Monday, September 29, 2014

Sip It or Skip It?

Sip It or Skip It?

The holiday season (it's barreling toward us whether we like it or not), is considered by many to be the most festive of the year with parties and social obligations filling the calendar. Cocktails are commonplace, but which ones should you sip, and which will show up on your face the next morning? Noted dermatologist, Dr. Amy Wechsler weighs in on the best options this season:
Sip it… Pomegranate Fizz By now we all know that pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent against free-radicals but did you know they are also rich in Vitamin C, B6 and Potassium? Mix with a topper of seltzer for a festive-hued beverage, or for a festive occasion, top with a bit of champagne or prosecco.
Skip it! Hot Buttered Rum The scent alone is enough to make you hear jingle bells and carols, but this rich, warm cocktail isn’t so great for your diet or your skin! One serving can pack a whopping 316 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat all of which can lead to sluggish behavior, sleep deprivation and a haggard looking complexion.
Sip it… Hot Chocolate This one seems like a splurge, but it’s ok to indulge – in moderation. Look for dark chocolate which is rich in flavonoids which have been known to help with heart health, and anandamide, a feel-good chemical associated with states of bliss and delight. For an added health bonus, make with almond milk. Add a shot of brandy and Frangelico for an adult twist.  
Skip it! Mulled Wine You’d think this one would be OK, since red wine has been shown to improve heart health. But the sugar in this brew can cause a serious insulin spike. Save yourself from the crash and subsequent hangover by having a plain glass of red wine, or better yet, a white wine spritzer.
Sip it… Cranberry Punch Anthocyanins in cranberries have been shown to stop age-related memory decline and boost mental function, and most recipes call for OJ and lemon juice which further pumps up the antioxidants. To avoid the next-day headache dilute with seltzer water to keep the sugar at bay.
And remember – regardless of the celebration – to drink responsibly. Sip a glass of water between each cocktail and be sure to get home at a reasonable hour to catch up on sleep. You’ll thank yourself the next morning.