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10 Hot Drinks To Keep You Warm This Fall & Winter

Warm yourself up with some teas (and other hot drinks) that are great to your taste buds and your health overall.

Food & Drink

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

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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

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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

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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

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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