If you are looking for ways to eat healthy, consider what you are drinking and make sure every sip counts! Beverages like milk, red wine, hot cocoa and tea are considered functional foods and should not be overlooked as a source of vital nutrients and antioxidants.
Hot cocoa made with milk contains calcium and protein and helps ensure you get the recommended amount of milk each day, which most Americans fall short on. Red wine and tea contain important antioxidants like resveratrol and catechins. When making healthy decisions, it is nice to know that these beverages offer health benefits in addition to taste.
It is easy to overlook the additional calories beverages can add to the diet, so it's important to consider the nutritional value of a beverage and select nutrient-rich options.
Beverages are a functional food because, in addition to the basic health benefits of certain beverages, they help maintain optimum health due to the health promoting phytochemicals they contain – many of which are still being identified.
1. Benzie IF, Choi SW. Antioxidants in food: content, measurement, significance, action, cautions, caveats, and research needs. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2014;71:1-53.