5 Thyroid-healthy Hot Drinks
Staying warm can be tough for those of us with an underactive thyroid. Cold intolerance is one of the textbook symptoms of hypothyroidism. We often get cold hands, cold feet, and struggle to warm up because of our slower-than-normal metabolism. This chill can persist in spite of medication.
One of the best ways to warm up is from the inside out. But highly caffeinated, super-sugary, or alcoholic drinks aren't the best for us in the long run and can lead to worsening symptoms and other health complications.
Whether you're trying to give up coffee, find a replacement for wine, or just stay warm, these hot drink recipes offer something for everyone, at any time of day.
In this blog post and episode of Thyroid-healthy Bites, I'm going to put something warm between those cold hands with 5 Thyroid-healthy Hot Drinks. All of them are caffeine-free, alcohol-free, and free of refined sugar. Cheers!
- Orange-spice Rooibos
- Golden Milk
- Turmeric Hot Chocolate
- Lemon Ginger Toddy
- Pumpkin Spice Dandelion Latte
All Drinks Are:
- Refined-sugar free
- AIP- friendly
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Show Notes / Podcast Links:
- Listen on the podcast page
- FREE Thyroid Thrivers' Grocery Guide
- Epic Pure Water Filters - 20% OFF Code: HYPOCHEF
- Electric Turmeric from Pique Teas - 5% OFF Code: THYROID5
- MORE Thyroid-healthy Beverages
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Disclaimer: This information is for educational and inspirational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers before making changes to your diet, health care, or exercise regimen.
Before we start making thyroid-healthy hot drinks, let's talk about...
WATER: The Most Important Ingredient in Your Drinks
Whenever possible, Thyroid Thrivers should use filtered water when preparing beverages. Tap water may contain thyroid-disrupting toxins like chlorine, fluoride, and/or heavy metals. These can directly affect thyroid function by interfering with the production of thyroid hormone or by bombarding the thyroid with environmental toxins that set up camp in our tissues. Heavy metals, for example, have been linked to an increase in thyroid antibodies.
When it comes to something we're supposed to drink eight glasses of a day, those toxins can add up.
I currently use an AquaTru Reverse Osmosis countertop system. I like it a lot, but I also paid over $300 for it, and it requires electricity. When it dies, my next water filter will be an Epic Pure Filter Dispenser (currently less than $70). I have purchased several of Epic's filter bottles for travel, backcountry adventures, and as gifts, and I've been super impressed with both the quality and the customer service.
I really like the "Pure" filter pitchers and filter dispensers from Epic, because the “Pure” model actually filters out fluoride and chlorine– two known thyroid-disrupting chemicals that most filter pitchers DO NOT filter out. The Epic Pure filter pitcher and dispenser are also highly affordable compared to expensive reverse osmosis systems, and you can get an additional 20% OFF with the code HYPOCHEF.
- For elimination-phase AIP, leading experts consider it okay to use gluten-free vanilla extract for recipes that are heated (most of the alcohol cooks off).
- For elimination-phase AIP, it's important to use guar-free coconut milk when creamer is called for. This is noted in each recipe.
- If you're not on a strict elimination diet like AIP, I recommend Nut Pods almond & coconut creamer, which is unsweetened, dairy-free, Paleo, and officially Whole30 approved. I'm in love with their French Vanilla flavor.
- I've listed the ideal sweetener for each recipe but feel free to use your choice of honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to sweeten. Remember: Natural sweeteners like honey are still sugar, so use sparingly.
- Feel free to sneak a scoop of Collagen Peptides into your cup. The flavor is undetectable, and it adds a boost of gut, skin, hair, and nail-nourishing collagen. It will cloud the mixture a bit, so you may want to stick to creamy drinks for your collagen boost, just for the sake of eye appeal.
- A handheld frother makes these drinks extra fun and, well, frothy, but is totally optional. I recently purchased this Zulay Milk Boss frother and have been SUPER impressed. My whole family has been using it to zhuzh their warm beverages. Extra foam and smiles all around!
Next, let's explore some of the...
Thyroid-healthy Ingredients in These Drinks:
- Turmeric has multiple health benefits for those of us with thyroid disease. It can help protect and heal the intestinal barrier (leaky gut), and reduce inflammation throughout the body, in joints, muscle tissue, and the GI tract.
- Did you know cinnamon ranks #1 among spices for its antioxidants, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids? Those substances provide anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting support.
- Coconut products such as coconut milk contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals, in addition to healthy fats known as MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) or MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids). Consumption of these fats has been touted for various health benefits such as brain health, weight loss, and cholesterol balance. Coconut can also be a positive dietary substitution for refined carbs and sugar, which can diminish thyroid and overall health.
- Collagen Hydrolysate is a processed form of gelatin that dissolves in liquids, hot or cold. It will not congeal or thicken liquids like gelatin does, and has little to no flavor, which makes it ideal for stirring into smoothies. While collagen is not a complete protein, it does provide us with several health-supporting amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Collagen hydrolysate is essentially gelatin, broken down into smaller particles. Gelatin and collagen are primarily composed of amino acids/proteins, which are beneficial to skin, teeth, nails, hair, joints, bones, muscles, the liver, the adrenals, and in particular, the intestinal walls. Glycine (the primary amino acid in bone broth) has been shown to be particularly beneficial to health, including mental health and brain function. Glutamine, another amino acid found in collagen, has been shown to help repair fissures in the intestinal walls (aka leaky gut).
