Low Impact Cardio Exercise: How Can Elliptical Trainers Help You

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If you’ve been working out for a while then you most certainly would have heard people talking about “low impact”. The term; “low impact cardio” refers to a workout or virtually any type of fitness based activity that significantly reduces/eliminates the level of impact that is generated when your body’s limbs strike a rigid, solid surface.

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Proform Elliptical Machine

While this may be the first time that you are actually hearing about this type of workout routine, it is actually not even remotely new in any way. Quite the opposite, this type of workout routine has existed and been utilized for a relatively long time.

Some examples of fairly common low impact cardio exercises are: yoga, swimming, and elliptical machine workouts. As a type of exercise machine, elliptical trainers are vastly superior to virtually all others, as it relates to low impact cardio. Common forms of exercise, such as: weightlifting, running/jogging, and various sports, have several adverse side effects On the other hand, elliptical trainers give you the ability to avoid these adverse side effects by allowing you to work out through zero impact motions that are controlled. Unlike the aforementioned high impact exercises that can cause injuries and possible long term problems, elliptical trainers are relatively safe to use.

Furthermore, the cardio workout that an elliptical trainer provides is extremely efficient at burning away unwanted fat – without putting undue stress or stain on any of your joints. The foot pedals of any elliptical trainer move in an elliptical configuration (hence the name) in an effort to effectively simulate your natural running motion perfectly. However, unlike actually running, when you properly utilize an elliptical machine, both your hands and your feet remain fixed to the machine.proform elliptical

This is why there is no impact and as a result, your ankles, knees, and other joints thank you. If that wasn’t enough, literally all proper elliptical trainers have the versatility and customizability that gives you’re the power to adjust and alter factors such as speed and/or resistance. This means that any workout that you choose to do on an elliptical trainer is personalized to suit your body and your needs.

At the same time, what about weight loss? Well, as stated before, elliptical trainers are good for weight loss and fat burning as well. On average, your typical low impact cardio elliptical trainer workout can singlehandedly burn 500 -1000 calories (the exact value depends largely on the overall intensity of your workout). It goes without saying that this amount can be significantly augmented with appropriate nutrition and a proper diet that essentially gives you sustainable energy levels for a balanced workout. Proper refueling after an elliptical trainer workout is also a must as well.

Low impact elliptical trainer exercises have high levels of accessibility and as a result virtually anyone can utilize this workout. Elderly persons can use this workout to stay limber without stressing their weak joints Similarly, individuals who are recuperating after an injury or are in physical therapy can make use of this low impact workout as well.

Most low impact workouts focus on the ankles, knees, and hips. This is because these are the areas that are consistently under the most physical stress. So, if like so many others, you are ready to forgo running and other high impact exercises, an elliptical trainer is most certainly the best choice.

The Best Probiotic Foods You Should Eat

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You’ve heard the term “probiotic” being thrown around a few times, and you may not know that it exactly is. Well, if antibiotics get rid of bacteria, probiotics put bacteria inside of you. But wait, you say, isn’t that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Your digestive system has plenty of bacteria inside it that breaks down foods and promotes questions_probiotics_22healthy digestion. If you’re lacking in probiotics, the nutrition may not assimilate to your body fully. That said, how do you go about making sure your digestive system is well-regulated? There are plenty of foods out there that are both nutrition and contain natural probiotics.

These include:

Kimchi

This is a fermented cabbage dish from the Korean style of eating. Recently, it’s been popular in America, so it couldn’t be a better time to try it. Besides being low in calories and high in probiotics and nutrients, it’s great when served with meat. There are plenty of ways to make it, so look it up and make your own.

Sauerkraut

Another fermented cabbage food, this is best known as the stuff you put on your hot dog. As a solo dish, however, it has many other benefits than just that. Sauerkraut is loaded with probiotics and can even help with some types of cancer.

Kombucha

This is a bubbly tea that is loaded with good bacteria and is best served chilled. It’s available in many different flavors and is a great substitute if you drink too much soda. Despite the fact that it may have a texture that turns people off, it’s an excellent drink once you get used to it.

Kefir

This is a fermented milk drink that’s great for those who don’t like to consume milk. It’s loaded with probiotics and nutrients, and the protein is broken down so that it’s easy to absorb.

