With much of the country being a deep freeze lately, many of us have turned to hot beverages to warm us up and chase away the winter blues.
- We Southerners like our iced tea, but there is a greater health benefit in drinking hot tea because the steeping process draws all of the flavor, nutrients and antioxidants into the water.
- Hot cocoa is higher in antioxidants than red wine, 2-3 times higher than green tea and 4-5 times higher than black tea. So, if you don't like tea--drink cocoa. However, commercial preparations may negate any benefits, so check the labels and consider making your own.
- An infusion of hot water, lemon, and turmeric with pinches of cayenne, sea salt and raw cane sugar is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The hot water and lemon serves to flush the liver and kidneys.
- A cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick does more than warm you up. It is a good source of Vitamin C, and the cinnamon promotes good digestion and can moderate blood sugar levels for diabetics.
- If you're feeling a bit under the weather, a cup of hot ginger tea can help with digestive issues as well as relieve coughing. Make a soothing cup with boiling water and fresh ginger slices, strain and add honey to taste.
- Coffee drinkers, you are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's or dementia. Coffee may also reduce risk factors for heart attack and stroke. The caffeine, however, can raise blood pressure and increase adrenaline levels.
- Herbal tea isn't really tea, but the steeping process and health benefits are the same. Chamomile is a popular one often used to help you relax. Most herbal teas contain antioxidants, but do not contain caffeine, and are therefore good for bedtime drinks.
- Mulled wine is a seasonal beverage of red wine blended with various spices such as
- Last but not least is the hot toddy. An age-old remedy to chase away those winter time nasties that just drag you down. There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Just put some honey in a mug, add boiling water and a bit of lemon juice and let the warmth soothe what ails you. To make the alcoholic version, just add a splash of your favorite, rum, brandy, bourbon or other similar liquor.
What is your favorite hot beverage?
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