The Healthiest Beverage

The Healthiest Beverage
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A recipe for making the healthiest beverage even healthier.

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The only other situation where you can find major nutrition without calories is with spices—cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger—also known as chai tea! Has all the tea of tea, but as a bonus, also contains the single most antioxidant-packed substances on the planet—like cloves and cinnamon.

If you want to add some unsweetened soy milk, some erythritol to sweeten it, a spoonful of cocoa powder to make it even more nutritious, and you will end up with a hot, velvety, sweet, spicy, chocolate drink. Hardly any calories, and can have three days’ worth of antioxidants per glass. It’s something I drink every day.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

The only other situation where you can find major nutrition without calories is with spices—cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger—also known as chai tea! Has all the tea of tea, but as a bonus, also contains the single most antioxidant-packed substances on the planet—like cloves and cinnamon.

If you want to add some unsweetened soy milk, some erythritol to sweeten it, a spoonful of cocoa powder to make it even more nutritious, and you will end up with a hot, velvety, sweet, spicy, chocolate drink. Hardly any calories, and can have three days’ worth of antioxidants per glass. It’s something I drink every day.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Emily Barney

Doctor's Note

For more on the spices in chai tea, check out these videos:
Antioxidants in a Pinch
Which Spices Fight Inflammation?
Spicing Up DNA Protection

And check out the prequel: Nutrition Without Calories

For more context, see my associated blog post: Countering Dietary Pollutants & Pesticides.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here

36 responses to “The Healthiest Beverage

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    1. Dr. Greger,

      Having watched ALL of your videos on soy and soymilk, what can you tell the group about how pasteurization affects the phytonutrient and phytoestrogen density in soymilk?

      Also, is there any difference between using organic soy and GMO soy regarding all the potential benefits o consuming soy?

      Thanks so much! Love your work!




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      1. Of course organic is always best. As regards GMO products I would apply the precautionary principle and avoid entirely. A good review was done in Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 49:164-175(2009) which discusses the toxicity of GMO products on various organs including liver, kidney, pancreas, and reproductive systems. Given the complexity of the issue I imagine we will never know for sure. Best approach given that situation in my opinion is to not mess with “Mother Nature”. The best we can do is insist that we have accurate labeling laws so we can vote with our purchases. Given many corporations desires to avoid accurate labeling in the US that is going to be hard.




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  1. Do you have a set recipe you use for your drink, or do you just throw things together? I’d like to try making chai but I’m just not sure how. (I can’t use commercial chai because I’m allergic to cloves.)




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    1. I make my own Chai masala tea.  Here is a recipe:

      Step 1: gently roast the following until pleasant frangrance appears:

      1 cup fennel seeds2 Tbsp green cardomom pod seeds1 Tbsp big black cardomom pod seeds1/2 Tbsp black peppercorns1 Tbsp cloves4 Tbsp cinnamon bark (flat variety)1 Tbsp chopped almond

      Step 2: grind roasted spices to powder form

      Step 3: Store ground mixture in an airtight container

      Step 4: for each cup of tea use 1/4 tsp of the chai mix and add minced ginger and green tea bag (optionally).




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  2. I also am wondering about soy blocking the phytonutrients. Didn’t you say in the last post that it did?

    Also, tea is a diuretic, so you’d still need water, no?




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    1. Hello becochic!
      I believe I can answer your question. In a petri dish, it seemed that soymilk did in fact bind up the phytonutrients of tea making it nutritionally close to plain water. It is uncertain whether berries and cacao and for that matter, other phytonutrient dense meals will be blocked by soymilk. I believe the main concern is with tea and soy milk but to be safe I would avoid it with nutrient dense meals. Almond milk would be a safer choice of a milk if you plan to drink it with the tea. http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/soymilk-suppression/ Do note that dairy blocked the phytonutrients in all 3 cases, tea, berries and cacao. http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/nutrient-blocking-effects-of-dairy/




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    1. What a fantastic idea! I’m always trying to think of ways to sneak more of those antioxidant-packed spices into my daily diet (that was the inspiration for my Healthy Pumpkin Pie recipe). If anyone else has creative (or at least palatable! :) ways to sneak cloves into one’s diet please do share. Like my new Pink Juice with Green Foam video, this site is all about trying to translate these new findings into practical ways to incorporate the best available science on nutrition into our day-to-day lives.




