Some people like to hold onto the idea that alcohol – such as a glass of good red – can be healthy. We know in truth, however, that there are many superior ways to get a serving of antioxidants that don’t come with the negative side effects on your liver, gut and brain.
That said, we do live in a culture where the odd social drink or night out is acceptable, particularly for celebratory occasions. It is with this in mind that we have a few great suggestions on how you can make those drinks a little more liver-friendly and health-conscious.
Here are our top four tips for making that occasional cocktail a little more friendly to your liver.
Liver-Friendly Tip #1
Use coconut water kefir or kombucha as a naturally sweet and fizzy base for mixed drinks.
Depending on where you live in the world, you might have already noticed some bars and restaurants offering this as an option. Coconut kefir and kombucha are simply great for your gin, vodka or rum cocktails. The benefit of using fermented drinks as a base is that the probiotic bacteria found in them improve your digestive microflora. That’s a win-win for you because a healthy colony of gut bugs (known as your microbiome) means a better chance of regular and formed bowel motions and a happier mood the next day.
Liver-Friendly Tip #2
Use coconut milk or coconut cream in your otherwise dairy-based cocktails.
This works well in a white Russian in place of your regular cream! If you’re a Baileys lover as well, you might have already discovered that an almond milk version has been released. If you can’t source this where you live in the world, there are some pretty yummy recipes online.
The benefit of going dairy-free is that you avoid the acidity, inflammation and mucus production that commonly shows up with creamy cocktails. Moreover, coconut milk contains medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) which, unlike fats found in milk, are readily used as a source of energy by the body. This is because MCTs are shorter and easier to break down and use.
Did you know that MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burn? This can aid in managing blood sugar issues and, in particular, diabetes!
Liver-Friendly Tip #3
Use herbs and fruits for flavour instead of juices or syrups like grenadine.
Muddled rosemary, pomegranate, blueberries, lavender, thyme, basil, chamomile, orange slices, squeeze of lemon and lime, cinnamon sticks and ginger all work really well.
The benefit of doing this is clear – you’re not just avoiding unnecessary calories and sugar but you’re reaping the medicinal qualities of these herbs and fruits as well.
Lavender is a beautiful calming herb. Rosemary works wonders for memory. Thyme is an excellent antiviral and we know that ginger is anti-inflammatory and great for the tummy.
Liver-Friendly Tip #4
Choose sparkling mineral water and stevia drops (if you like your drink sweet) over fizzy drink mixers.
The benefit of skipping fizzy drinks is that again, you’re able to avoid all the nasty refined sugar and empty calories. You’re also more likely to stay hydrated while drinking. Even better, you might even drink less or more slowly if your chosen drink doesn’t taste so sweet.
Get some extra liver support
Now you know how to make a liver-loving drink for yourself and your friends at the next celebration, why don’t you take things a step further and act like a Naturopath? Combine these tips with a dose of medicinal herbs that will protect your liver and also help you detoxify overnight. You will wake up feeling fresh, loving the thought that you’ve taken care of your body while also having a good time.
Find out about our Happy Liver formula and how it can help keep your liver healthy!