Celebrate With a Sip, Healthy Holiday Choices

December 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Many people are already starting to prepare holiday meals, but have you thought about what kind of drinks you might serve? A little holly for the holidays, but inside the holly ... quite a Christmas surprise!

Ecologist Matthew Palumbo said, "Like many hollies, it's an evergreen."

In the leaves -- everything you need for an anti-oxidant packed cup of tea.

"We found quantities of antioxidants on the order of what you would find in green tea from Asia," said Palumbo.

That's up to four-times the amount of antioxidants found in pomegranates and blueberries. Discovered by Native Americans, tea from the Yaupon Holly also has by weight a similar amount of caffeine as Arabica coffee. Ecologists at the University of Florida found by using nitrogen Fertilizer, caffeine concentration shot up 265 percent, and they could manipulate levels of antioxidants using sunlight.

"Many of those people who are planting it in their yards have no idea that they have a caffeine substitute that's chock full of antioxidants," said Palumbo.

Another beverage with a healthy secret is hot chocolate. A recent study in the Journal of Food Science found over 85 percent of cocoa flavanols -- chemicals that can protect against heart disease -- were preserved in recipes using cocoa powder, including hot cocoa. Science that warms your insides and gets you on track for another year of good Health.


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