As snow flurries down on a cold winter day, there’s nothing more satisfying than sipping on a favorite hot drink to warm your spirits. But all of the tempting, sugary, fattening drinks advertised at popular coffee shops make it challenging to stay healthy when it’s freezing outside and all you want to do is keep warm. Luckily, there are plenty of nutritious, delicious options out there that will make it easier to avoid the drinks that are harmful to your body!
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so why not sip on some warm apple cider? Unlike apple juice, which has been sweetened and filtered to remove all particles of pulp and sediment, fresh cider contains the skin and seed matter, which is particularly high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Cider is the unsweetened, raw, natural juice that has been mashed from apples, and it is a good source of potassium and iron. Add a pinch of cinnamon and you’ll increase your antioxidant intake even more! Cinnamon tastes great and is also great for you; it contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese, and it reduces inflammation and fights bacteria.
Another winter favorite is hot chocolate, but it’s not exactly a healthy option. Or is it? Try making your own healthy version by using almond milk, non-alkalized cacao, and cinnamon! Did you know our bodies benefit from the flavonoids found in cacao? The problem with the hot chocolate you find at coffee shops is that it’s most likely packed with processed chocolate—devoid of the healthy flavonoids—and rich in fats and sugars.
Many of us find it hard to brave the morning chill without first indulging in a good old cup o’ Joe. While most coffee-based drinks on a given menu—mochas, lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos—include copious amounts of processed fats and sugars in their beloved steamed milk, flavored syrups, and sweetened whipped cream, a regular cup of brewed coffee can be beneficial to your health. Coffee, after all, is just beans and water. This dark drink contains lots of antioxidants, has been linked to a decreased risk of diabetes, and is said to protect the body from liver cancer. However, due to some cholesterol-raising substances, it’s best to avoid espresso and coffee from a French press, and to stick with brewed coffee that filters out these toxic substances.
Hands down, tea is the healthiest hot drink around. And it’s no wonder—tea is just leafy greens and water, and greens always win! Whether it’s black, white, green, or oolong, all tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids that fight the free radicals in your body linked to cancer, heart disease, and neurological degeneration. Tea is hydrating to the body, despite the caffeine, and is refreshing and savory without added sugar. This hot drink will warm you up on the coldest days, and its antibacterial, antitoxin, antiviral, and antifungal properties are a definite plus!
Stay warm, and drink up!
What’s a favorite healthy hot drink you enjoy during cold winter nights? Share with us below!