Heart Healthy Holiday Drinks
The holiday season. It certainly has gained a reputation for indulgence. With all the rich foods, sugary sweets, and drinks, oh the drinks, it can be hard to stay committed to your heart health this time of year. Luckily, there are some ways to indulge without going overboard or throwing all those health and fitness goals away in the last part of the year. We’ve gathered some tips to help you soak up the holiday cheer while still maintaining your health.
Dark Hot Chocolate
Hot Cocoa is a classic drink this time of year, as the days get colder there’s something comforting about a warm mug between your hands. Instead of skipping out entirely, give this a try – melt dark chocolate (we recommend 70% cocoa or higher) into milk over the stove on low. If you’re dairy-free, try a vanilla almond or coconut milk for a touch of added sweetness.
Perhaps one of the healthiest alcoholic choices you can make this season, mulled wine has a number of health benefits you won’t find hiding in some of the other, sugarier choices. Red wine can help with cholesterol and is chalk full of antioxidants. Add the mulled spices and cinnamon sticks that you’ll find in most recipes and there’s another dose of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant goodness. Just remember, the benefits only apply in moderation – enjoy a glass or two, but don’t overdo it!
Eggnog (Yeah, you read that right)
We know, we know. But it’s true! Even though eggnog is the first to get kicked off the list when health comes into the equation, there are ways to have your eggnog and drink it, too. Swap out the heavy cream version for a skim or low-fat milk option and instantly cut the calorie count drastically. There are plenty of recipes available for healthier versions of the store-bought stuff that is easy to make and taste just as delicious. Try a few out this season and find your favorite, then keep it written down for future years when temptation strikes!
Similar to mulled wine, a healthy cider recipe can be easily made at home and incorporates some of the same spices and anti-inflammatory properties. Try making a cider featuring apples and oranges in your crock pot or instant pot and get the added benefit of a boost of vitamin C alongside the delicious, warm, cozy flavors of a hot mug of cider.
With these tips and a whole internet of delicious, healthy versions of the holiday classics at your fingertips, there are countless ways to make this holiday season your best, fittest, and most scrumptious one yet. And if you’re wondering what kind of diet might work best for your specific health needs, don’t hesitate to consult your primary physician, or meet with a cardiologist if your concerts are specifically heart-related. At South Denver Cardiology, we’re dedicated to helping you live your heart-healthiest and happiest life. Give us a call at 303-744-1065 or schedule an appointment online to get your heart in tip-top shape for the holidays.