer, skin
cancer, diabetes, gallstones, even oral cancer. P.S., java drinkers make half
as many errors in daily life compared with decaf fans, according to a study
from Cardiff University in Wales, because caffeine helps you process
information quickly. It's also linked to a reduced risk for depression. Those
pit stops at Starbucks aren't just perking me up—they're protecting every part
of me! Not a java junkie? Read on to learn the hidden health bennies of your favorite bevy:

Orange juice
guards against heart disease. Antioxidants in OJ help protect
your ticker by fighting the inflammation that can cause blood vessel damage.
Consider this: People who ate fast food with a glass of orange juice had fewer
artery-harming free radicals in their blood afterward than those who had their
burger and fries with water, a study in
The American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition
indicates. Isn't that a great reason to choose
juice? Just watch the sugars—one cup contains 21 grams and 122 calories.

Chamomile tea
can keep you calm. People who downed chamomile extract daily
for two months felt significantly less anxious, a study from the University of
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia reports. Ease into mellow mode at night with a cup
of chamomile tea.

Cranberry juice may prevent
gum disease
and urinary tract infections. Natural compounds in the juice
may ward off gum disease by preventing bacteria from adhering to the teeth
below the gum line. Cranberry juice also delivers 39 percent of the daily value
for vitamin C per 8 ounces, raises levels of good cholesterol and keeps your
urinary tract tip-top. A berry smart sip indeed!

Chocolate milk
keeps
your abs flat
. A glass of skim chocolate milk delivers a great combo of
carbs and protein, helping you recover after a workout. Athletes who drank it
post-workout had lower levels of muscle damage after four days of intense
exercising than those who guzzled water or other recovery drinks, according to
findings presented at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in
Seattle. That translates to less soreness and fatigue, so you can get back to
the gym and those tummy-toning planks sooner. Simply stir 2 tablespoons of
cocoa powder or syrup that has less than 20 g sugar into your milk and sip.


Green tea
may keep your weight steady. Mice that exercised and drank green
tea were 22 percent less likely to gain weight than those who only exercised or
only had tea, according to a study in the International Journal of
Obesity
. Polyphenols in the drink may rev your metabolism and make
it easier for your body to fry fat. Plus, the tea's plentiful stash of
antioxidants slashes your risk for cancer and heart disease. Try it iced in
summer!

Tomato juice may lower your cancer risk! The scarlet sip is loaded with vitamins and lycopene, which protect you against cancer. Try it with spices, a celery stalk and no vodka for a cocktail any time of day!

Black tea may help fend off skin cancer. The classic brew is loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants that carry anticancer perks. Research suggests that downing a cup or more of tea a day may lower risk for squamous
cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, by 30 percent. Hot or iced, black tea is
a delicious addition to your skin care regimen—and a lovely way to wake up
thanks to its caffeine content—so put on the kettle each morning!

For more everyday ways to get healthy follow SELF on Facebook.

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Tags: Health, Nutrition, Tips

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