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5 Wellness Shots That Actually Live Up To The Hype, According To Nutritionists
The concept of a wellness shot—a mixture of herbs and spices designed for health benefits—have been around for centuries, but in recent years they've gained traction at smoothie shops, fresh-pressed juice bars, and grocery stores. These shots promise a variety of things, like an immune boost or weight loss. Some people call them miracle workers, others call them totals scams, but the truth, as it turns out, lies somewhere in between. We tapped licensed nutritionists to spill their thoughts on the most popular wellness shots on the market, what to expect when you take them, and whether they're really worth it.
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1) Turmeric Shots
Many a smoothie place has touted the inflammation-fighting properties of turmeric—and they're not wrong. "I grew up eating Turmeric," says Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition. "It's used throughout the Caribbean, India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries." That's thanks to a little component called curcumin, found in turmeric. "Curcumin is known to serve as an anti-oxidative and has anti-inflammatory properties," Feller explains. "Curcumin may suppress pro-inflammatory pathways related to most chronic diseases."
As Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, a Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian and author of My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes notes, "Interestingly, adding some black pepper to the mix can significantly enhance the activation and absorption of the curcumin." So look for a turmeric shot with black pepper—like this one.
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2) Ginger, Lemon, & Cayenne Shots
The Ginger People
Will a mix ginger, cayenne, and lemon keep away a cold? Eh, maybe. "Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. However, inflammation is a natural part of the body's immune response and this effect would theoretically not help prevent the common cold," says Jonathan Valdez, Owner of Genki Nutrition and Media Spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic.
Since Capsaicin has been shown to relieve chronic nasal symptoms, it might be better to take these when you start to feel under the weather, as a preventative measure. As Feller adds, "Lemons and other citrus fruits are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Research has shown that vitamin C can help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain, contributing to its anti-inflammatory properties." So, consider this the scientifically-backed companion to chicken noodle soup when you have a cold.
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3) Wheatgrass Shots
Though it may sound foreign, wheatgrass actually comes from the same plant common flour does. "Some studies show wheatgrass contains immuno-stimulating effects," says Valdez. "But further research is needed as these have not been replicated."
However, the stuff is chock-full of vitamins A, C, E, iron, magnesium, calcium, and chlorophyll. Feller points out that these antioxidants protect against cellular damage and reduce oxidative stress on the body.
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4) Apple Cider Vinegar Shots
With zero calories and a plethora of antioxidants, apple cider vinegar has shown promising, if not definitive, effects on blood sugar management. Your mileage may vary when it comes to actual weight loss, though—because no drink is a replacement for healthy diet and exercise. Either way, taking a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning might not be the best way to consume it, despite what you've heard.
"Drinking it straight up can be dangerous as it can cause damage to your teeth and esophagus," say Sheth. "Instead of drinking a shot, I suggest that my clients use it as part of a salad dressing at a meal."
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5) Tart Cherry Juice
Besides high amounts of Vitamin A, C, K, manganese, potassium, and other antioxidants that may decrease inflammation, cherry juice is often touted as a natural way to help you get to sleep.
"Tart cherries contain high concentrations of melatonin. A 2019 narrative review study linked tart cherry juice to improved sleep duration and quality when consuming before bedtime," says Feller. Lots of things factor into a good nights sleep (like keeping a consistent wake up time and avoiding caffeine for at least 5 hours before bed) but with its pleasantly sour taste, tart cherry juice certainly doesn't hurt. Just be sure to avoid cherry juice "cocktails" which have the added sugar and preservatives that 100% cherry juice does not.
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Life didn't just give us lemons in 2020, it pelted us with them. And, coincidentally, the sour-fruit print has been trending across more than a few of this season's top-carted items — from lemon-printed inflatable pools to face masks and more. Whether Refinery29 readers decided to make a big ol' batch of figurative lemonade by shopping patterned versions of the stuff OR the sunny hue simply reminds them of summer, lemons are having a moment. So, we rounded up the most wanted of these buys along with some other fresh finds to help sweeten the sour moments. A preview of what's ahead: lemon-infused beauty products, lemony snacks, lemon fashion, lemon-scented bug repellents, actual lemons, etc. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Society6's New Face Masks Support Black ArtThe Best Inflatable Pools For Your Backyard SummerUpgrade Your Bedroom Decor With This Design Hack
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