Achieving a soda-free diet is easier said than done.
Any attempt to fully pivot from soft drinks faces stiff opposition at every turn, especially in Nigeria. This includes significant online and offline marketing, the scorching sun, and the seeming shortage of alternatives. A Nigerian party is also incomplete without a truckload of assorted soda options.
The knowledge of soda being a potential, long-term health risk may not also mean much to individuals who have consumed such for years. A dogged, unwavering approach is thus non-negotiable in the unthinkable bid to leave soda behind for good.
The good news is that it is possible. A good number of people have managed this feat but scarcely did so without the consumption of selected alternatives.
To ease your withdrawal from the allure of soda, here are five healthier alternatives you could try out:
1. Natural juice
This alternative may require interested parties to put in the work by squeezing out natural juice from fresh fruits. Sadly, tight schedules may not afford one the time to work on oranges and pineapples with juice extractors.
Whenever one has the time, however, a vitamin-enriched experience void of colouring or artificial flavours brings immense benefits to the body. Over time, they may just become a companion on hot afternoons for persons seeking to move past soda.
2. Sparkling water
Sparkling water arguably stands as the closest substitute for soda. This substitute comes in flavours and bubbles that mimic those of soda brands but without a high sugar content.
There is also the option of investing in a sparkling water maker, as these are not regular features in Nigerian hotels and restaurants. These appliances may however be costly for the average Nigerian resident, leaving one with the option of constantly purchasing plastic bottles of sparkling water.
One may also blend sparkling water with natural juice extracts.
3. Soya milk
Soya milk is a fairly accessible and affordable soda alternative in Nigeria. It is also a healthy option and particularly rich in calcium. Processed soya milk may also incorporate other beneficial nutrients which render sugar needless.
The affordability in particular may be an added incentive, given the sustained rise in the price of soft drinks in Nigeria.
4. Zobo drink
This is a popular local option, best served chilled. It is the end product of brewing dried hibiscus leaves infused with other ingredients.
In recent years, the zobo drink has edged closer to soda territory due to its enduring legacy. The appeal of the traditional zobo drink remains, reinforced by its affordability. Research has shown that the zobo drink is capable of aiding blood pressure reduction.
5. Coconut water
Coconut water may come off as less satisfying and less on-the-go, given the shortage of processed coconut water in many Nigerian stores. Plus, one can only obtain so much fluid from one coconut.
Notwithstanding, coconut water is a healthy and valuable addition to a soda-free diet. It has minimal sugar content, coupled with sufficient amounts of magnesium.