For the most part, alcohol is just junk food: loads of empty calories with little nutritional value. But it’s the holidays! What better time is there to loosen your control a bit and indulge in some cheer with friends and family?
We can lessen the health damage of alcohol by either choosing alcohol with health benefits and/or pairing it with healthy mixes.
Warning: food & bevvies which contain hefty health benefits may not necessarily be low in calories, e.g. nuts are equally high in nutrients and calories. The following healthy holiday drink recipes will most definitely put your reduced calorie diet on pause.
Based on a WebMD post, Hot and Healthy Holiday Drinks, here are a couple of warm cups of delicious alcoholic beverages to try when ringing in the New Year:
Steph’s Holiday Hot Apple Cider
Directions: Stick whole cloves into orange rind. Combine cider, cran juice, orange slice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Measure 1 oz. each of dark rum and pour into individual serving mugs, top with mulled apple cider.
Health benefits: apples are high in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, which may help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cinnamon has been shown to improve glucose and cholestrol in blood levels.
Minty Hot Cocoa
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of sea salt
2 cups vanilla soy beverage
2 oz. white peppermint schnapps (about 83 calories)
stevia to taste
Directions: Mix salt and cocoa powder together in a bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat milk. Mix about 1/3 cup of the hot milk with the cocoa powder and salt mixture, pour back into the saucepan; stir until well-blended. Measure 1 oz. each of peppermint schnapps and pour into individual serving mugs, top with hot cocoa. Add natural sweetner, e.g. stevia, if necessary.
Health benefits: dark chocolate is high in the anti-oxidants, flavinoids, which may help guard against heart disease and boost the immune system.
These healthy holiday drinks will not only help you control your drinking (how many hot drinks can you knock back?) but will also warm your heart as well as your body and mind. But don’t take my word for it! Please come back and let us know what you thought of these healthy bevvy alternatives!
For those who would rather watch their calories, this AskMen post gives you some alternatives and lets you know the worst alcoholic beverages to choose.