Pickles

Here’s another common food that you didn’t know provided lots of probiotics. This classic snack contains plenty of probiotics and even combats anti-nutrients, which tend to prevent you from absorbing minerals. It’s a great snack that will make you and your body happy.

Dark Chocolate

For those who want something sweeter, they can indulge in some dark chocolate. The bitter yet sweet demeanor of dark chocolate provides many health benefits, including plenty of probiotics to help you out. However, note that many of the conventional chocolate bars are processed and may not have the same probiotic oomph as raw dark chocolate does. Look for raw dark chocolate that contains around 70% cacao for the full effect.

Soymilk

Soybeans contain plenty of probiotics. Aside from being a great alternative to conventional milk for those who are lactose intolerant or choose to be vegan, soymilk contains nutritional benefits as well. Look for soymilk that claims to promote probiotics for the best effect.

Miso Soup

Miso is delicious concoction made from tofu, fermented rye and probiotic_tofu_12various other ingredients. A great Japanese delicacy, it’s filled with probiotics that will make your digestion happy.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a delicious food made from soybeans, typically found in bread-like form. Aside from this, tempeh contains plenty of nutrients and is loaded with probiotics. For those who love soybeans but have high blood pressure tempeh tends to be low-sodium so you don’t have to worry on that front.

Yogurt

Another delicious dessert that has lots of health benefits, yogurt is perhaps one of the best known on here for being rich in probiotics. However, you must make sure that you’re getting the right yogurt. If the yogurt says that it promotes “live and active cultures,” or something to that effect, then it’s guaranteed that it’s filled with probiotics.

Sourdough Bread

If you’re craving more grains, then this is the way to go. Sourdough bread contains lactobacilli, a probiotic that can help with digestion. So the next time you’re debating between white or wheat bread, why not try a third option and make your sandwiches with sourdough bread. It’s not only tasty, but it can benefit your digestion.

Poi

This one is a little controversial, as it is next to impossible to produce in masses due to sanitation issues. However, this Hawaiian dish contains more live and active cultures than even yogurt. It’s made from mashed taro plant, which turns into a doughy consistency in return. If you visit Hawaii, or know a place that serves Hawaiian cuisine, poi is for you.

Overall, many foods can improve your digestion for the better. Having a healthy digestion can benefit you in so many ways, including better nutrient absorption and less trouble with stomach pains. So remember that not all bacteria is harmful. Some work in harmony with your body to give your functions the boost that it needs. So feel free to consume plenty of probiotic foods and reap their benefits.

Read my article on the benefits of organic food for more hints and tips for a healthier you.

Why You Should Try Organic Food Out

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Organic food has been the buzz lately, but what exactly is it? In the simplest term, it’s just food that has not received any genetic modification, pesticides, processing, preservatives, or artificial flavors. There is a bit of controversy about organic versus conventional foods. Is organic better,or is it just a marketing term? Are genetically modified foods harmful? While many of these questions can’t be answered with complete clarity just yet there are many reasons as to why you should give your body more organic food. These reasons and more are included below.heaslthy_organic_21

Reduces Pesticide Levels in Your Body

Conventional foods tend to be covered with pesticides. These sprays get bugs off your food and promote a great harvest all year round so it’s reasonable as to why they’d be used. After all, businesses want to make a profit and getting the most out of the harvest is the way to go. In small doses it’s not going to do anything to your body. However, over time it builds up and it may cause damage to your body. Neurological problems, digestive troubles, and plenty of toxins around your body, these are just a few issues that may happen. By switching to an organic diet your pesticide levels will drop quickly getting rid of the toxins in your body.

Promotes Weight Loss

As more people eat ready made and fast foods obesity is on the rise. While there are many factors that probably contribute to that, eating an organic diet may cause you to lose weight. One of the reasons is that when your toxic levels are down your metabolism starts functioning again promoting weight loss. Aside from that, organic foods tend to be richer in nutrients. Some nutrients may promote weight loss so it’s win for all.

