Warm Drinks with Health Perks

With the cold weather coming in, the thought of cold smoothies and iced coffees may give you the chills. Fortunately, there are a variety of beverages that will warm you up and provide various health benefits.

Green Tea

Tea is a common drink of choice. Besides being warm and low in calories, green tea, which is made of tea leaves, is healthy because it contains high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to absorb compounds called “free radicals” produced natural by the body and acquired through the environment. These compounds can result in cell damage so drinking green tea is a great way to reduce their occurrence in the body.

Studies have shown that drinking three cups of tea a day can decrease heart attack rate by 11 percent, and that it can also raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Other research has linked drinking green tea with lower levels of bladder, breast and colorectal cancer.

Black Tea

Like green tea, black tea was shown to block the damage of DNA associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals according to tea expert John Weisburger, PhD, of the Institute for Cancer Prevention.  Regular consumption of black tea can also lower stress levels.

However, adding sugars and cream to black tea can increase the caloric content, decreasing its health benefits.

Coffee

Many people in the work force consume at least one cup of coffee a day. Coffee also contains antioxidants that can help decrease the risk of certain cancers. Harvard University reported that caffeinated as opposed to decaffeinated coffee also has protective effects against diabetes and gallstones.

However, too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Not to mention, the added cream, sugars and flavorings drastically increase the calorie count. So although it is warming you up, in order to avoid the added calories, it is recommended that skim milk or sugar free syrups are added to add flavor and sweetness.

Apple Cider

This warm, fall drink, contains many of the benefits found in fruit drinks. However, because it is made from whole apples, it contains more sugar than tea or coffee (with no added sugars or flavors).

But, it is a great source of vitamin C. Depending on the blend of apples used, the vitamin and sugar level can vary.

Hot Chocolate

And finally, a nice warm cup of hot chocolate can still provide nutrients and serve as that tasty sweet drink you are looking for.

To reduce the calories make it at home and use skim milk and your own chocolate syrup. Hot chocolate purchased in stores is more likely to have less healthy syrups and heavier milk.

The milk is a great source of iron while the chocolate contains antioxidants that when consumed in moderation, can have healthful benefits.

So next time you pick up your morning drink on your way to work, remember these healthy, warm, alternatives. But to keep them healthy, avoid adding flavors and sweeteners or make it at home.

By: Erica Gomer

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  • Comments (3)
  1. Outstanding

  2. cool blog

  3. I love the layout of your website. Obviously you have a very valid point, however I can’t get over how great the site design is.

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