Impact of Beverages on Health

As we enter into the restaurant we can see Food and Beverage section (F&B). Beverage is a word which we often hear when we talk about food, hotel, hospitality or restaurant. So, we can say that Beverage is a very important part of any restaurant or a food industry.

So let’s come to the point, what is Beverage?

Beverage is any liquid which is suitable for human consumption and quench our thirst. It can be tea, water, juices or any alcohol.

How is Beverage Invented?

It is very interesting to note that earlier there was only one drink and that was pure water. Beer was invented in 13thcentury. People use to drink it from large wooden drums through straws. In 4000 BC wine became popular but only wealthy people could afford it. In 16th century it was believed that poor people only drank water because they did not afford other drinks. By that time other drinks like Mead, Ale and Cider became popular.

  • Mead is a drink which is made up of fermented honey and water. Honey makes the drink little sweeter in taste. On some special occasions this drink was flavored with spices and fruits.
  • The other fermented drink which became very popular during 16th century was Cider. The drink was made from apple juice.
  • Ale also became very popular, which was made up of many sources of grains like rice, oats and corn with some sweet fruits.

Beverage can be classified in 2 main groups – Alcoholic Beverages and Non Alcoholic Beverages. Alcoholic Beverage is a drink that has fermented liquor and contains ethyl alcohol. The fermented products can be grain, fruits and herbs like coriander and cinnamon, barley and fruits like orange and grapes, etc.

Alcohol Percentage of Different Alcoholic Beverage by Volume

Vodka 40-50%
Gin 40-48%
Rum 40-95%
Whisky 40-75%
Tequila 45-50%
Beer 4%
Wine 9-15.5%

Non Alcoholic Beverage can be classified into 3 types-

1. Stimulating Beverages

The beverages which stimulates and raises our activity level are called Stimulating Beverages. Coffee and Tea acts as stimulator to keep us active and alert.

2. Refreshing Beverages

The Beverages which are commonly taken to refresh our body and mind. Sometimes carbonated gas is added with water, sugar and some flavor to bring spark to the drink. Some Refreshing Beverages are Pepsi, Coke, and Sprite.

Many beverages like milkshakes and mocktails have flavoring agents which give base to these drinks. They are sweet flavored syrups which are added in milk, water or in fruit juices. Some of them are –

  • Framboise (Raspberry)
  • Citronelle (Lemon syrup)
  • Caris (Black currant syrup)

3. Nourishing Beverages

As the name suggests, this kind of beverages gives nourishment to our body. It can be fresh lemon juice or any health drinks like Bournvita or Horlicks which can be added in water or milk.

Health Benefits of Beverages

1. Infused Water

It is often said that we should drink 10 to 12 glasses of water everyday as water helps us to keep hydrated. However many of us find drinking plain water a little boring. Infused water would be the perfect solution for them. Adding little flavor to daily drinking water can be refreshing as well as healthy for our body. Some of the options can be –

  • Fresh mint leaves – Mint leaves are good for our digestion and it has cooling effect which soothes our body.
  • Crushed ginger – Grated or crushed ginger in hot water relieves abdominal cramp and nausea.
  • Sliced Lemon – This citrus fruit is full of Vitamin C which has plenty of health benefits. Lemon helps in lowering down your blood pressure and boost up your immunity.

2. Coconut Water

It is one of the most relished natural and organic beverage which always comes on the top rating if we consider refreshing beverages. The liquid or the coconut water from the center of the tender coconut is the perfect choice after any workout. Coconut water helps to maintain electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, etc.). So, in case of dehydration coconut water can create magic. Analytical studies have shown that the drink is full of minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. The fresh coconut water is also very good option for those who are calorie conscious.

3. Fresh Fruit Juices

Homemade fruit juices have similar nutritional benefits as in whole fruit. Always try to have freshly prepared juice rather than packed juices which contains added sugar and preservatives. Freshly prepared juice contains minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals which are very necessary for our health. Pomegranate juice contains minerals like potassium and magnesium in it .Orange juice is another common option which contains Vitamin C which is essential for healthy immune system. It also has magnesium, folate and B complex vitamins which helps to maintain good heart as well as healthy nervous system. Carrot juice and Apple juice has lots of Vitamin A and carotenoid which is good for our eyesight.