Supports the Local Guy

Many of the companies that make conventional foods are big corporations, many of which are doing it for a profit. Sometimes, they don’t care about the content of their product as long as they’re making bank. That said, many of the local farmers are struggling to sell their product and by buying organic foods from farmer’s markets, mom and pop stores, or small businesses, you’re putting your money into something that will support a family, a good idea, and even your health. People always say to support local, and there’s a good reason for that.organic_health_food

Avoid Antibiotics and Hormones

Conventional meats are injected with hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals that may be detrimental to your health. Meat raised from an organic farm tends to be made from animals that were fed nourishing meals, were treated better, and are not injected with all these growth hormones. By eating organic meat you can make sure you’re not putting any of that stuff in your body.

It’s Eco-Friendly

We all worry about our ecosystem for many reasons. With conventional farming, pesticides and other ways of growing food tend to interfere with ecosystems. Bee populations dwindle, which can affect many other things as well. With organic farming, farmers tend to let nature do its thing without interference. In turn, this allows nature to produce the things we love, such as honey and flowers.

It May Taste Better

What is it that we love most about food? If you don’t say it’s the flavor, you’re lying. Organic food tends to be a lot tastier. Every morsel is from soil that is nutrient rich and not filled with harmful chemicals. The meats are raised from happier cows, the eggs from well-fed and raised chickens. If you care about taste you may want to give organic food a try.

It Can Be More Ethical

Many people are concerned about how the livestock behind the meat is raised. Factory farming can be a displeasure for some. Animals are raised in tight cages unable to roam around freely. Then, they are slaughtered. It’s quite a terrible life, and if you want to eat meat without worrying about how the animal was raised, organic is the way to go. These animals are typically raised on farms with plenty of space for the animals to roam around, and they’re not mistreated, overfed, or cramped.

Overall, there are plenty of reasons why you should try organic foods. However, changing to an all-organic diet can be difficult and even expensive. That’s why you shouldn’t worry about making everything organic, but try your best to choose organic whenever possible, as long as it fits your budget. Organic foods tend to be tastier, are more ethically raised, and don’t have chemicals and pesticides that can wreak havoc on your body and the environment.

They say you are what you eat, and by eating organic, you are someone who can put a stop to greedy corporations and start supporting local as well.

Cleanse Your Liver and Your Kidneys with Parsley Juice

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Parsley juice turns the nutrition in this herb into a powerful punch of nutrition. It has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, volatile oils and chlorophyll. These herbs work together to cleanse and detoxify your liver and kidneys. It has a history as a healing herb for the kidneys. If you have kidney infections and kidney stones, both fresh parsley and dried parsley tea are recommended as a remedy.
Despite its benefits, there are precautions you need to take, however.

One example is if you’re pregnant or taking medicine that thins your blood, you should not consume it in large doses. Also, if you have parsley_juice_31kidney disease, you may not want to consume too much. Parsley contains oxalates, which may bother your kidneys. So if you’re pregnant or have kidney disease, talk to your doctor before trying some of these recipes that will be featured in this article.

Make a Parsley Smoothie Using Other Cleansing Fruits and Vegetables

Most people can’t handle a pure glass of parsley juice. It’s noted for being potent, and most people want to dilute the taste by combining it with tastier fruits and vegetables. To do this, blend it with other detoxifying fruits and vegetables, such as:

Celery-

The juice in celery can cleanse your kidneys and liver and make them stronger. Try to buy it organic if you can.

Beet-

Either beetroot juice or normal beets make a great cleanser. It especially works for the liver. It might be able to clean your blood as well.

Watermelon-

The juice from the watermelon is great for cleaning out your kidneys. The seeds might be able to work as a kidney stone remedy too. If you’re interested in that, get seeded watermelons.

Watermelon juice is great for flushing the kidneys and watermelon seeds are said to be especially beneficial for kidney stones. If this is something you’re concerned with, then look for a watermelon with the brown seeds rather than the seedless varieties.

Cucumber-

Cucumbers can break down kidney stones and get all the uric acid out of your body. Try purchasing organic if you can, as conventionally grown cucumbers can be coated with wax. If not, just peel the skin off. However, cucumber skin is filled with antioxidants.

Carrot-

The juice from a carrot can cleanse your body, especially in the kidneys. As carrots can absorb a lot of junk like heavy metals and pesticides, try buying organic.

