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Drink To Good Health

Did you know that some drinks may actually help promote weight loss or that a certain type of tea can lessen menstrual cramps?

On The Saturday Early Show, Dr. Mallika Marshall talks about drinks that can do a body good.

There's some evidence to suggest that if you drink your calories, you're more likely to feel fuller sooner and it may prevent you from taking in as many calories in food, Marshall says.

She says there are several benefits to adding water to food:

  • It makes the food look larger, as it provides greater volume to the food, which can be more satisfying.
  • When water is bound to food, it's thought to slow absorption and last longer in the stomach.

You need to choose drinks that are low in calories and healthy for you. If you want to drink your way to weight loss, Marshall suggests tomato juice, carrot juice or even a healthy vegetable soup.

To soothe an upset stomach, she says a yogurt smoothie can do the trick. Certain types of intestinal ailments can be eased or even prevented with a good dose of yogurt. But only yogurt that contains a type of bacterium called lactobacillus. When ingested, lactobacilli travels to your intestine and sets up shop, crowding out bad germs that can cause upset stomach. And this type of yogurt may also be a good option for people with lactose intolerance.

For women suffering from menstrual cramps, Chamomile tea can help. Marshall says the tea produces a compound called glycine that can relieve muscle spasm and, therefore, can probably relax the uterus.

And if you wonder what the best thing to drink after a hard work-out is, Marshall says low fat milk, non fat milk and chocolate milk are the way to go.

She says a drink rich in carbohydrates and protein is a good choice, and milk fits this bill. And you may want to choose chocolate milk for the added anti-oxidant effects of chocolate.

The best thing for pregnant women to have is a glass of orange juice. She says a lot of women end up craving citrus fruits when they're pregnant, and orange juice can satisfy this craving while providing important health benefits. Orange juice is a decent source of folic acid (though you should still take a supplement) and you can get orange juice fortified with calcium, which is also important in pregnancy.

Finally, if you want to improve your brain function, she recommends trying some blueberry juice.

Marshall says blueberries are known to be rich in anti-oxidants and research has shown that when rats eat a diet rich in blueberry extract, they show less short-term memory loss and better balance and coordination. Blueberries are also low in calories and high in fiber, so they are often touted as a super-food.