Healthy hot drinks to warm you on a cold day - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Healthy hot drinks to warm you on a cold day

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When the weather gets colder, many of us are looking for ways to warm up.   One way to do that, a warm beverage.  But when it comes to hot cocoa, coffee and tea, which is the healthiest choice.

A day outside in the chilly temperatures may leave you craving a nice cup of something hot and soothing.  Tea, hot chocolate, and coffee can warm you to your toes, but which are the best for you?  Almost all doctors and dietitians agree, green tea is the optimal choice.  Touted as a possible prevention for cancer and heart disease, scientists say the studies aren't conclusive, but the tea does contain antioxidants, that are known to be heart disease busters.

Hot chocolate can be good for you, if it's filled with dark chocolate and not much sugar.  Packed with flavonoids, cocoa has  the potential to prevent heart disease, by opening the blood vessels.  Studies have shown dark cocoa can lower blood pressure, cut out bad cholesterol and even prevent diabetes.  Making dark hot cocoa with skim milk cuts down on fat.  And adding two tablespoons of whip cream,  can add 15  calories to one cup.

Coffee gets a bad rap because of the caffeine.  But research shows coffee in moderation is good for you.  In a recent study out of Harvard, scientists found coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, colon cancer, parkinson's disease and even improve your memory.  Add skim milk, and a little sugar and you've got yourself a healthy latte to warm your heart and soul.

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