9 Healthy Hot Drinks to Warm You Up!

Monday Feb 10 | BY |
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Hot Drinks

A number of hot beverages—including plain hot water—can provide health benefits in cold weather.

When the weather gets cold outside, we naturally gravitate toward hot drinks. You probably already know that many of these options are good for you, but did you know that just simply heating water is beneficial?

One study published in Chest reported that simply sipping hot water helped clear nasal passages, with researchers stating hot beverages were superior to cold in the “management of fluids in upper respiratory tract infections.”

Warm water is also believed to help flush out the intestinal system, aid digestion, relax muscles, soothe nerves, tame coughs, and flush toxins out of the body. And that’s just plain warm water—check out all the additional benefits of the following options!

  1. Green tea: Packed with healthy antioxidants and phytochemicals, green tea has been linked with heart and brain health, a reduced risk of diabetes, improved dental health, and weight loss. Some studies have also suggested the beverage may help lower your risk of cancer.
  2. Warm lemon water: A number of health practitioners recommend this drink as ideal first thing in the morning. It may help kick start digestion, assist detoxification, and boost your immune system.
  3. Spiced apple cider: The cinnamon in this drink helps control blood sugar, and the apple provides healthy antioxidants. Studies have also connected apple cider with improved cognitive skills and a reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. The pectin in all apple products also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  4. Schizandra tea: Often used as an alternative to coffee, this tea is made from the schizandra berry and is said to have a number of health benefits. Used for thousands of years in China, it may help beautify the skin, purify the liver, increase physical endurance, increase mental function, and ease stress. Some even use this tea as an aphrodisiac, as it’s said to help increase the libido.
  5. Hot cocoa: Pure cocoa has powerful antioxidants that have been linked to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The best way to make this common drink healthy is to make it yourself, so you can avoid added preservatives and sugars. Simply mix a couple tablespoons of real cocoa powder with a sweetener of your choice and the desired amount of water. Heat on low, and after a couple minutes, add in the milk of your choice—almond, coconut, rice, and regular dairy milk all work well. Add a stick of cinnamon for even more health benefits.
  6. Herbal teas: Take your pick—they are all good for you. Caffeine free and available in a myriad of flavors, they can help pick you up or calm you down, depending on which you choose. Try slippery elm for coughs and sore throats, chamomile to encourage sleep, pu-erh to help reduce cholesterol, echinacea to fight a cold, hibiscus to lower blood pressure, nettle to fight arthritis pain, ginger for a tummy ache, peppermint to reduce flatulence, lavender to lift a low mood, lemon balm to calm anxiety, rosemary to relax muscles, milk thistle to assist liver function, rosehip to boost the immune system, and rooibos for its potential to help prevent cancer.
  7. Chai tea: A spiced milk tea often made of black tea, heavy milk, spices, and a sweetener; chai can provide a number of health benefits, usually from the antioxidants in the basic tea and from the various spices used. The most common are the following: cardamom (linked with smooth digestion and detoxification), cinnamon (lowers blood sugar and may protect against Alzheimer’s disease), ginger (eases digestion), cloves (may help lessen or prevent colds and flus), and pepper (antioxidant protection). Watch the ingredient list to make sure you’re getting a pure, natural product.
  8. Bamboo leaf tea: Have you heard of this one? Made from the leaves of the bamboo tree, it’s relatively new in the U.S. market, but is growing in popularity. The leaf is rich in silica, which is important to bone and tissue health. The tea is said to help strengthen hair and nails and maintain dental and bone health. A typical cup of the tea also contains 1 gram of dietary fiber, and a number of healthy phytochemicals.
  9. White coffee: Despite the name, this beverage isn’t made from coffee beans at all, but rather, from sweet-scented orange flower water. Caffeine-free, it’s easy to make—just mix a splash of orange blossom water in a cup of boiling water. The beverage got its name from Lebanon, where it’s often used as a substitute for coffee. Orange flower water is a byproduct of steam distillation to obtain orange essential oil, which is made from the leaves, pulp, peel, seeds, and bark of the tree. It’s said to be calming and to soothe nervous tension.

Do you have other healthy hot drinks you enjoy in the winter months? Please share them with our readers.

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Saketkhoo K, et al., “Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance,” Chest, 1978 Oct; 74(4):408-10, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/359266.

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” was released with Jupiter Gardens Press in September 2015. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho. www.colleenmstory.com


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  1. Sandy says:

    Chicory tea/ healthy coffee substitute.

    Ground chicory tastes like coffee, some people add it to their coffee.
    You can mix the chai spices in it or cacao as well.
    Avaiable online at Vitacost, Amazon & others.

  2. ellen says:

    I love Teccino… it tastes more like coffee but it is a much healthier option.
    They have single serving ‘tee’ bags, so it is portable and easy to make.

  3. Terri Potts says:

    My favorite go-to hot drink, especially if I have a cold, is Ginger/Lemon.
    Boil some water in a sauce pan, reduce the heat and cut a good size piece of ginger root into several pieces.
    Steep the ginger in the water for 10-15 minutes.
    While steeping, squeeze the juice and pulp of a whole lemon into a mug. Remove any seeds.
    Remove the ginger and pour the hot water into the mug. I add Manuka Honey for sweetness. Manuka Honey, with the lemon and ginger, has a lot of health benefits.
    Stir, enjoy, and feel cozy.
    (Tip: The ginger is still good for another go-around so cool it completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and save until another time)

  4. Jenn says:

    Another I like is using molasses. Perhaps a New England thing but I do like the flavor(not a huge sweets person, I use blackstrap for health benefits). 1 Tbsp plus hot water for a hot drink, in summer can let that cool and add to milk/ice for cold drink. As someone with metabolic issues, this one has a nice kick(iron and other minerals).

  5. Francess says:

    I have a nice hot enjoyable cuppa that everyone can enjoy with lots of benefits

    half a cup of water
    1 tablespoon of Cacao powder
    1 tablespoon of Molasses
    half a cup of full cream Milk

    Direction: Dissolve Cacao powder and Molasses in very hot water. Then top up with full cream milk and enjoy

  6. Julie says:

    I’ve found roasted dandelion root tea great as a coffee substitute and liver detox support. Plus miso soup for similar reasons.

  7. Ani says:

    Tea…… Have been drinking good Asian tea since I was 5 years old….. not continuously until I got married, then searched and found strandtea.com We buy green rooibos to have in morning as it builds strength gradually.

    And red rooibos to have in evening as is is more calming and has been studied a lot including by the FDA — 6 oz. serving of tea provides 7000 mg C, plus mag. ,calcium, zinc, and more.

    We also purchase white peony leaf tea as it is very very high in anti oxidants and is good mixed with a fruit tea such as Hawaiian paradise, etc.

    I use bamboo powder and was intrigued by the bamboo leaf tea mention. So emailed strandtea.com to see if they might be interested in carrying it.

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