MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - As the weather turns colder, everyone starts drinking hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Believe it or not, these seasonal staples are good for you.
Hot chocolate can be packed with antioxidants depending on the type of chocolate you use. Dieticians say the darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it has. To keep hot chocolate from becoming a calorie-bomb, add your own cocoa and sugar and use skim milk.
Secondly, hot apple cider is packed with Vitamin C which could give your immune system a boost. However, the sugar content is a little higher since it’s concentrated with pressed apples. This drink will hit the spot and warm you up, but you should drink it in moderation.
Coffee has shown to be very beneficial to the body. It offers much more than just caffeine.
Leslie Schilling, Registered Dietician, says, “Coffee has more antioxidants than fruit, vegetables, or grains and a lot of people don't realize how beneficial coffee can really be for you.”
Schilling says coffee becomes very fattening and calorie-packed when syrups and creamers are added to them. Black coffee will pack the the most healthy punch. A good rule of thumb is to only use a tablespoon of cream in your coffee.
Green and black teas are the healthiest warm beverages. When black tea is brewed, it extracts polyphenols and antioxidants which are good for you and heart-healthy. Green tea has an earthly flavor. There are several ways to improve the flavor of green tea. Schilling suggests trying a little honey or adding a splash of juice for added vitamins.
“There are things you can do where you don't have to make it a sugar-laden beverage,” says Schilling.
Studies have shown that three cups of green tea a day can decrease heart attack rate by 11 percent. Green tea has also shown to raise levels of good cholesterol, promote fat burning, reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, and helps with depression.