Five Holistic Tonics for Winter Wellness

Is 2017 off to a healthy start? While getting active and shedding pounds are top-of-mind for many in the new year, dodging the flu bug (which tends to peak in February) and keeping energy levels up are just as important. That’s where nutrition comes in. What you put in your body can help you boost your immune system, avoid sick days and boost your overall health and happiness.

A fun way to give yourself a shot of nutrients: tonics, which are vitamin-packed juice and herb blends. They’re perfect for helping you fight off illness and keep you feeling your best. Try one of the trendier varieties, like kombucha tonics and fire ciders, at local juice bars like Sip Organic in Grand Rapids and Press on Juice in Traverse City. Rather make one yourself? Here are four favorites you can give a whirl—no blender required:

  • Honey Ginger Lemon Tonic
    Essential Ingredient: Ginger
    While this classic elixir is packed with all-important vitamin C, it also fights bacterial and viral infections in your body so you can get better, faster. After a long day, freshly shredded ginger relieves tired muscles and helps manage glucose levels, keeping you on track in your dieting goals and curbing late-night cravings. The honey and lemon add even more health benefits.
  • Beet Kvass
    Essential Ingredient: Beets
    This centuries-old brew is rich in probiotics that regulate your digestive flow, all thanks to the easy fermentation process. And the beets are a nutritional powerhouse:  They help boost heart health, increase blood flow to your brain and give you extra stamina when exercising.
  • Cherry Juice Tonic
    Essential Ingredient: Turmeric
    Cherry juice is incredibly effective at healing muscles after a workout and reducing your risk for many chronic diseases because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Combine it with turmeric, which is also believed to reduce inflammation in your body, and you have a health-packed drink. This tonic also contains high levels of melatonin for getting you to sleep at night. (Whole cherries also have these properties, just in lower amounts.)
  • Spiced Masala Chai
    Essential Ingredient: Cardamom
    Tonics don’t have to be juice-based, they can also begin with a warm cup of tea. Chai, which is black tea mixed with spices, is especially rich in antioxidants that can protect good cholesterol and stave off the onset of cardiovascular diseases. Get generous with the cardamom: It was often used in ancient medicine to strengthen the immune system.
  • Spicy Tomato Cider Elixir
    Essential Ingredient: Apple Cider Vinegar
    Apple cider vinegar is known to boost energy and fight indigestion and sickness, among several other benefits
    If you need a little extra pep in your morning step, look no further than this drink. It can be made with a glass of V8 or your favorite bloody mary mix, making this a simple way to get a serving of veggies.

Do you have any tried-and-true tonics that keep you sharp and healthy this season? Share them with us below and on Facebook!

Photo Credit: Rob Bertholf

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