Between the hot dogs, burgers, and other grilled summer classics, backyard celebrations are all about food, drink, and indulgence. We’re not necessarily talking prime health dishes here. But there are ways to make your Fourth of July celebration just a little more health-friendly where you can.
Summer cocktails, with their umbrellas, ice, and extra cute straws, are not only Insta-ready, but they can come with surprising health benefits, if you make or order them correctly.
So before you default to the pre-made grocery store mixes, consider DIY-ing for a more health-boosting, and guaranteed, benefit:
1. Jalapeño Margarita
A little bit of spice to your favorite iced summer cocktail means that you’ll not only enjoy the tequila-based drink, but you’ll also get a little fat-burning boost.
Because jalapeños are loaded with vitamin c and fiber, the capsaicin (which gives the vegetable its classic spice) will help to increase your fat burn, studies show. The spiciness of the jalapeños also lowers appetite, while helping to improve the healthy functions of your metabolism, keeping you regular and your digestive system smooth.
2. Gin and ginger cocktail
Starting off with gin as your cocktail spirit base, you’re already getting a nice addition of juniper berries, rosemary, and citrus, among others. Since juniper berries have been known for their anti-infection properties, the popular alcohol is a good go-to when you’re making a cocktail from scratch.
The addition of ginger (or even ginger beer or ginger ale) brings anti-inflammatory benefits, and help to curb nausea and indigestion, which means your gut will thank you for your cocktail choices.
Bust out the classic brunch cocktail at this summer’s barbecues for a traditional drink option that also comes with health benefits. Opt for fresh-squeezed orange juice (ditch the “from concentrate” varieties) and prosecco (one of the lowest-calorie alcoholic drinks) and you’ll get the vitamins A, C, and fiber-loaded drink that you’re craving.
4. Pomegranate Cosmopolitan
If you have whole pomegranates, de-seed them and save the seeds as toppings or garnishes for your cosmopolitan drinks. If you have pomegranate juice (again, not the one that’s made from concentrate — you’ll want to skip that one), use that as a mixer for the drink.
Pomegranate juice is filled with polyphenols, which helps to fight cancerous cells while also decreasing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
5. Anything topped with berries
Summertime means prime time for some of our favorite berries. Whether you’re loading up on strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, goji berries, or blackberries, they’re all in-season, so you’ll be getting all of the perks of the popular farmer’s market finds.
The phytochemicals that are found in berries are extra powerful when they’re in-season and contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties and help to regular blood sugar. Be careful not to overdo the fruit, since they’re also full of fructose, so consume in moderation for the best benefits.