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      1. My daily super-nutrient breakfast (all organic, measurements are aprox.):  – 1/4 cup Rolled Oats – 1 pinch Clove powder – 1 tsp Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp Green Macha Tea powder- 1 Tbsp Coco powder (Unsweetened, Fair Trade)- 2 Tbsp Flax (Organic)- 1/8 cup Blue Berries (wild frozen or fresh)- 1/8 cup Toasted Walnut pieces- 1/8 cup Dried Cranberries- 1/8 cup Dried Currents- 1 Amla (Indian Goodberry – frozen / grated)- 1 Diced Kiwi- Unsweetened Almond MilkIt sounds like a lot, but it’s just one bowl & pretty quick to make (the dry ingredients can be put together in larger quantities ahead of time).I really look forward to getting out of bed in the morning for this! (It’s not as sweet as you might like, but you can adjust that.)I got the idea to create this by watching all the NutritionFacts.org videos and trying to incorporate all the best suggestions that I could. Additional suggestions are very welcome!I hope others might find this helpful.Cheers!-Mark




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  3. Dear Dr. Greger,

    I was born with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hypermobility type 3) and suffer a great deal with pain from the continually subluxing joints and muscular sprains caused by the weak connective tissue and, consequently overwhelming exhaustion after anything like normal activity. I’ve eaten a vegan diet from the age of 20 and am now 63. Could you advise me, please, on anything I can eat to strengthen my connective tissue (as far as dna will allow) and to reduce the pain. Because of IBS, which comes along with the EDS, I can’t digest beans without getting terrible pain. I can, however, eat tofu and processed soya products.

    Thank you very much for all of your work and being so generous in sharing it. It’s wonderful to have scientific medical information from a vegan doctor.

    with many thanks, Francesca.




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  4. I have been enjoying your clips and have learnt so much from your factual presentations. This has bowled me to start drinking soy milk for the first time in forty years. My question is about what soy milk to get. I currently buy a soy milk which contains cane sugar which I really enjoy but am concerned that it has fewer benefits with the sugar. Even so, it would still be better than cows milk for me? Could I get your advice. Thanks




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  5. There were a couple questions here regarding Chai sources, so, given that I’m from Vermont, I’d like to promote the Chai Wallah brand from VT, http://www.chai-wallah.com/about.html I LOVE it. The doctor also mentioned adding cocao or something… but I add carob powder and/or mesquite pod powder, vanilla, and extra cinnamon. It helps to drink this one with a spoon for an occasional stir, as it’s quite muddy, but in a good way. :)




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  6. So, Chai is a great way to integrate cloves and other high-powered anti-oxidant sources (spices), and, as well, this site is becoming a hub for innovating our dining options :), so let’s recall the video here on hibiscus tea… so, I learned about SORREL this week, and I’m not talking about the green plant but instead: Agua de Jamaica (Mexico). This is a hibiscus-based drink out of Jamacia & Trinidad. I guess they use the plant name as the drink name, another word for hibiscus. Lots of references on this online. In short, it uses ginger, cinnamon, cloves, etc etc, the recipes are quite varied, Also, I’ve realized that in making these drinks, the traditional methods use lots of the raw flower, and there seems to be many ways to prepare it. (This reminds me: Glogg is a tradition Scandinavian drink (alcohol) which also uses spices mention here.)




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  7. Dear Doctor,
    Would really love watching your videos, but since I have a severe hearing loss caused by a lifelong celiac condition, which was only discovered when I reached my 54th year, damages where big.
    Please subtitle your videos!
    Thanks, Silvia




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