5 Winter Themed Drinks to Boost Your Health

This winter we want drinks that not only keep us warm and taste good, but that are also nourishing to our bodies. Here are five winter themed drinks that do more than just taste good. The best part is, you should be able to make all of these with ingredients you already have in your pantry (and if not, they are cheap to stock up on).

1. For managing inflammation: Golden Milk – Aka Turmeric Tea.

This is a spicy, hearty tea for chilly afternoons. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that possesses anti-inflammatory properties i,ii . If you suffer from arthritis, especially during the cold months, then this is a great recipe for you to try iii.

Recipe: Heat up milk and combine all ingredients. Whisk well to avoid spices clumping.

2 Cups of Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (Almond, Coconut, Cashew) 

1 Tsp. Turmeric 

¼ Tsp Ginger Powder 

½ Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Raw Honey (or to taste)

Pinch of Black Pepper (for absorption)

1 TBSP Coconut Oil (optional, to add a healthy source of fat)

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional, to add more spice)

2. For a shot of antioxidants: Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie. If you are trying to wean yourself off of the sugary, caffeinated Starbucks beverages (and save yourself the extra $150 bucks a month), this is a great alternative. Cinnamon and nutmeg are loaded with antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules called free radicals iv,v.

Recipe: Combine all ingredients in a blender for 30-60 seconds, or until desired consistency. Add more or less ice as desired.

Frozen Banana

1 ½ Cup Non Dairy Milk (Almond, Coconut, Cashew, etc)

¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree

½ Tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon 

¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder

Add Ice as Desired

3. For sore throat and healthy digestion: Winter Apple Cider. This is a tart twist on the traditional apple cider drink. ACV (apple cider vinegar) has antibacterial properties that help fight throat infections vi . Even just a gargle of ACV and water every few hours will help to make your throat environment germ-proof. Because ACV is derived from fermented apple juice, it can contain probiotics (the bacteria in your gut that keeps your digestive system healthy). Try using ACV like Braggs with “The Mother’ for the added probiotic benefit.

Recipe: Boil water and then combine all ingredients. Add more or less apple cider vinegar.

 2 Cups Hot Water

2-3 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (depending on how strong you want it!)

¼ Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Honey

4. For increased alertness: Mint Tea. The smell of peppermint makes most of us think of Christmas, but it does more than that! Drinking and inhaling the scent of the tea can lead to increased alertness, mood, and cognition vii,viii. This can be a great drink to wake you up and keep you warm in the morning or to have before a workout to get you pumped!

Recipe – This can be Made Two Ways

i. Steep 1 cup of loose leaf mint tea for 5 minutes. OR ii. Put 10 mint leaves in a teapot or French press. Fill with boiling water and let steep for 5-7 minutes.

5. For heart health and anitoxidants: Healthier Hot Chocolate – This hot chocolate recipe throws out all the sugar and loads you up with antioxidants ix. Cacao is a rich source of minerals and antioxidants, and its beneficial phytonutrient, flavonol, has shown to be correlated with increased heart health .

Recipe: Heat up milk then combine ingredients.

1 ½ Cups Almond Milk

1 TBSP Unsweetened Raw Cacao Powder (or more to taste)

¼ Tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tsp Honey (or to taste)

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Try switching these healthier versions in for some of the classic holiday fav’s. You won’t be disappointed!

What is your favorite winter drink? Comment below! 

Resources i.Nagpal, Monika, and Shaveta Sood. “Role of Curcumin in Systemic and Oral Health: An Overview.” Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633300/.

ii.Shehzad, A, et al. “Curcumin in Inflammatory Diseases.” BioFactors (Oxford, England)., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23281076/.

iii.Chandran, B, and A Goel. “A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Phytotherapy Research : PTR., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780.

iv.Rao, Pasupuleti Visweswara, and Siew Hua Gan. “Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant.”Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/.

v.“Chemistry, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Potential of Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans Houtt).”Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Elsevier, 23 Jan. 2013, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1687157X12000571.

vi.Johnston, Carol S., and Cindy A. Gaas. “Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect.”Medscape General Medicine, Medscape, 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/.

vii.Moss, M, et al. “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood by Aromas of Peppermint and Ylang-Ylang.” The International Journal of Neuroscience., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18041606.

viii.writer, Dena Schmidt staff. Peppermint Tea Protects Memory and Improves Mood | NaturalHealth365. 12 Nov. 2016, c. https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/news-events/news/2016/04/herbs-that-can-boost-your-mood-and-memory/.

ix.Katz, David L., et al. “Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease.” Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 15 Nov. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/.

x.Pucciarelli, Deanna L. “Cocoa and Heart Health: A Historical Review of the Science.”Nutrients, MDPI, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820048/.