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Drink to good health? EDITED BY SALLY McLEANCelery juice, moon milk, schisandra tea and mushroom coffee... Are these newfangled, Insta-worthy drinks really super healthy - or is it all hype? KIM JONES asked dietitian Emily Foster to give her expert opinion.


Celery juice It's all over Instagram with 85,000 #celeryjuice posts and counting.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop site loves it, supermodel Miranda Kerr drinks it daily and stores are selling out of the crunchy sticks more commonly found in salad.

Meant to be juiced solo and swigged on an empty stomach, it supposedly lowers inflammation and cuts bloating.

Emily says: Celery has phytochemicals and antioxidants (vitamins A, K and C) associated with reducing inflammation. And it's true it has a diuretic effect that may ease bloating.

But juice anything and you lose the fibre that helps us stay full longer and steadies the rise and fall in blood sugars. Eating it whole gives you added benefits.

Moon milk This is an Ayurvedic (whole-body healing system) overhaul of bedtime hot milk. Recipes and images of frothy moon milk on the Pinterest site rose 700 per cent in six months.

It's typically saucepan simmered milk with cardamom or nutmeg whisked in - plus an adaptogen (an Ayurvedic herbal supplement said to balance hormones).

But is it really the secret to a good night's sleep? Emily says: Milk contains amino acid Moon likely sleep.

Moon milk isn't likely to help you sleep. The amount of tryptophan in a glass of milk is too small to have an effect. As for the adaptogens, look at sideeffects and recommended dosages of what you choose.

Schisandra tea Grown in China, schisandra - or "five flavour" berries - are said to contain all five natural flavours: salty, sweet, bitter, sour and spicy.

Steeping the dried berries or dissolving the berry extract powder (available in health shops) in hot water makes a tea said to suppress anxiety, lower stress levels, raise energy and boost mood. Emily says: The schisandra berry contains plenty of healthy antioxidants, and tests on animals appeared to show an anti-depressant effect.

Pregnant or nursing women and people with gastric conditions help you should steer clear as it can cause heartburn.

Chaga mushroom worth a I'd stick to homegrown blackberries and raspberries for a hit of healthboosting you want to caffeine antioxidants.

Bone broth Made by boiling up bones and connective tissues from meats in water and vinegar, this is seen as highly nutritious and vitamin rich.

It contains gelatin, with claims it protects joints and keeps osteoarthritis at bay. Actress Salma Hayek and model Elle Macpherson are allegedly fans. Emily says: Bone broth is really stock cooked for a long time, so the collagen in connective tissues turns into high-protein gelatin. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid said to support joints.

Research found chondroitin supplements give mild pain relief to osteoarthritis sufferers, and studies on glucosamine show they slow its progression. But these studies used supplements with much higher amounts.

If you're buying broth, be sure to check the label for salt content.

Mushroom coffee Can mushrooms be magically blended into coffee to help boost concentration and energise you without the shakes? Finnish firm Four Sigmatic's coffee mixes use the chaga variety, which is said to also ward off colds. Emily says: Some test-tube and animal studies suggest chaga mushrooms could help immunity. In other studies, anti-cancer effects were demonstrated, linked to the antioxidant concentration.

Some coffee/chaga blends contain a lot less caffeine than a cup of coffee, so it's worth a try if you want to cut down.

Alkaline water Less acidic - and more expensive - than tap water (and loved by celebs like Beyonce) this is said to help neutralise body acids.

Emily says: Tap water can vary in pH (an acidity scale) from 6.5 to 9.5. Below 7 is acidic, above it alkaline.

Alkaline waters, around 8 or 9, claim to reduce "acid tide", which happens after fasting and increases urine acidity - not a common occurrence. There's not enough evidence to show it's any better for you than tap water... but it's a lot more expensive.

Beetroot latte These pretty pink frothy drinks, which look good on Pinterest and Instagram, are said to boost energy and lower blood pressure.

You can make your own by juicing fresh beetroots and adding to milk, then sweetening it.

Emily says: Beetroot is a source of nitrate that can help to lower blood pressure as well as reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, so it can enhance athletic performance.

Check beetroot powders and beetroot latte mixes for additional ingredients - added sugars or sweeteners, for example. Best of all is 100 per cent beetroot powder, juice or the raw vegetable. More info at

Moon milk isn't likely to help you sleep. Chaga mushroom coffee's worth a try if you want to cut caffeine
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 19, 2019
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