4. Vegetable Juices

Many people also prefer vegetable juice which is equally nutritious as any other fruit juice. Adding certain herbs like mint and ginger in spinach, beetroot juice can be nice way to incorporate veggies in your diet. Regular intake of vegetable juice is good for glowing skin. It also cures acne and pimples as well as it also fights from hair related problems. If you think the juice is little thick in consistency, you can add little water in it.

So readers, what are you waiting for, vegetable juice can be solution to all your problems so, go and grab the veggies you want.

5. Tea and Coffee

After water, tea and coffee are the most preferred beverage around the world. Tea and coffee not only boost up our mood and energy but they have great nutritional aspects. Coffee contains antioxidants which help to destroy free radicals. The green tea are said to be very healthy because it contains highest amount of Polyphenols and catechin. Some varieties of tea also helps to relieve from stress. Green Tea are helpful to reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing LDL levels. One of the variety of tea is Matcha tea which has 1o times more beneficial effect than normal green tea. Some studies also suggest that people who drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea has strong bones. The amount of calorie depends upon the ingredient which we are using to make tea or coffee. Adding too much sugar or milk can increase your calorie count.

Beverages have important place in menu card all over the world. Some of the famous beverages around the world are –

1. Hibiscus Ginger Punch

It may sound weird to ask if it is fine to consume a flower  like hibiscus? But yes, Hibiscus can be eaten in many forms. A famous drink named Sorrel from Jamaica is also made from dried Hibiscus flower. Hibiscus not only gives this drink a bright red color but when it is mixed with ginger, it gives a punch to the taste. The little spicy flavor of ginger makes the drink really amazing. The people choose the drink with alcohol or with water. So next time wherever you see dried hibiscus flower, make your drink and enjoy!

2. Pisco Sour

Have you ever been to Peru and the City of Machu Pichu? Pisco Sour is the drink from Peru in which alcohol is mixed with egg white and few drops of lemon juice in it. Adding an egg in a cocktail really sounds weird but believe me this is very famous drink and one should really go for it. An egg gives the drink a smooth consistency and uniform texture.

3. Coffee Shakerato

It is one of the Italian beverage which is simply amazing with a taste of espresso coffee. The drink is served with lots of ice cubes, sweeteners and espresso. The vigorous shake combines all the three ingredients which forms layer of foam on the top.

4. Watermelon Lime Aqua Fresca

The drink is originated from Latin America. They are real thirst quenchers which are good for hot summers. The drink is the combination of fresh water and seasonal fresh fruit with a dash of lemon in it. Watermelon or cantalops will be better option as they contain good amount of water in them.

5. Boba Tea

Boba tea is also known as Bubble tea which is originated from Taiwan. Boba is chewy tapioca balls which are flavored and combined with normal tea prepared by adding sugar and milk. Sometimes these tapioca balls are also served with fresh fruit juices.

Role of Beverages in Ayurveda for Medicinal Use

Some beverages in Ayurveda is known as Rejuvenating Beverages. Few of them are –

1. Aam ka Panna

It is one of the favorite beverage for most of the Indians. The drink is highly recommended in summer season to beat hot temperature. The flavor of raw mango with salt and sugar is simply amazing.

2. Wood Apple Juice

This also works wonder in sunstroke. The drink keeps the body and mind cool and calm. It is also very beneficial for the people suffering from GI disorder (Gastrointestinal), bloating and ulcer.

3. Sattu

Sattu is made up of roasted gram. It can be consumed with water, lemon juice and black salt. The beverage is very beneficial for diabetic people as it contains good amount of proteins and fiber.

4. Buttermilk

The drink is commonly known as chaach which is highly recommended in summer season. The combination of thin curd, water, and roasted cumin seeds makes it a mouthwatering beverage. Some people also like to temper it with curry leaves and mustard seeds.

5. Triphala Juice

Triphala is the combination of three seeds and they are Haritaki, Bibhikati and Amataki. Triphala plays very important role in Ayurveda medicine. The juice helps in digestion and improve our blood circulation.

Some other drinks which are very common in Ayurveda are-

It is true that all Beverages are not healthy. The liquids which we are consuming can have some harmful effects too. Drinks like packed juices which are loaded with sugar and preservatives can be wrong options. The smoothies topped with cream are also not a right choice, if you want to lose some extra kilos. Select your beverage smartly and wisely to keep yourself healthy.

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  • Anna Hassan

    I love coconut water after a long walk with my dog, it’s so refreshing