SM's favourite plant infused drinks for autumn afternoons

Sip away!

“Autumn has become my favourite season of late. Growing up, it was always summer because I got to visit my granny’s house in Kolkata. Summertime, for me, was synonymous with vacations. The strong sun, the long days, and the mangoes…it all felt warm, positive, and really good.

Then, why Autumn? Because it’s windy. Strong winds make autumn more pleasant and even more relaxing than summer. But, this also makes autumn the most unpredictable season of all. The fluctuating temperatures combined with strong winds can really affect our skin and health adversely, especially the gut.

I’ve always been a classic case of bloating and these plant-infused drinks in the afternoon have really helped. They keep my gut cool, fight inflammation, and enhance skin hydration from the inside out,” says SM

Autumns are similar to summers, without the dreaded heat. The season is also a whirlwind of different seasons together –– here you’ll find the sun shining and the clouds taking over at the same time, the cool breeze embracing you and suddenly a thunderstorm attacking you soon after. The inconsistency of the weather confuses your body too! These plant-based drinks make for the perfect solution to regulate and cool down your body during the confusing season. Whether it’s smoothies, coolers, infused waters, or just plain ol’ teas, these plant based drinks are the perfect addition to your diet.

#1 – Aloe Cooler

“This is one of the easiest to make as I have an aloe plant at home. Aloe vera is one of my fav plants when it comes to cooling, soothing, and hydrating. I sometimes like to throw in some mint leaves, cucumber and even coconut water to make into a cooler, for added benefits.”

Ingredients –

A bunch of mint leaves

¼ cup aloe vera juice

1 cucumber

A drop of lemon juice

Method –

Blend the aloe vera juice and cucumber together. Now, add some crushed mint leaves and some ice and shake it all together. Add a drop of lemon juice to give it that zing. Pour it into a glass and garnish with some leftover mint leaves.

Why is it healthy?

Aloe vera is super cooling for your skin and your body, and makes for the perfect autumn cooler. It has incredible antioxidant and antibacterial properties that stop the growth for bacteria in our body –– this is why it’s great to prevent infections and heal wounds. Studies also show that when consumed orally aloe vera helps improve skin texture and prevents wrinkles, as it boosts collagen production. Another cooling agent, cucumbers are known to be an amazing source of water, and therefore keep your body hydrated all throughout the season. They are loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radical damage to your organs and skin, and reduce the risk caused by free radicals.  It also helps combat skin conditions like acne. Mint leaves are great to add as garnishing in drinks, however its health benefits go beyond what meets the eyes. Loaded with a lot of nutrients, this herb is a good source of vitamin A and it is also potent in antioxidants. This helps with eye health and skin health.

#2 – Virgin Mojito

“Oh! This drink puts me straight into ‘vacay mode’. Fresh lime and mint leaves infused in water topped with a tablespoon of honey –– so yummy, I feel like making myself a glass right now.”

Ingredients –

2 limes, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon honey

A bunch of fresh mint leaves

1 cup water

Ice cubes

Method –

Crush the mint leaves and throw them into a steel glass. Now, add the lime juice and lightly crush the mix together. You can do this with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a blender and throw in the water. Blend for 5 seconds and pour the drink over some ice in a glass. Add a few crushed mint leaves and your virgin mojito is ready to go.

Why is it healthy?

A virgin mojito a day, keeps all the skincare woes away. Lime juice is a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and D, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which work together to improve your health. It is also known to revive dull and lifeless skin, as it contains vitamin C and flavonoids, both which boost your collagen levels. Plus the mint acts like an added antioxidant, in this very tasty mocktail.

#3 – Ginger Jaggery Tea

“Again, great for immunity-building as well as aiding in digestion. Also, a good way to incorporate essential vitamins and minerals into your daily routine. I usually drink one first thing in the morning and sometimes even late in the afternoon. Helps boost metabolism and beat the mid-afternoon slump.”

Ingredients –

4 to 6 thin slices of ginger (peeled)

2 cups of water

Lemon juice

½ teaspoon jaggery

Method –

Boil the two cups of water along with the ginger slices. You can add more ginger, in case you want it strong. Switch off the heat and add a drop or two of lemon juice and the jaggery and mix. You can add little milk too, if needed.

Why is it healthy?

Ginger tea with honey is the all-rounder drink you need in your life. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe any inflammation in your system. It also aids in digestion, weight loss, and is rich in antioxidants that help with cell turnover.

#4 – Basil (Sabja) Seeds Infused Water

“Whether it’s tulsi leaves or sabja seeds, you can never go wrong with basil. It is said that your immune system is very strongly affected by the erratic weather conditions during autumn. So, you are more prone to catch a cold or develop allergic reactions from pollen, pet hair, mold, etc. Basil is known for its immunity-boosting power. It helps the body fight inflammation and diseases during this season, and basically keep you healthy overall.”

Ingredients –

½ glass of water

1 teaspoon sabja or basil seeds

Method –

For every ½ glass of water, add a teaspoon of basil seeds and let it sit. You can keep sipping on it all day long!

Why is it healthy?

Sabja seeds or basil seeds may be tiny, but they’re super powerful. They are a good source of minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and are a plant alternative to omega-3 fat. Sabja seeds soaked in water can even help with extreme skin conditions like eczema. You can add them to smoothies, milkshakes, soups, salad dressings, etc., to reap the benefits of these seeds.

#5 – Chamomile Tea

“This really is a stress-buster. A cup of chamomile tea is the best thing to drink after a heavy day of work or even in between when you need a break. Super-calming and sets the mood right for the rest of your day.”

Why is it healthy?

This relaxing tea is a great way to unwind your day. It is pretty potent and contains flavonoids, and have a huge part to play in reducing menstrual cramps, inflammation, treating colds, treating minor skin conditions such as eczema. It’s famous in the beauty world thanks to its ability to relax and make people fall asleep.

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