Upgrade your winter wellbeing with these health-boosting brews designed for glowing skin, healthy hair and boosted energy
The start of the cooler months can mean dry skin, dull hair and a serious lack of energy. Sound familiar? If so, the good news is you may be able to drink your way back to a healthy, radiant glow. So raise your glass to these beauty-boosting beverages that will give you that winter wellness kick start you might be craving.
There’s a lot of people already in on this secret – green tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. It’s health benefits (like preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties) are well claimed, but did you know sipping on it throughout the day may also help give you glowing skin?
There’s a reason we see the ingredient in so many beauty products, often claiming to help improve skin density and elasticity – elements that make skin feel younger. It’s all thanks to the polyphenols or antioxidants, and what are called catechins in particular when it comes to green tea. Studies have looked at its effect in animals – particularly the catechins ability to help prevent skin cancer as well as green tea as a new treatment for inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis and dandruff.
So boil the kettle and pour yourself another cup, unless you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (in which case, stick to a cup or two a day) or if you have a heart condition you’ll want to check with your doctor first.
We’ll admit, there’s nothing better than curling up with a glass of red wine after a long day - especially in winter. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of red wine, thanks again to our old friends antioxidants. In a nutshell, the process of oxidation in the body produces chemicals called free radicals, and they do damage and contribute to disease. Found in food, antioxidants come to the rescue and help to neutralise these nasties.
There are a couple of things to be mindful of though. The first is the Department of Health’s national alcohol consumption guidelines (which are currently under review) that say healthy men and women should avoid drinking more than two standard drinks per day to reduce the risk of alcohol-related health issues over their lifetime. With wine, that’s just 100ml as a standard drink – far less than what many of us tend to pour.
The second is that while most red wines have antioxidant properties, the ones that pack the healthiest punch are from the areas of the south west of France and Italy’s Sardinia, so opt for vino from these regions when you can.
The cold weather can do a lot to hair, but contrary to popular belief, hair loss during winter isn’t actually that common, particularly in women. While we hold onto our hair with our mittens, it can take a little more effort to maintain it, and one of the best ways to get all the vitamins healthy hair needs is with a vegetable-rich green juice, something many of us may be more likely to reach for in summer.
What’s the secret recipe? It’s up to you as long as it’s green, but these ingredients will treat your tresses in no time – just think A, C, E. Vitamin A locks moisture into hair and can be found in spinach and kale. Vitamins C and E help with free radical damage, which causes hair to age – and avocados are packed with vitamin E so get them into your green juice as well. Their good fats have the added bonus of being good for your skin, too, so you’ll get double the bang for your beauty buck there.
We know, you’ve heard this one before - but it’s stuck around for a reason. The key to this little cup of goodness is the antioxidant-rich lemon, full of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and essential oils. As well as offering a warm, nurturing start to the day, drinking hot water with lemon first thing can help improve your mood, energy levels and give your immune system a small dose of vitamin C, which may help in the fight against cold and flu throughout the winter months. It has even been found to help improve high blood pressure.
While warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice may not be everyone’s cup of ‘tea’, it’s certainly a healthy hot drink substitute and has the added bonus of boosting your hydration levels throughout the day, plus no caffeine means it won’t keep you up at night.