Now that the weather is finally starting to feel more like it should (being that it is officially fall 'n all), I thought it would be a stellar idea to share with you, not just some drinks that can help to take some of the chill out of your bones, but also ones that are great when it comes to relieving stress. Because, let's face it, even though autumn and winter can be some of the most exciting times of the year, when you factor in all of the activities on your plate, the family that you will be seeing, the money that you'll be spending and whatever else that you've got on your upcoming to-do list — whew, they can also trigger feelings of anxiety, restlessness and even low-key frustration, if you're not careful.
So, this week, do your mind, body and spirit a favor and treat yourself to one (or more) of the 10 drinks on this list that can help to soothe and de-stress you. Because, in just a minute, you'll see why they are such bomb ideas on every health-related level. (Where's your favorite mug at anyway, chile?)
1. Apple Cider
If there's a part of you that's always wondered what the difference is between apple cider and apple juice, cider is simply an apple drink that is totally unfiltered and unsweetened. This means that, at the end of the day, you are getting the benefits of apples in their purest form. Some of those benefits include the fact that they are a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, they can help to lower your diabetes risk and prevent cancer and they even contain compounds that fight cancer. As far as relieving stress goes, apples are good for you because the phosphorous and iron in them can help to reduce oxidative stress which, at the end of the day, is basically an imbalance of oxygen in your system. So yeah, if you want to calm your system down so that you can rest and relax easier, a warm cup of apple cider can easily do the trick.
Make Some: Homemade Apple Cider
2. Oat Straw Tea
Whenever I do articles like this, I try and find things that aren't commonly mentioned. Personally, I think oat straw tea qualifies. It's a tea that also goes by the name Avena sativa and has a great reputation for being a mild relaxant as well as a sleep aid. Some other cool things about this particular tea are it has a reputation for helping women when it comes to strengthening our bones, stabilizing our blood sugar levels, soothing our nervous system, reducing depression-related symptoms and, some say that it can even help to boost our libido. A part of the reason why it can pull all of this off is that it's rich in B-vitamins.
Anyway, if you've never given oat straw tea a shot, you just received some pretty solid science-backed reasons to.
Make Some: Oat Straw Tea
3. Winter Lemonade
If you're a fan of lemonade yet you've never had the pure pleasure of drinking the twist on it, known as winter lemonade, sis, what are you waiting on? While there are all kinds of variations to the recipe, it generally has ginger, cloves, and cinnamon (and sometimes vanilla) in it. Lemons are great because they are a natural detoxifier which is always beneficial when it comes to keeping stress levels down. Ginger is bomb because it contains powerful medicinal properties, can reduce menstrual pain (if that's when you're feeling the most stressed), and helps to fight off infections (being sick is always stress-filled).
Cloves are cool because they're loaded with antioxidants and are able to help kill bad bacteria as it strengthens your liver (which pulls toxins out of your skin). Cinnamon is a lick because it also has strong medicinal properties, can help to reduce inflammation, and is full of antioxidants. As far as vanilla goes, it contains anti-inflammatories that boost brain health; plus, it has antioxidants in it too. Drinking this kind of lemonade warm or cold is not only delicious but so satisfying to your senses as well.
Make Some: Winter Lemonade with Ginger and Cloves
4. Warm Oat Milk
Once I realized that almond milk isn't the best thing for the environment, I switched over to oat milk and haven't looked back since. Aside from the fact that it's dairy-free, oat milk is good for you because it is high in fiber and B-vitamins. Plus, it's cholesterol-free, can help to regulate your blood sugar levels and, thanks to the magnesium and zinc that's in it, oat milk can relax your nerves and muscles too. And because drinking anything warm or hot can be truly relaxing, if you're looking for something to help you sleep at night, a cup of warm oat milk in your favorite mug just may be what you've been looking for all this time.
(Heads up: the recipe that I've enclosed contains espresso which you would want to leave out at night…for obvious reasons.)
Make Some: Spiced Oat Milk Latte
5. Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
Anyone who doesn't like hot chocolate gets an immediate side-eye from me. I mean, what in the world, y'all? Not only does it taste like a slice of heaven, if it's dark chocolate, but there are also some pretty impressive health benefits that come right along with it too. Dark chocolate's got fiber, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate can also help to lower your blood pressure, improve your brain function and increase blood flow throughout your blood.
And just what does it do for you stress-wise? Aside from the magnesium that's in it, dark chocolate has a way of altering your brain frequency to where your body's natural stress hormone cortisol levels are able to drop which can cause you to feel calmer. And since something else that cinnamon can do is help to soothe anxiety and depression-related symptoms, how could you not want to make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and then sprinkle some cinnamon spice on top of it?
Make Some: Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
6. Ashwagandha Tea
An herb that's pretty popular in Ayurvedic medicine is ashwagandha. Health-wise, it's good for you because it contains properties that regulate blood sugar, helps to reduce the growth of cancer cells, reduce bodily inflammation, and even can boost fertility in men (although pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before consuming it). Ashwagandha makes this de-stressor list, though, because it's another tea that has a great reputation for keeping stress at bay. That's because there is plenty of data to support that it plays a significant role in reducing cortisol in your system.
Make Some: Ashwagandha Sleep Tonic
7. Warm Vanilla Milk
While I've already touched on what a cup of warm milk can do, because vanilla milk is so delicious, I had to circle back and emphasize a couple of other reasons why vanilla can benefit you when it comes to de-stressing your system. For starters, just the aroma of vanilla has a way of creating a calming effect (which is why, as an essential oil, it's considered to be a de-stressor). Also, because it also has antibacterial properties, drinking some warm vanilla milk can be good for you if you're trying to prevent a cold or if you need help falling asleep if you already happen to have one (check out "Got A Killer Cold? These 10 Hacks Will Help You To Sleep Better.").
Make Some: Hot Vanilla
8. Lavender Hot Chocolate
If cinnamon is so not your thing or you want to step out of the box a bit when it comes to the variations of hot chocolate that you're typically used to, have you ever had lavender hot chocolate before? When I tell you that it is something that tastes truly divine! Not only that but lavender contains properties that help to heal chronic pain, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, lessen hot flashes that are directly related to menopause and improve your quality of sleep.
The key here is to not make your hot chocolate with lavender essential oil. Look for drops that are food-grade or add some dried lavender to your recipe.
9. Mulled Wine
A pretty popular drink during the fall and winter months is mulled wine which is basically red wine with some fruits and spices in it. The recipe that I've included calls for red wine, apple cider, orange, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and some brandy if you really want to get buck with it. Red wine is good for stress because the compound resveratrol that's in it helps to literally protect your DNA from being affected by stress. Oranges help to bring stress relief thanks to the Vitamin C in them that helps to lower your cortisol levels.
Honey's good because it reduces stress levels and produces a natural calming effect. Cardamom is a dope spice because it aids in lowering cortisol and your blood pressure. And brandy's cool because it contains soothing properties that can actually help you to sleep more soundly at night. Definitely another reason to pick up another bottle of red wine and do some steeping, if you ask me.
Make Some: Mulled Wine
10. Chai Latte
If you want to go all out and make your own chai lattes from scratch, you'll need some black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, honey, and milk (or a milk alternative). Black tea is ideal because it lowers stress levels. Nutmeg is beneficial because it acts as a natural antidepressant. Allspice assists with lowering your blood pressure. So, if there is a warm drink that is the de-stressor of all de-stressors, it's a fair conclusion that chai latte would probably be it. Enjoy!
Make Some: The Ultimate Chai Latte
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