During the cold winter months, it’s comforting to snuggle up with a blanket and a warm beverage. The good news is that there are lots of winter drinks that not only warm you up inside, but also have surprising health benefits! So the next time you’re in the mood for a steaming mug of winter cheer, consider these options.
1. Golden Milk.
Golden Milk is an Indian beverage that’s been gaining popularity in the U.S. because of its unique flavor and myriad nutritional benefits. It’s typically made by blending milk together with turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.
Turmeric is a dark yellow spice that gives this drink its “golden” color. Turmeric contains high levels of curcumin, a potent anti-oxidant compound. Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and soothe gastrointestinal distress. Cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation throughout the body, lower cholesterol levels and helps prevent some forms of cancer.
Add them all together and you get a steaming mug of winter cheer that’s as nutritious as it is delicious!
Black tea and cardamom are the main ingredients of chai, which is a healthy winter beverage option for so many reasons!
For starters, black tea is a natural source of flavonoids, which have been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes (In fact, in one study, participants who drank at least four cups or more of black tea a day had a 32% lower risk of stroke than participants who didn’t drink tea!).
And then there’s cardamom. In preliminary studies, this spice has been shown to significantly decrease replication of cancer cells. It’s also been shown to decrease liver inflammation, improve blood sugar levels and decrease throat inflammation. An added benefit of cardamom is that it’s great aromatherapy, leading to lower levels of anxiety and other mood disorders.
In short, cardamom plus black tea make for a winning winter beverage combination!
3. Rosehip Tea.
Technically, rosehip tea is a tisane, not a tea, since it’s made from rose flowers and not from tea leaves. Rosehip tisane is high in Vitamin C, which makes it a great winter beverage option because Vitamin C helps boost your immune system so it can more effectively ward off the viruses responsible for causing colds and the flu.
Preliminary research has shown that the compounds found in rosehip may help decrease joint inflammation and soothe irritated stomach linings.
It doesn’t contain any caffeine, so you can drink it any time of the day to feel cozy, hydrated (and happy!)
4. Mulled Cider.
Mulled cider is made by simmering apple cider with spices (most commonly cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves).
When apple cider was compared to clear apple juice, researchers found that cider contained as much as five times the antioxidants as clear apple juice. Cider is less filtered (which accounts for its cloudy appearance), so it contains more of the apple than juice does, which is why cider is more nutritious than apple juice.
In addition, the spices added to the cider have been shown to have significant antioxidant benefits as well. And if you add slices of citrus fruit to the cider as it mulls, you’ll get even more health benefits, with a much-needed wintertime dose of Vitamin C!
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