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Put Down Your Sugary Fizzy Drinks And Get Seltzer Water Instead!

Put Down Your Sugary Fizzy Drinks And Get Seltzer Water Instead!

Seltzer Water. You either love it or you hate it. But is it actually good for you? After all, it is water. It just happens to be fizzy. This is the result of carbonation, or the process of pressurizing carbon dioxide gas. It turns out, Seltzer Water does have its pros, but it also has cons; some fizzy water contains carbonic acid (this is what creates the bubbles) that has been rumored to eat away your tooth enamel. But do not misunderstand: if you are choosing between Seltzer and Soda, that acidic water is still going to be a better choice.

How much do Americans spend on soft drinks?

While we all know how expensive our coffee habits can be, it is just as important to monitor what we spend on other things, such as soft drinks. The average American household spends about $850 a year for soft drinks. This adds up to an unbelievable $65 billion on soft drinks alone! Now remember that, on average, a can of soda (12 oz) contains about 39 grams of sugar. Spending billions and billions on soft drinks equates to spending billions and billions on our own poor health and deteriorating teeth.

Why Seltzer is a better choice than Soda?

First, let’s start with sugar. While 12 fluid ounces of soda has nearly 40 grams of sugar, the same amount of Seltzer has 0. There are also zero calories, while soda cannot say the same. It’s also a more economical option. With Americans spending almost $900 a year on soda, Seltzer can help save some of that money for more important things. In fact, Seltzer was first introduced specifically as a cheap alternative to mineral water (more on this later) and is still chosen for its price tag, time after time.

Even if you love regular, non bubbly water, you may find yourself craving the little bubbles found in soft drinks and carbonated water. Some people crave carbonated drinks and immediately grab one without questioning where that craving came from. It turns out, when our bodies want food and our blood sugar is low, our brain signals to us that we want something carbonated because we know it has lots of sugar. However, we would be better off eating something with natural sugar and some fiber , like an orange or even an apple, because it would gradually increase our blood sugar rather than a dangerous spike, and it would fill us up more successfully than all those empty calories. Regardless, if you just can’t shake the craving for a fizzy drink, a clear, bubbly, zero calorie Seltzer would be a better choice than a dark, unhealthy, syrupy soda.

So What Seltzer Water actually is?

When it comes to the label, Seltzer Water looks exactly like regular bottled water, showing zeros across the board. But if you’re looking for a fizzy water with vitamins, you want to find mineral water.

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Sparkling Mineral Water also comes from a natural spring, so it automatically contains various minerals like salts. The bubbles are naturally occurring (unless the specific bottler adds more, such as San Pellegrino). While Seltzer Water can be added to alcohol, think Vodka Soda, Mineral Water would be enjoyed on its own.

Additionally, Mineral Water will give you a little more nutritional bang for your buck . A 6.5 oz of Sparkling Mineral Water has 0 calories and sugars, but contains 2mg of sodium and 26.9 mg of calcium [1].

Why Seltzer Water can be considered as healthy?

While regular water is still a healthier choice than fizzy water, Seltzer does boat a few impressive benefits.

It helps to ease Indigestion

Along with hydrating more successfully than a sugar soda, Seltzer can also calm an upset stomach. The carbonation (and sugar free element) assist in settling nausea and indigestion. A study published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology” showed that drinking one glass of carbonated water after a meal helped participants avoid or ease symptoms of an upset stomach.

Alleviate Contipation and Lower High Blood Pressure

Seltzer has also been shown to alleviate constipation and lower blood pressure thanks to its magnesium content. A study done in 2002 showed that fluids such as carbonated water assisted the absorption of fiber in the body. Be advised though, if you are looking for magnesium in your bubbles, not all fizzy waters are created equal; be sure to check the label. Alternatively, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), sparkling water can actually make your symptoms worse. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, check the sodium content on the bottle before indulging. And of course, it should not take the place of regular water [2].

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It can help you lose weight

Perhaps one of the best health benefits of Seltzer Water, weight loss can be a result of intake. Substituting sugary drinks such as sodas with Seltzer can reduce calorie intake. More so, the bubbles help you feel fuller faster, possibly aiding in eating less [3].

it helps with hangover

When it comes to drinking, most all of us know that the more sugary the alcoholic beverage, the worse we will feel the next morning. Instead of choosing a sugary soda as a mixer, opt for Seltzer. A group of researchers in Guangzhou found that hangovers aren’t caused by the ethanol itself, but rather its metabolite, acetaldehyde. So stick with Seltzer! Not only will it potentially prevent a hangover, it also lessens the calorie intake! Double win [4]!

