‘Tis the season of holiday parties and end-of-year celebrations. Along with the cheer and festivities come holiday spirits and cocktails. In fact, the average American doubles their alcohol intake between Thanksgiving and the new year. This excessive spike in alcohol consumption can be detrimental to overall health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to cancer prevention.
Reducing alcohol intake is one of the most important preventable risk factors relating to cancer. Alcohol use accounts for about 6% of all cancers and 4% of all cancer deaths in the United States. The more alcohol one drinks, the higher their risk of cancer. Alcohol intake has been proven to be directly correlated with cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and of course, breast. It is likely that alcohol intake also increases one’s likelihood of developing stomach cancer.
So how can one participate in holiday festivities without indulging in alcohol consumption?
Being health-conscious doesn’t mean you cannot indulge in festive drinking and dining. There are many alternative beverages that not only spark a festive feeling but can be beneficial to your health too. Consider swapping the cocktails for one of these three tasty and healthy alternatives throughout the holiday party season.
- Swap the mulled wine for mulled tea
While red wine contains antioxidants that may have some health benefits, it is easy to overconsume during the holiday period. Try swapping the traditional mulled wine for a mulled green tea. This hot beverage still provides warmth and wintery flavors but is packed with antioxidants associated with preventing many ailments, including cancer. Simply boil water, traditional spices, and flavors such as dried rose petals, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, frozen mixed berries, cranberry sauce, and orange, and add a green tea bag. This drink can be made for an individual serving or increased to serve a party!
- Nutmeg and Orange Christmas Coffee
If your ‘go-to’ holiday drink is an espresso martini, look no further than a Nutmeg and Orange Christmas Coffee. This holiday drink cuts excessive sugar and alcohol intake while also protecting against cancer. Researchers at Imperial College London found that consuming at least one cup of regular or decaffeinated coffee could protect against liver cancer. Researchers stated that the beneficial effects of coffee consumption might be due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To make this extraordinary drink, add 4 tbsp ground coffee, a cinnamon stick, two dates, a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of cloves, and some orange zest into a french press with 400ml of boiling water. Stir gently before letting the coffee steep for four minutes, then plunge and pour into two espresso cups.
- Clementine Mock Mojito
If you prefer cocktails and bubbles to warm wintery drinks, there are plenty of healthy options to whip up for a holiday bash. This mock mojito bursts with bubbles and flavors that can liven up any party while also protecting against cancer. As is tradition, mojitos feature mint and citrus, and this recipe is no exception. In addition to being exceptionally complementary flavors, citrus and mint are linked to reducing cancer risk. In general, fruits are superfoods filled with nutrients and antioxidants that fuel the body. Citrus fruit, in particular, has been proven to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer while boasting numerous other benefits, including positively influencing cell proliferation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, metastasis, and angiogenesis.
Similarly, an extract found in the leaves of mint can also be used to fight cancer. Researchers believe this extract can attack a tumor’s blood vessels, which starve the cancer cells while dividing the cancer cell and preventing it from spreading to other organs of the body.
To whip up this healthy take on a classic cocktail, you’ll need:
- 1 clementine
- ½ tsp demerara sugar
- 1 lemon wedge, chopped
- a small handful of mint, woody stalks removed
- a few drops of orange blossom water
- sparkling water, to top up
- Juice half the clementine and chop the other half into small pieces. Pour the juice into a glass and stir in the sugar. Tip in the chopped clementine and lemon, then crush using a muddler.
- Add a handful of ice, mint, and orange blossom. Top up slowly with sparkling water.
- Serve and enjoy!
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