Lemon-

If you want a great cleanser that can get rid of mineral deposits, lemon juice is the way to go.

Here are some recipes to use that combine parsley and the previous ingredients. Mix it up however you want, and make sure you have a good juicer or blender. If you want the best detox shake, juice and blend all the ingredients above.

Lemon juice from a fresh lemon is an excellent cleanser and can help dissolve mineral deposits that lead to calcium oxalate stones. Lemon will also help delay oxidization of the other juices.

Making Parsley Juice using a Juicer

A normal centrifugal juicer is probably not going to give you the juice that you need. Even though it costs more, a masticating juicer is something you need if you want to get the most juice out of superfoods like parsley, wheatgrass, or spinach. They help with parsley_44other fruits and veggies as well, giving you more juice that tastes great. A masticating juicer is especially recommended if you plan to juice often. It’s an investment that pays for itself, since you’ll need fewer ingredients to make more.

Parsley Juice Detox Combo

Serves two

What You Need
Two-three medium carrots
Two sticks of celery
One beetroot, medium
One small or half of a large cucumber with the peel.Or, peel if not organic.
Juice from one big or two small lemons. Get rid of seeds beforehand.
One ounce of parsley soaked in warm water, combined with a bit of apple cider vinegar.

Directions

Put a collection container down and pour lemon juice and a couple of ice cubes in. This slows degradation of your parsley juice. Combine all ingredients in the juicer, switching between hard ingredients such as carrots and beetroot with softer ingredients like celery and cucumber. Ball your parsley and put it between the tougher vegetables. Mix the juice and drink it.

Blending Parsley Juice

If you have a quality blender, it can make a great smoothie that’s easy to digest. However, cheaper ones may have difficulty combining. Look for a quality one that can make a great puree.

Parsley Smoothie

Watermelon and cucumber works great for blending, and the seeds have nutrients, so don’t be afraid to add those.
Serves two.

What You Need
Half ounce of parsley.
Juice from two small or one big lemon. Discard the seeds.
One large cucumber, diced with peel and seeds in it. Try peeling it if not organic.
Watermelon with seeds in it. Any amount that can fit into the blender is fine.

Directions

Combine all ingredients until the parsley leaves are blended and the watermelon seeds are chopped. That’s it. This smoothie works great for cleaning the kidneys and tastes great too. Consume immediately if you want to best nutritional benefits.

How Much Parsley Juice Should You Use?

Parsley juice is powerful, so don’t consume it too many days. However, you can create the recipes for a week and add more parsley every second day of the week. After the first week, take a week off. Or, just do it a couple times a week when you need it.

Parsley is a great detoxifier, and you can make some delicious smoothies out of it. That said, make sure you know what you’re doing first. Also, if you want a great combination, juice carrots, beetroot, and celery, and then mix it with the mixed watermelon, lemon juice, cucumber, and parsley. It will cleanse your body in ways you couldn’t imagine. Remember to stay healthy and detox your body whenever you feel like you need the energy. Your body will thank you for it later.

What is Selenium and How it Can Improve your Health

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Selenium is an antioxidant and trace mineral. It is important in all health fronts, from energy in your body and mind to improving overall good health. It’s usually found in various foods, but as of late, the amount of selenium in those common delicacies has declined.

Why is Selenium  so important?

In your body, there are these things called selenoproteins, which form glutathione peroxidase. You may be wondering what those two words are. In essence, glutathione peroxidase help to bring detox and antioxidants into your body and brain. Cellular toxins are selenium_44changed into harmless byproducts, which make it easy for them to be eliminated. That way, you have protection against many of the hazards out there.

Increasing your glutathione peroxidase levels can even help to prevent cancer, so that’s a plus. Specifically, lung, bladder, prostate, and colorectal cancer risks can be reduced. In addition, it can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because glutathione peroxide reduces blood vessel damage, making it ideal if you have a history of heart disease.

Selenium helps to form those selenoproteins that you need to start this cycle, so that’s why they are important. Of course, these disease have various causes, and selenium is not a miracle cure-all, but it’s still worth adding more to your diet in order to decrease your risk.

But how do you know if you’re low on selenium?

There are six ways that indicate that you may be selenium deficient.