Avoid the feeling of cheating yourself out of something you want

I don’t know about you, but if I’m on a diet, the only thing I want is the sugary food I can’t have! Trying to avoid soda or substitute it for still water can feel the same way. Opting for Seltzer can feel like an indulgence since you get that satisfying fizz, but you don’t have to feel guilty about it! Laureen Smith, PhD, RN and associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Nursing found that kids had a better chance of dropping those sugary sodas if they opted for Seltzer. It provided the carbonation they craved without the sugar they didn’t need [5].

Helps you stay hydrated while getting the fizzy feeling

I love water. But I understand that some people have to force themselves to drink it. Thankfully, Seltzer can hydrate your body as well as regular water does! Drinking about 64 ounces of fizzy water can meet your hydration needs, but it’s still important to enjoy anything in moderation. Sara Bleich, PhD and assocaite professor in health policy and management at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health says “Seltzer water is like drinking regular water. It’s harmless.”

Can it be bad for you?

In the very beginning of this article, I mentioned Seltzer Water could be stripping away your tooth enamel. This is no small thing! But with all the positive aspects of bubbly water, should one cautionary warning prevent us from reaching for our favorite fizzy brand? Maybe not.

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Soda is full of sugar and acid, leading to an acidic playground in your mouth once it mixes with all that oral bacteria. Though tooth enamel is strong, it’s also porous. Therefore, when the bacteria in your mouth grabs all the sugar from the soda you’re drinking, it stores some acid that ultimately erodes your enamel. And unfortunately, once it’s gone, it’s gone. But if the Seltzer water you’re craving doesn’t have sugar, it may be a fine alternative and completely safe for your teeth [6]. The explanation is simple: sparkling water is just water that’s undergone a carbonation process. Unless it’s got added sugar, sodium, etc., it’s just water! Therefore, it’s not going to hurt your teeth at all [7].

Some Fun Recipes For You To Enjoy:

Sure, you can tell your bartender you want a vodka, soda and lime, but there are other delicious ways to enjoy Seltzer.

Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler

Ingredients:

  • 4 C boiling water
  • 8 hibiscus tea bags
  • 1/2 C honey
  • Ice
  • 2 C sparkling water or seltzer
  • 1/4 C mint leaves, for garnish
  • Strawberries, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine tea bags, honey, and boiling water; let steep 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how strong you like your tea.
  2. Remove tea bags.
  3. Add ice to pitcher and stir in sparkling water.
  4. Add mint.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.
  6. Garnish with strawberries.
  7. Serve.

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    Seltzer Summary

    Seltzer water can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and is proven to be not only nutritionally beneficial, but also completely safe for your teeth, as long as there are no unsafe additives. Seltzer is super versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or with alcohol and more. Though anything and everything should be enjoyed in moderation, using Seltzer to get your daily recommended intake of water seems to be completely fine unless you suffer form IBS, in which case you may want to avoid it.

    So raise a glass and enjoy, knowing you are only helping yourself!

    Featured photo credit: Aidan Meyer via stocksnap.io

    Reference

    [1] http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-water-bottled-mineral-water_f-ZmlkPTgzMjcw.html
    [2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/165682-what-are-the-benefits-of-carbonated-water/
    [3] http://www.india.com/health/5-important-benefits-of-seltzer-water-you-need-to-know-1049488/
    [4] https://www.yahoo.com/news/blogs/sideshow/seeking-a-cure-for-the-hangover–scienists-say—sprite–181644088.html
    [5] http://time.com/3689687/seltzer-water-carbonated-water/
    [6] https://www.ashevillefamilydentist.com/the-top-6-worst-drinks-for-your-teeth/
    [7] http://blog.justanswer.com/true-or-false-sparkling-water-strips-your-teeth-enamel

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    Heather Poole

    Technical writer

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

    Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

    If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

    When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

    In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

    1. Salmon

    Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

    It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

    Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

    Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

    Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

    Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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    2. Blueberries

    Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

    Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

    Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

    Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

    Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

    3. Turmeric

    Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

    Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

    Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

    Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

    Curcumin has also been shown to:

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    • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
    • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
    • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
    • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

    4. Coffee

    Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

    Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

    Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

    Coffee can also:

    • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
    • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
    • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
    • Improve your memory.
    • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

    5. Broccoli

    What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

    Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

    Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

    Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

    Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

    6. Bone broth

    Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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    Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

    Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

    Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

    Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

    With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

    Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

    7. Walnuts

    Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

    Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

    Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

    Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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    8. Eggs

    For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

    Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

    Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

    9. Dark chocolate

    You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

    Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

    Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

    Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

    Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

    Conclusion

    Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

    In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

    If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
    [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
    [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
    [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
    [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
    [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
    [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
    [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
    [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
    [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
    [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
    [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
    [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
    [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
    [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
    [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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