5 Amazingly Healthy (and Delicious) Hot Drinks To Keep You Warm This Winter

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What better way to enjoy winter than with cozying up with a nice, hot cup of something delicious? Here is a list of tasty and healthy hot drinks that could improve your skin, control your hunger, or alleviate your anxiety.

1. Hot cinnamon spice. 

Remember those Fireball hot candies from your childhood? This black tea is a liquid version of that (but a touch more tolerable). Not only is it delicious, but there is no need for added sweetener since it is naturally sweet enough AND it aids in hunger control between meals like none other. I like Harney & Son’s Hot Cinnamon Spice (definitely choose loose leaf over tea bags).

2. Herbal coffee. 

With no caffeine and an impressive ingredient list, including things like dandelion (loaded with minerals that help with liver detoxifying), chicory (which promotes nutrient absorption and digestion), burdock, and beetroot (known to be tumor-inhibiting), to name a few benefits, this delicious concoction has a pleasant-yet-bold taste that blows coffee out of the water. While the health benefits of coffee have been hotly debated, studies show that caffeine blocks the absorption of B-vitamins and depletes the body of potassium and magnesium.

Meanwhile, “herbal coffee” blends like Dandy Blend and Teeccino actually rebalance the negative effects of coffee, even providing prebiotics. Even cooler? It really does taste like coffee and can be brewed the same exact way.

Tip: Trying to cut the coffee habit? A big part of that habit is the ritualistic preparation of your java in the morning. Simply start incorporating brewable herbal coffee in with your regular coffee grounds and taper down with time. Use 25% herbal and 75% coffee one week; 50/50 of each the next week; 75% herbal and 25% coffee the week after that; and by week four (100% herbal coffee) I can promise you will not only NOT miss coffee, but feel amazing without the typical, unbearable caffeine withdrawal!

3. Schizandra tea. 

This Chinese staple has such a rich, earthy taste that some even use it as another coffee alternative. The health profile, on the other hand, is incredibly hard to beat. This tea is brewed from the schizandra berry and has been shown to: balance mood; aid in mental stability; improve sleep; boost the immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, central nervous system, AND reproductive system; heal liver damage (thanks to the power enzyme, glutathione peroxidase); alleviate stress and anxiety; stabilize blood sugar; and make you grow wings. Okay, maybe not the last one, but it wouldn’t be surprising would it?

This tea is an acquired taste (to me it smells like liquid prunes), and I can attest to its effectiveness in calming and relaxing an anxious mind as I could tell a major difference when drinking up to three cups a day of an instant Schizandra blend amidst stressful events in my own life.

4. Hot chocolate. 

Did you have any idea that one cup of this rich, cozy yumminess actually has two times more antioxidants than one cup of red wine, and up to five times more antioxidants than tea? Cocoa has numerous heart- and brain-friendly benefits as-is, but being put to heat actually triggers these benefits to release much more effectively. Unfortunately, store-bought brands are loaded with tons of artificial ingredients and sugar, which counter such benefits.

Fortunately, it's ridiculously easy to make your own healthy version at home!

Homemade Hot Cocoa (makes one steamy serving): 

  • Combine 1½ Tbsp cocoa powder (alkaline-free and the darker the better), 2 Tbsp sweetener of choice, and a scant 3 Tbsp water in a small saucepan.
  • Heat on low, constantly stirring so paste doesn’t stick. After 2 minutes, add in 1 cup milk of choice (almond, coconut, rice, dairy) and a small splash of pure vanilla extract.
  • Mix together until just before simmering, add ½ teaspoon arrowroot powder (optional) and whisk until thickens slightly and drink is warmed through.

SO easy and delicious! Feel free to add a touch of anything from instant espresso, to cinnamon, to cayenne pepper, to a small piece of actual dark chocolate to make it your own.

5. Organic Green Tea. 

This choice may be popular already, but it’s so fantastic it had to be on this list! This is the perfect hot drink for in between meals during the day because it is light, inexpensive, contains minimal caffeine, and actually reduces dietary fat absorption in the body by around 30% (whereas something like coffee actually spikes your blood sugar and shuttles fat to be stored)! For this reason, green tea beats out coffee as an ideal dessert drink to have after big holiday meals. Additionally, many studies prove the EGCG in green tea encourages skin rejuvenation not only internally, but externally.

Tip: Use the tea bag as a toner! After I brew my daily cup of organic green tea, I put the tea bag (without squeezing out the excess) in a small glass in the fridge. At night after using a gentle cleanser, I dab a cotton ball into the tea bag and use the liquid as a toner to remove any excess make-up or dirt my cleanser may have missed. (Occasionally, I will use the actual tea bag!) The trick is letting the wetness from this “toner” dry naturally on your face without wiping off. This simple routine has honestly cleared my sensitive, acne-prone skin up like nothing else and it is insanely economical.

If you've had the chance to try these, which one is your favorite? Feel free to share your favorite hot drink in the comments below and enlighten our lovely MBG readers!

Happy winter and healthy drinking!

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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