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6 Hot, Healthy Drinks to Warm You This Winter

6 Hot and Healthy Drinks to Warm You This Winter

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It’s cold. You need something hot, right? But mulled wine and hot toddies aren’t the only options for warm beverages. That’s why we asked experts to share their favorite recipes for healthy and delicious winter beverages to help with your digestion, boost your immunity, and most of all, keep you toasty. (Still thirsty? Here are 10 Warm Drinks That Won't Pack on Pounds.)

Photo: Corbis Images

Hot Water and Lemon Infusion

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Ingredients:
1 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water
Juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch red chili powder or cayenne (boosts metabolism)
Pinch coarse sea salt
Pinch raw cane sugar like Sucanat

Directions:
Mix in mug and stir well.

Why it works:
This is a family recipe passed down to Anupy Singla, author of numerous cookbooks including Indian for Everyone and the blog Indian As Apple Pie. And the health benefits of this concoction are real. According to Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., and principal at food consultancy Corvus Blue LLC, “this hot drink capitalizes on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric, while the hot water and lemon combination flushes the liver and kidneys of toxins.”

Photo: Anupy Singla

Powershot Cold Buster

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Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Dash cinnamon
Dash turmeric
Dash nutmeg
Dash cayenne pepper
Freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash stevia

Directions:
Heat almond milk in saucepan, add all ingredients, then use a whisk or a hand-held frother to mix.

Why it works:
Ariane Hundt, a clinical nutritionist and founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, created this hot drink, which she calls “a potent cold fighter.” She advises to “drink while it’s hot and feel the heat rising. Raising your body temperature is a good idea when you’re about to come down with the cold or flu. A fever, after all, is your body’s way of fighting an infection. Heat denatures viruses, so a sauna or sweat session plus hot liquids are a good way to fight off bugs. The cinnamon and nutmeg are warming and balance the blood sugar, while the cayenne pepper stimulates the metabolism and internal heat. Turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties and settle the stomach.” (Here are 10 Home Remedies for the Cold and Flu.)

Photo: Ariane Hundt

Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon

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Ingredients:
1 cup cider and a cinnamon stick.

Directions:
Pour cider and add cinnamon stick.

Why it works:
“Apple cider is a good source of vitamin C and iron, and also contains the soluble fiber pectin, which may aid in reducing cholesterol. Vitamin C is essential for tissue repair and regeneration, and supports the healthy functioning of the immune system and adrenal glands, both of which can be impaired by stress (including the physical stress of cold weather),” says Janet McKenzie, a naturopathic doctor at Summit Natural Health Center. “Cinnamon promotes good digestion and can moderate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It's easy to prepare; simply add a stick of cinnamon to a cup of cider and heat gently to the desired temperature.”

Photo: Corbis

Hot Ginger Tea

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Ingredients:
3 ounces thinly-sliced ginger root
1 cup water

Directions:
Boil and then strain. Add honey to taste.

Why it works:
“Ginger promotes good digestion, and can relieve discomfort associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, which are often more troublesome in cold weather. It has anti-tussive properties which means it can relieve coughing. It's delicious on its own or sweetened with a small amount of honey,” says McKenzie.

Photo: Corbis Images

Hot Turmeric Milk

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Ingredients:
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk (from the can)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 black peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch cayenne
Pinch nutmeg
(Optional: 1 tablespoon chia seeds)

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until well-combined (about 1 minute). Heat liquid mixture on stovetop on low-medium heat (being careful not to boil to keep nutrients intact) until it has come to desired temperature. Serve immediately.

Why it works:
“This is a creamier twist on hot turmeric tea. Turmeric has a plethora of benefits but its standout feature is the concentration of the compound curcumin, excellent for treating inflammation and joint pain,” says Julie Magnussen, a certified health coach, plant-based chef, and the creative force behind the food blog Healthy Julie.

Photo: Julie Magnussen

Immune Boosting Spicy Coconut Tea Tonic

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Dash cayenne
1 Rooibos teabag of choice
Optional Secret ingredient: One drop pure cinnamon essential oil
1 cinnamon stick, for serving

Directions:
In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients (except cinnamon essential oil, if using) to a slow simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon essential oil. Strain, if desired, or pour straight into a teacup to sip and enjoy.

Why it works:
This drink “is a robust combination of immunity boosting powerhouse ingredients that will help soothe inflammation and digestive discomfort. In addition, it will provide anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-oxidant protection. It’s perfect to rev up your body’s natural fighting power. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious,” says holistic health coach, certified natural foods chef and founder of A Nourished Life, Shelley Hillesheim.

(Coconut milk and tea just so happens to be two of our Top 50 Foods for Weight Loss.)

Photo: Shelly Hillesheim

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