It seems like there’s a new health drink on the market every day. With promises to prevent cancer and heart disease, boost your immunity, improve digestion, and other amazing results, sometimes these drinks seem too good to be true. And they just might be. From kombucha to coconut water, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most popular health drinks on the shelves.
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What it is: Kombucha is a fermented tea, with a culture of yeast and bacteria added to it.
The Claim: It detoxifies your body, boosts your immune system, and improves digestive and liver health. It’s also purported to slow aging, cure hangovers, and lower blood pressure.
The Reality: The jury’s out. Many of the claims have yet to be fully proven in a lab. Some studies do point in that direction, but the body of research isn’t out there yet. It does, however, contain probiotics, which have been shown to have a number of health benefits.
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2. Pomegranate Juice
The Claim: It prevents and treats heart disease, prevents some forms of cancer, and lowers cholesterol.
The Reality: Packed with antioxidants that are thought to lower cholesterol, pomegranates aren’t all hype. Preliminary research has suggested it could prevent heart disease and prostate cancer, but, as is often the case, more research needs to be done.
3. Acai Berry Juice
What it is: The juice of berries native to Central and South America.
The Claim: You’ll lose weight, have healthier skin, age slower, and have more energy and a clearer mind. It also prevents cancer, heart disease, and keeps your digestive system healthy.
The Reality: Like pomegranates and several other fruits, acai berries are loaded with antioxidants. There’s been no proven research that shows that acai berries are any better or worse for you than other similar fruits, however. It’s simply a more exotic fruit.
4. Coconut Water
The Claim: It improves heart health, lowers cholesterol, and is great for your post-workout rehydration.
The Reality: The stuff is full of potassium, which has been proven to boost heart health and other body systems. Plenty of other foods have potassium, though, and all sorts of other nutrients coconut water doesn’t have. Claims about electrolytes have likely been overstated — coconut water is not all that much better than plain old H2O for rehydration.
5. Aloe Vera Juice
The Claim: It boosts your immune system, improves heart health and digestion, and promotes weight loss.
The Reality: None of the claims have ever been proven. In fact, some studies have suggested that it could be toxic for humans. People with a wide variety of conditions should probably not be drinking the stuff.