1. Losing Your Hair and Having Fingernail Discoloration

If you’re genetically predisposed for hair loss, you shouldn’t panic just yet. However, if you’re losing your hair quickly, and in a way that is evenly distributed, it may be a sign that it’s not just genetics, but selenium deficiency. This can even affect your underarm and body hair if your levels are too low. On the flip side, too much selenium can cause the same effects, so beware.

If your fingernails are extremely white on the beds, this may be a sign of low selenium intake as well.

2. Low Immunity

If you’re getting colds and not being able to fight them off as fast as you should, it may be because you have low selenium. This can lead to poor immunity. After all, you need selenium for antioxidants, so it helps to boost your immune system.

3. Chronic Fatigue

Tiredness is caused by many factors. There are plenty of minerals you could be low in that would cause it. You may have an iron deficiency, or need more vitamin B. Selenium can cause fatigue as well if you’re not getting enough. If you’re constantly tired, you may want to get tested and see what you’re low in.

4. Poor Concentration

If you are having trouble remembering things, concentrating, or just feel like your brain is filled with fog, it may be because you don’t have enough selenium. Speaking of mental issues, a good amount of selenium can help with anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue, so that’s a plus.

5. Poor Reproduction

Having low levels of selenium can cause many problems in reproduction. It can increase the chances of women having miscarriages, and can affect menstruation as well. If you’re a man, it can affect your reproduction as well. Having a deficiency in selenium can lower your sperm’s motility, decreasing the chances of impregnation. For some men who don’t want children, this sounds like a plus, but there’s much better ways of birth control out there than a selenium deficiency.

6. Hypothyroidism

If you have a selenium deficiency for too long, it can lead to hypothyroidism. What is that? It’s a condition where your thyroid doesn’t produce the ideal amount of hormones. You can gain weight, feel depressed, and be fatigued because of it. It’s a serious health disorder, so you don’t want to get to that level.

How Much Selenium Should You Have?

With all those problems, you may be wondering how much you should consume to avoid potential health risks? Well, the world isn’t certain. In the UK, it’s 75 mcg for men and 60 mcg for women. In the US, meanwhile, it’s 55 mcg for all adults.

However, it’s recommended that you do get a little more than the USA amount. However, just like anything, it can be toxic at a high enough dose. About 40 times the recommended American intake is said to be toxic, but a good rule of thumb is to never consume more than 400 mcg.

It looks likely that there a significant health benefits in getting more than just the bare minimum amount of selenium set by the USA RDA. Keep in mind though that selenium can be toxic at extremely high intakes.

Foods with Selenium

So which foods should you consume? Seafood contains a good amount of it. Shrimp, salmon, sardines, and tuna are all great sources of selenium. For the meats, try eating more free-range turkey and chicken, grass-fed beef, and pastured eggs. Barely, oats, brown rice, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, asparagus, and spinach are great sources as well, remember to buy organic when you can.

Another good source of selenium is Brazil nuts. They contain the selenium_brazil_nuts+34most selenium out of all the foods, containing anywhere from 50-100 mcg per nut. Eating two a day can be your own natural supplement. Just don’t eat too much. If you’re prone to snacking, you may consume too much.

Overall, selenium is a vital antioxidant, one that everyone needs more of. If you think you’re seeing the signs of a selenium deficiency, check with your doctor. Letting your levels stay too low for too long can have long-term effects. Eat some foods that are rich in selenium, or take a supplement. And you can always pop a few Brazil nuts too. Soon, you’ll be feeling a lot better, having more energy and improved mental capabilities. So remember to stay healthy, eat right, and check on your selenium levels. Your body will not regret it.

Healthy Alcohol Choices

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I’ll admit it, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet when most social gatherings involve drinking beer and eating chips with friends. Most alcoholic drinks are filling and packed with carbs, mixed drinks are full of sugar, and wine…well, let’s just say it’s to be left for special occasions. So how do you keep a flat stomach without being labeled as a social introvert? Read on to find out.

Before we move on to the healthiest type of alcohols, it’s important to note that, the way in which you drink the alcohol may also affect your body. For instance, straight liquor, is less harsh on the body when served neat (without mixers) or on the rocks (with ice cubes). This includes scotch, whiskey, and gin among others.

