Delicious winter drinks to get you through the holidays and the cold

By Lisa Drayer, CNN

The winter months are here, welcoming us with temperatures that can make us shiver.

A hot drink is often the perfect remedy to warm you up, but decadent hot chocolate with whipped cream or sugar-laden chai latte can make it difficult to meet your New Year’s health goals. These drinks are also packed with added sugars, which help to obesity and other health problems.

Below are some tasty winter drinks that won’t derail your diet goals and healthier cocktails, if you’re hosting or going to parties in the next few months.

Sweet chai latte with dates

Unlike store-bought versions, this chai latte contains no added sugar and is naturally sweetened with dates.

Chai tea is made with black tea and is loaded with anti-aging antioxidants. The chai also contains spices, including ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper.

Ginger can aid digestion and can be a useful remedy for nausea. The hot spice can also help relieve pain and inflammation.

Cinnamon can help control blood sugar and the theanine and caffeine in chai tea can help us stay focused during the day. The milk in this drink provides a good dose of calcium and vitamin D, keeping our bones strong and contributing to healthy posture.

This chai latte only has 99 calories, which is way less than your local coffee can serve, especially if the chai mixture contains added sugars.

You can use chai tea bags for the recipe, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own chai spice blend!

Mint hot chocolate

Sip a hot chocolate with peppermint for a soothing and delicious winter drink.

Peppermint can help cure winter colds, sinus infections and headaches. Like ginger, peppermint has soothing effects on the stomach and can help fight nausea and digestive problems.

Cocoa is a richer source of antioxidants than most foods and provides cardiovascular benefits. Chocolate bean can protect nerves from injury and inflammation and has beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function and mood.

Cocoa drinks are often high in calories: one medium (14 ounces) Dunkin ‘Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate provides 300 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat; a 12 ounce Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate contains 330 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat.

My Healing Peppermint Hot Chocolate is made with omega-3 rich hemp milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup, and is only 115 calories and less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.

gaged milk

This golden drink is made with milk and warm winter spices including vanilla, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper. It’s sweetened with a little maple syrup and has 7 grams of protein, which helps keep you full. The drink also provides about a third of your daily calcium requirement.

The star spice of this drink is turmeric. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which gives the spice its golden color and has a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Interesting way, research suggests curcumin may act as an antidepressant, which can be useful during the long, dark winter months.

But there is more to boast about turmeric: It helps manage metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and high blood lipids. It can also help relieve inflammation and muscle pain caused by exercise.

The pinch of black pepper in the drink contains piperine, a component that helps increase the absorption of curcumin. Ginger Also Offers Antimicrobial Benefits, which can be useful in preventing winter infections.

Matcha latte boosting immunity

Matcha, which has been dubbed the “highest quality tea,” is a powder made from green tea leaves and is rich in the antioxidant known as EGCG. Similar to chai, it contains caffeine and theanine, which can help us stay alert and focused. In fact, matcha tea can help with attention and memory according to a clinical trial.

Preliminary research suggests that concentrated matcha powder may also help fight viruses, including coronavirus.

And that’s not all – EGCG in matcha can help improve insulin sensitivity, which helps control blood sugar and may help reduce inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The milk in this latte provides a healthy dose of vitamin D, which helps to regulate the immune system, and can be helpful if you don’t get your dose of D from the sun in the winter.

In this recipe, you mix the milk, which quickly creates a foam. Dissolving the matcha in hot water before mixing it with the milk helps prevent the powder from clumping together. You can buy matcha powder at health food stores or online.

Lime pomegranate sparkler

This elegant winter cocktail won’t necessarily warm you up, but it’s a healthy choice if you’re looking for a refreshing, bubbly, and nutrient-dense drink.

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests bright red fruit may help protect against various disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Ellagic acid, a compound in pomegranates can help protect against skin wrinkles and inflammation caused by UV-induced sun damage.

Preliminary research suggests that lime juice may help support the immune system. Limes provide a good dose of vitamin C, which plays a key role in our immune response.

Cranberry Orange Cocktail

Cranberry and Sweet Orange Pie Combine in this drink for another tasty and nutritious cocktail option.

Cranberries are rich in anthocyanins, compounds that help keep collagen intact, which helps to keep the skin smooth and young. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system and may reduce the duration of cold symptoms, a welcome winter advantage!

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