Hot drinks for the cold season

Hot drinks for the cold season

When it’s cold and uncomfortable outside, something warm is good for our soul.  Nothing is nicer than sitting comfortably on the sofa with a cup of hot  chocolate , tea or  coffee in winter when the temperatures are freezing and relaxing. Some of the hot drinks can even have a positive effect on our health. Others, on the other hand, should only be consumed in moderation as they are extremely high in calories. We have taken a closer look at nine hot drinks for you.

Hot chocolate

A wonderfully fragrant cup of hot chocolate puts you in a good mood, even on inclement winter weather. And if you use dark chocolate with a high cocoa content when preparing it, you are even doing something good for your health: because cocoa contains many antioxidants that protect cells. The reason for this is the high proportion of secondary plant substances, more precisely flavonoids and polyphenols. These substances can also support the  immune system  .

But beware: A cup of hot chocolate also has its pitfalls, because this drink does not know how to shine with few calories. Depending on the type of chocolate used, the sugar content, and the fat content of the  milk  , 100 milliliters of hot chocolate provides between 106 and 130 kilocalories (444 and 544 kilojoules).

Make your own hot chocolate

Put 100 grams of dark chocolate in a saucepan and add three tablespoons of sugar and one liter of whole milk. Heat the milk, stirring, until the chocolate chips have completely dissolved – but do not bring the milk to a boil. Then serve the hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream.

Low-calorie variant:  Prepare the hot chocolate with low-fat milk, reduce the sugar and do without the cream.

Tee

A cup of hot tea warms us up wonderfully quickly from the inside after a winter walk. You can also treat yourself to a second or third cup without worrying, because tea itself has almost no calories. Even if you sweeten it with a little sugar, one cup adds up to no more than 20 kilocalories (84 kilojoules).

Depending on the type of tea you choose, the hot drink can also have a positive effect on your health. Certain types of tea can help with colds or gastrointestinal problems.

You should always have the following types of tea on hand:

  • Peppermint tea: helps against headaches and calms the stomach with stomachache
  • Fennel tea: helps with hoarseness and  flatulence
  •  Chamomile tea: has an anti-inflammatory effect and is particularly suitable for gargling  a sore throat
  • Sage tea: helps with gastrointestinal problems and hoarseness
  • Linden blossom tea: has a sweat-inducing effect and is therefore used for feverish colds
  • Ginger tea: has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, can also help with nausea

mulled wine

As soon as it gets colder outside, but at the latest when the Christmas market opens its doors, a cup of hot  mulled wine is very popular  again. However, if one cup becomes two or more, the hot wine quickly becomes a real calorie bomb. Because a 250 milliliter cup of mulled wine has around 250 kilocalories (1,047 kilojoules) due to the high sugar content. If you want to save calories at the Christmas market, you should use hot orange or elderberry juice instead of mulled wine.

Make mulled wine yourself

Put a liter of red wine   in a saucepan along with a stick of cinnamon, a stick of star anise and two cloves . Then cut an organic orange into pieces, including the peel, and put them in the pot as well. Warm the wine slowly, being careful not to boil it. Finally, season the hot wine with a little sugar.

Coffee

Starting the day without a cup of hot coffee is unimaginable for most Germans. Especially when it’s gray and uncomfortable outside in winter, the warmth and the caffeine contained in the coffee ensure that the gloomy mood vanishes.

Anyone who enjoys coffee in moderation is doing something good for their health: because caffeine improves concentration and thus has a positive effect on performance. Coffee can also help with  headaches  , because caffeine constricts the blood vessels in the brain. However, it should not be more than four cups of coffee per day, otherwise there is a risk of unpleasant side effects.

Hot milk

Hot milk with honey is the ultimate household remedy for a cold. If your throat is scratchy, the honey in particular can help to soothe the mucous membranes. However, honey is very sensitive to heat, so you should let the milk cool down a bit before adding the honey. It is even better to take the honey separately before or after the hot milk.

 Hot milk with honey is also  a popular choice if you have trouble falling asleep . Milk does contain some ingredients that promote falling asleep, such as the  amino acid  tryptophan, which is a precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin. However, the amount contained is rather small. This is probably why the psychological effect that the drink has on us comes into play in the first place, because a cup of hot milk before falling asleep gives many people a feeling of calm and security.

Apple Cinnamon Punch

A non-alcoholic punch is a tasty alternative to mulled wine in winter. Depending on how it is prepared, it is also significantly lower in calories because it contains less sugar and no alcohol. If you add some fruit to the punch, you can even do something good for your health with the hot drink.

make your own punch

Peel and slice a piece of fresh ginger root. Similarly, cut an  apple  into small pieces. Put pieces of apple and ginger in a saucepan together with one liter of naturally cloudy apple juice and the  juice  of one fresh orange. Add a stick of cinnamon, a stick of star anise, and two cloves, along with some washed organic orange peels. Bring the mixture to a boil and then steep for 30 minutes. Consider reheating the punch before serving.

Hot lemon

A cup of hot lemon is said to work wonders for colds, sore throats, etc. In fact, although the vitamin is important for the immune system, a cold cannot be treated with an increased intake of vitamin C. Nevertheless, foods with a high vitamin C content are very healthy, because the vitamin is an important component of many metabolic processes, has a positive effect on wound healing and has a cell-protecting effect.

If you prepare a hot lemon freshly, do not pour boiling water over the lemon juice, because  vitamin C  is very sensitive to heat. If the water is too hot, the valuable ingredient is lost before it even gets into the body.

Tip:  If you don’t have any lemons on hand, you can try a hot orange instead of a hot lemon. Squeeze the juice from an orange, pour warm water over it and sweeten with  honey if necessary  .

golden milk

Golden milk, also known as “Golden Milk” or “Turmeric Latte”, has it all: In addition to the basis milk (or alternatively vegan drinks, for example based on oats or soy), the drink contains, among other things  , ginger , turmeric, black pepper and Honey. All of these ingredients can have a positive effect on health. In particular, the anti-inflammatory effect and the positive influence on gastrointestinal complaints make the spicy drink so popular.

Chai-Tee

Another drink that is especially popular in winter is what is known as  chai tea . It is often mixed with milk and then sold under the name “Chai Latte”. Chai tea is traditionally made from black tea and a spice blend of cardamom, cloves, aniseed, ginger, cinnamon and fennel seeds. This not only creates a delicious, but also a healthy mixture, because cardamom, fennel and anise can help with cramps in the gastrointestinal area, for example. Ginger and cloves have an anti-inflammatory effect and cinnamon is said to promote digestion.

Chai tea is very low in calories and therefore also suitable for those who want to avoid extra pounds during the Christmas season. But beware: Due to the fat content of milk, the hot drink in the form of a chai latte has more calories. 

 

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