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In Search Of Cure For Modern Day Ills, Some Turn To 'Wellness Tonics'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The latest fitness craze is one you can drink.

Part juicing, part supplement, and part holistic medicine -- as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported, some people are turning to wellness tonics.

Americans have jumped on a whole range of juicing fads in the past -- from green drinks to wheat grass to fresh pressed fruit.

The latest wave of drinks adds a new vocabulary of ingredients including herbs and spices, and has become a multi-million dollar drink category.

When Hope Flamm shops for juice she grabs what's known as a wellness tonic.

"I just feel like it gives the extra vitamins and minerals in a juice you would be drinking anyway because you're thirsty," she said.

The tonics with exotic ancient ingredients made Whole Foods list of 2017 trends.

"I see wellness tonics as kind of an answer to the stress of modern day life," Elly Truesdell said.

Their ingredients are said to remedy a variety of those modern day ills such as turmeric for inflammation, holy basil to relieve stress, and apple cider vinegar to balance stomach acid.

Some say the new generation of drinks feed the microbiome. That's the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut and help to ward off disease.

"It's like food for the microbiome. That's the main focus for these drinks. if you improve your microbiome, you improve your overall health<' Dr. Raphael Kellman explained.

Welness drinks are overtaking past trends including green juices and fresh fruit smoothies.

Whole foods has seen the category explode to 60 different brands offering more than 500 different items.

Registered dietician Sharon Zarabi said don't expect the drinks to be cure-alls for what ails you.

"First of all they're pretty pricey, and then there's very little scientific proof that they actually provide the health benefits they claim," Zarabi said.

Zarabi said you're much better off getting your health benefits from eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

The good news is the drinks won't do you any harm, other than to your wallet perhaps.

A quick search for wellness tonics on the internet yields a lot of recipes for making your own by adding the new ingredients to your old-fashioned juices.



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