It's right about the time when we start to notice frost on our cars in the morning or we're not able to go outside in the evening without putting a coat on, that we start to pull out our teapots and packages of hot cocoa more regularly. For most of us, it's because warm drinks are an easy—and tasty—way to take the chill off. But did you know that there are proven health benefits that come with drinking warm (and hot) liquids?
According to one study, habitual tea drinking has a way of improving your brain power. Also, when you drink hot water, it is able to do everything from clear up nasal congestion and calm your nervous central system to improve blood circulation throughout your body and decrease your stress levels.
That's why, on this very chilly fall (or winter) day, I thought it would be a good idea to give a personal shout-out to some of the warm drinks that not only taste good, they are really good for you too. Oh, and as a bonus, I also included some recipes, just in case you want to go the homemade route on any of them (which will make them taste even better!).
1. Ginger Tea
I'm one of those people who gets motion sick whenever I ride in the backseat of a car, so ginger and I have been rolling deep for many years now. Not only does it help to ease dizziness and an unsettled stomach that is oftentimes associated with motion sickness, ginger also helps to relieve nausea that may come as the result of pregnancy or even chemotherapy. Some other benefits are it reduces blood pressure and blood sugar levels, relieves menstrual cramps and headaches, and it strengthens your immune system as well. All of these are solid reasons to drink a cup or two of warm ginger tea, at least a couple of times a week, if you can.
Try This: Immune Boosting Ginger Tea Recipe
2. Lemon Water
Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C. And since Vitamin C is the ultimate kind of antioxidant, you can understand why lemon water is the ultimate warm drink; especially during cold and flu season. If you're looking to detox your system, improve the quality of your skin, reduce kidney stones or even simply freshen your breath—warm lemon water is just what your body needs. Some other awesome things about lemon water is the flavonoids in it can increase blood circulation while increasing oxidative stress throughout your body too.
Try This: Hot Lemon Water Recipe
3. Turmeric Latte
When it comes to turmeric, make sure that you get a tea that says it contains curcumin because that is the active ingredient that supplies you with all of the benefits that I'm about to share. Turmeric tea is great because it boosts immunity; protects against liver damage; helps to keep asthma at bay; fights cancer cells, and it also reduces arthritis-related symptoms.
If a part of you is hesitant to give this a try because you're wondering if it's a little too spicy for your taste, all you need to do is add some almond milk and cinnamon and—voila! Now your tea has turned into a latte.
Try This: Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk)
4. Dark Hot Chocolate
If there's a signature drink for the fall and winter seasons, it's got to be hot chocolate. The cacao that is in it is packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate also improves heart health and cognitive function; is great for maintaining gut health; reduces blood sugar levels; fights off free radicals, and it contains copper, iron and magnesium which is good for your hair and skin. Plus, dark chocolate is also known aphrodisiac (yes!).
Try This: The Best Hot Chocolate from Scratch
5. Chamomile and Lavender Tea
If you've got menstrual cramps, drink some chamomile tea. Want to relieve your cold symptoms? Drink some chamomile tea. If you've been having a hard time falling asleep, drink some chamomile tea. If you've got a stomachache, you're stressed out, or if you want to fight bodily inflammation, drink some chamomile tea. Yeah, chamomile tea is awesome. In fact, the only time you shouldn't drink it is if you've got severe allergies because sometimes it may have pollen in it that could trigger your symptoms.
Also, if you want to take chamomile to another level, add some lavender tea to it. Lavender contains antioxidants and volatile compounds that fight free radicals. Lavender also stimulates the release of certain neurotransmitters in your body so that you're able to feel calm and relaxed. It's the perfect tea to consume right before nighttime.
Try This: Lavender-Chamomile Herbal Tea Recipe
6. Earl Grey Hot Toddy
As someone who is a big fan of tea, I'll be the first to say that Earl Grey is one of the blander ones on the list. Still, it had to be mentioned because it contains the antioxidant catechin to protect your teeth, along with a citrus extract to keep your weight under control and properties that fight depression while giving you an energy boost at the same time. Something else that's cool about Early Grey is the bergamot that's in it can improve your immune system and also cure a fever (if you happen to have one). If you add some whiskey (which relieves stress, aids in digestion, and acts as antiseptic and numbing agent if you've got a sore throat) and honey (which is loaded with antioxidants) to the tea, you've got a hot toddy on your hands that will stop pretty much every beginning stage of a cold in its tracks.
Try This: Earl Grey Hot Toddy Recipe
7. Matcha Tea
You probably already know that green matcha tea is a form of green tea. So, why should you go the matcha route? Basically, it's because one cup of it is the equivalent of ten cups of "regular" green tea. One example of what this means is matcha tea contains 137 times more antioxidants than the standard green tea brand does. Some other benefits worth mentioning is matcha strengthens your immune system. Not only that but, it contains L-theanine to improve your level of concentration; the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) that reduces free radicals; contains properties to improve your mood while relaxing your body and, it's also got fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins in it too.
Try This: Green Matcha Tea Recipe
8. Cinnamon Apple Cider
If you've always wondered what the difference is between apple juice and apple cider, basically cider is the unfiltered version of apple juice. You know what that means, right? When you drink cider, you're able to get more benefits from the apple itself. As far as what those benefits are—apple cider contains flavonoids that fight heart disease; fiber to fight constipation; iron to keep your blood healthy; potassium to strengthen your muscles, and pectin to absorb any bad cholesterol that may be in your system. If you add a little cinnamon into the mix, its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can help to keep cold- and flu-causing germs from getting you sick all fall and winter long.
Try This: Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe
9. Vanilla Chai Tea
One of my personal favorite drinks would have to be vanilla chai tea, whether it's hot or cold. This type of tea is good for you because it's also loaded with antioxidants. Some other perks include the fact that vanilla chai tea has the ability to improve digestion, fight anxiety, reduce the risk of diabetes and, it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Also, if you're someone who likes to get a caffeine fix every morning, but you want to cut back a bit, vanilla chai tea will give you a dose of caffeine, although not nearly as much as a regular cup of java does.
Try This: Vanilla Chai Tea Recipe
10. Mulled Wine
Believe you me, I've read enough comments on the xoNecole platform to know that y'all are big fans of wine; specifically, red wine. That's good to know because red wine contains the polyphenol resveratrol which helps to keep your heart healthy, protect against the development of breast and colon cancer cells and, it can even aid in the prevention of vision loss too. Red wine is also great because it raises the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your system, improves how your lungs function and, it protects your skin from UV sun ray damage (which can happen in hot and cold weather).
And just what turns a glass of wine into a hot cup of mulled wine? Usually some cinnamon, some cloves (cloves promote bone health, fight bacteria and increases liver health), a little apple cider and some oranges which are loaded with antioxidants. Maybe a few raisins for garnish as well. Make some tonight or impress some of your friends this weekend by creating a batch. It'll do your body—including your taste buds—a world of good!
Try This: Mulled Wine Recipe
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Shutterstock