Its Christmas time and many of us find ourselves indulging in all the delicious treats served up at holiday gatherings.  Some of the tasty seasonal treats are actually good for us.  Let’s talk about some drinks that actually have health benefits to them. 

Eggnog is very popular and festive concoction served this time of year and consists of  milk, cream, eggs and liquor.  It has the potential to be very unhealthy but by choosing low-fat versions of the drink, you can avoid the potential health risks and enjoy all of the benefits at the same time. Eggnog is rich in calcium and high in protein as well. Calcium helps with preventing  osteoporosis, nerve transmission and muscular function.  Protein is an important component of every cell in the body and is used to build and repair tissues.  Be sure to drink only pasteurized or treated eggnog, as consuming raw eggs may cause a variety of health risks.

Cocktails made with cranberries and cranberry juices are another popular choice for the holiday season. Cranberries are full of the free radical fighting antioxidant benefits of vitamin C.   A few benefits provided include cancer protection, an immune system boost, heart disease protection, and stress relief. Choosing a cranberry juice based cocktail can have beneficial effects on your digestive and urinary tract as well as other parts of your body, too.

Apple cider is a delicious and healthy fruit drink in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.  Both contain antioxidants which offer protection against cancer causing free radical damage.   A popular cocktail is Spiced Apple Cider, which contains apple cider and rum or another equivalent liquor. Boost the healthiness of this drink by adding cinnamon into the mix.  Cinnamon is widely popular because of its effects as an antioxidant and also for its ability to help regulate your blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful at holiday occasions, where there may be many types of tempting sugary foods available.

Sangria is a popular year round drink that is also very commonly consumed at holiday times.  Red wine is one of the primary ingredients in this cocktail and has been proven to have antioxidant effects, as well as helps to lower blood pressure when consumed in small quantities.  It also helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and provides a range of other cardiovascular benefits as well. Many sangrias are made with fresh fruits which can provide even more wonderful health benefits to your holiday menu. 

Holiday punch is fruit juice based with non- alcohol or alcohol versions but both are filled with fruits which offer a wide variety of benefits from cancer protection, a heart healthy boost and immune system protection.  Add a little mint to pile on even more healthy benefits while giving it a tasty kick.  Enjoy your holiday season!