Beverages – Drink to Your Health!

Choose your favorite a la carte Healthy meal from the menu at MagicKitchen.com, and you'll have the perfect blend of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. But to complement a meal choice like Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce, Crustless Spinach Quiche, or Chicken Ana Luisa, you'll need a drink to keep your taste buds moist and ready for each delicious bite.

If you want to drink to good health, some drinks are better than others. And you can't go wrong with water. It's the beverage of choice recommended by the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate. Aim to drink 40 to 64 ounces of water a day, or more if you're active and live in a hot climate. Water helps keep you hydrated and supports brain function, digestion, and other essential systems in your body. Plus it contains no added sugar and zero calories.

But it's not the only go-to drink to complement a healthy meal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate food guidelines recommend drinking low-fat milk with meals. Milk contains calcium and protein for strong bones and muscles. And it's a healthier option than sugar-sweetened beverages or coffee drinks loaded with sugar and cream.

Other healthy drinks that may go well with a meal or simply be enjoyed to quench your thirst include green tea, ginger tea, hibiscus tea, and even a glass of red wine. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that green tea helped reduce the risk for high blood pressure by up to 65 percent. Multiple studies have found that chemical properties in red wine help prevent heart disease, age-related memory loss, and certain types of cancer. Ginger tea aids digestion, and hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants and has a range of potential health benefits, from lowering blood pressure to heart health.

When you're thirsty or sitting down to enjoy a meal, drink to your health. Low-calorie and healthy beverages like green tea, water, milk, and the occasional glass of red wine can be good for you. And even coffee without the added sugar and cream provides protective health benefits.