However, it is the clearer types of alcohol that come with the least amount of baggage – having less calories and being more tasty. One serving of gin may have no carbs but carry up to 110 calories while a serving of vodka has no carbs and 97 calories.

First off, let’s lay down the facts. Even the healthiest alcohol beverages still aren’t that safe. After all, too much of anything, even healthy alcohol, can earn you a one-way ticket to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning, which would be the least of your worries. But skipping social gatherings may not be option, so here is a rundown of some healthy alcohols.

Red Wine, First On the List

This is my favorite, mainly because it suits all occasions and everyone loves red wine – use it to set the mood during intimate occasions or to soothe the evening after a long day’s work. The best part is, it’s one of the few alcohols that can be classified as healthy. healthy_red_wine_33This is because it contains Resveratrol, a nutrient that can be very beneficial to the body. It comes from the skin of red grapes and works to lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots in the arteries.

Lowering my cholesterol is not first on my to-do-list but I still like to enjoy the other benefits, like proper blood circulation. I find that it’s much easier to enjoy a late evening run after a glass of wine.

Red wine is also a heart-friendly alcoholic drink. Polyphenols, antioxidants found in red wine, can protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart and help to keep your heart healthy longer. All in all, red wine is not too bad for your stomach.

The Sweetness of Rose and White Wines

Nothing is more relaxing after a hard day’s work than a chilled glass of rose or white wine. You’ll also be comforted to know that you are having a low calorie drink. Rose and white wines do not contain resveratrol like red wine because they are not made using the skin. Nonetheless, research has revealed that they can still be effective in boosting the circulation of blood in the heart. The sweetness is the main reason why rose wine is always on my menu.

A number of positive effects are linked to the moderate consumption of these wines. Similar to red wine, rose wine contains Polyphenols that help to lower LDL and cholesterol as mentioned earlier. Potassium is effective in lowering blood pressure, while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce joint pain and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Drinking Healthy Beer

Beer doesn’t usually equate to a healthy diet – more like a big belly (or at least that’s what we think). Drinking beer may not give you that flabby tummy you’re so scared of – not if you drink the right type. Light beer are the healthiest types of beers – low carbs and calories.

However, you should still try to avoid beer if you can; but if you find that you can’t, then try to make sure that you are drinking the lightest beer available. Two of the best choices that you can make are: the 55 calorie Budweiser Select and the 64 calorie Miller Genuine Draft Light. So if you want a beer then try one of these, just try to limit yourself to just one beer.

The Stronger Alcohols

If you have something stronger on your mind in terms of drinking, then you are better off limiting yourself to just a couple drinks or units.

Gin

Gin is a drink that is made from juniper berries, it is known as a diuretic, which means that it makes you want to urinate and helps you reduce the level of your blood sugar.

Whiskey

Whiskey is good in more ways than one; firstly it most likely won’t be giving you a hangover; and secondly it is not harsh on your stomach. As an added bonus, it actually contains antioxidants (as much as Vitamin C)and it has ellagic acid which helps fight cancer.

Lastly, whiskey also has the ability to take in some of the healthy characteristics of the barrels used to age it. With so many benefits it’s easy to forget that we are actually talking about hard alcohol.

Brandy

It is a pretty well-known fact that brandy (just a shot) can actually have almost just as much Vitamin C as orange juice (one glass). However, only higher quality brandies will have this much Vitamin C.

Low Calorie Mixers

Lastly, if you are concerned about weight loss but still want to be partying and drinking then you will most likely be interested with low calorie mixers.

Zero Sugar Soda –

For choices, you have sodas such as Coke, Fanta and Sprite. The “light” versions of these sodas not only have little calories, they are also wonderful mixers.

Natural Juice–

While it may just seem simpler to just buy the juice that you see in supermarkets, you are better off making the apple or orange juice alcohol_mixers_fruits_54that you want for yourself. That way you are sure that the juice in your drink is healthy.

Lemon Juice–

Similarly, some drinks (such as Margaritas and Mojitos) are made using lemon juice. If these are the drinks that you love then you should make an effort to juice your own fresh lemons for yourself.

I hope these hints and tips will help you make healthier choices when drinking alcohol.