- Ginger aids in relieving both the inflammation and the sensitivity to cold sometimes caused by thyroid disease.
Okay, who's ready to make some Thyroid-healthy hot drinks?
1. Orange Spice Rooibos (Serves 1-2)
This steamy cup is like a cross between chai and orange spice black tea. It uses Rooibos which is a slightly sweet and earthy-tasting red tisane (herbal tea), sometimes called Red Bush tea. Rooibos comes from the leaves of a shrub common to South Africa.
Rooibos is caffeine-free, low in tannins, and high in antioxidants. Unlike other floral or herbal-tasting tisanes, the flavor of rooibos makes a decent substitute for those looking for a caffeine-free alternative to black teas.
- 2 - 3 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise (omit for strict AIP)
- 4 coins fresh ginger
- 1/2 orange
- 2 to 3 sachets rooibos tea
- honey, to taste
In a small saucepan, combine water, cinnamon, star anise (omit for strict AIP), and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 orange before adding the squeezed orange to the pan. Add 2 to 3 rooibos tea bags (or a similar amount of loose-leaf rooibos). Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Stir in honey to taste. Strain into cups and enjoy!
2. Turmeric Hot Chocolate (Serves 1)
While this hot cocoa may not taste like your familiar Swiss Miss, it makes an amazing, caffeine-free afternoon pick-me-up.
When I make this at home I use the Electric Turmeric packets from Pique Tea. Their Electric Turmeric is a special Ayurvedic blend of fermented Okinawan turmeric. The benefit is that it's a highly absorbable form of very potent turmeric, so you get maximum anti-inflammatory benefits. It's jazzed up with cinnamon and ginger, and it makes me feel amazing.
If you don't have Pique's Electric Turmeric on hand, no biggie. Just use regular turmeric powder. When the turmeric is combined with the endorphin-boosting power of cacao powder, this Turmeric Hot Chocolate gives me an absolute body buzz, and the focus to get through a workday afternoon.
Note: Cacao does have a small amount of caffeine in it, so this one may not be the best choice before bed.
On AIP? No worries. You can substitute carob powder for the cacao.
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder (sub. carob powder for strict AIP)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, or 1 packet Electric Turmeric from Pique
- 1 shake ground ginger
- 1 shake cinnamon
- Dash vanilla extract
- Honey, to taste
- 1/4 cup guar-free coconut milk (for AIP) or clean dairy-free creamer like Nut Pods
- Optional: 1 scoop collagen hydrolysate
- 1 cup very hot water
In a large mug, combine all ingredients except hot water. Add about half the water and whisk or froth to thoroughly combine. Add desired amount of remaining water (depending on the size of your mug), stir, taste, and adjust sweetener as desired. Enjoy!
3. Golden Milk (Serves 2)
If you've tried my Easy Instant Golden Milk Mix, you know the spiced cup of comfort that is Golden Milk. This ancient Ayurvedic tonic is said to cure whatever ails you. It's also delicious and makes a satisfying alternative to that evening glass of wine, complete with the relaxing benefits of pain-relieving turmeric.
While my Golden Milk Mix is a big-batch recipe meant to be stored for a convenient cup any time you like, this recipe is à la minute (made to order). Make a cup for you and a friend, or store the extra cup in a glass jar and reheat it later.
- 1 cup coconut milk (guar-free for strict AIP)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon turmeric or 2 packets Electric Turmeric from Pique
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (omit for AIP)
- 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
- Optional: 2 scoops collagen hydrolysate
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until steaming and just starting to simmer, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust as desired. Enjoy!
4. Lemon Ginger Toddy (Serves 1)
This old-fashioned mocktail is just the thing when you're under the weather or looking for something warm and soothing before bed. While a traditional toddy contains a splash of whiskey, it's just as tasty and better for us without.
The perfect toddy is all about hitting that perfect chord of sweet, sour, and heat, so use this recipe as a loose guideline to suit your taste.
A few slices of fresh ginger root are a non-traditional addition, which replaces that fiery warmth of the alcohol. In addition to adding a kick of warm spice, ginger also infuses this cup with anti-inflammatory goodness. If you happen to have some on hand, you could use my Lemon Ginger Honey instead to sweeten it.
If you're congested and can tolerate nightshades, try a shake of cayenne to help get that congestion thinned and cleared out before bed. Don't do nightshades? No worries. Just double up on the ginger for the same kind of spicy relief.
- 1 - 2 cups very hot water
- 3 very thin slices of ginger root
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- Honey or Lemon Ginger Honey, to taste
- Optional: Dash of cayenne pepper (Omit for AIP)
In a large mug, combine all ingredients. Stir, taste, and adjust as desired.
5. Pumpkin Spice Dandelion Latte (Serves 1)
Who says you can't have a pumpkin spice latte without dairy, caffeine, or loads of sugar?! All it takes is a simple combo of real and tasty ingredients and a cup of rich and surprisingly coffee-like roasted dandelion tea.
Not only is dandelion a wonderful, prebiotic, and liver-supportive green, but when roasted, the leaves and roots make a convincing coffee substitute. Dandelion tea is the best AIP alternative I've found for those avoiding coffee, especially Teecino's Dandelion Dark Roast, or Sip Herbals Original Blend, which features a chocolaty dose of carob.
If you're a big fan of Pumpkin Spice Coffee, you can always stock up by making a batch of my Paleo Pumpkin Spice Creamer. For a single serving, you can whip this recipe up in just a few minutes. The secret is real pumpkin. Not too much, but enough that you get a true pumpkin pie-flavored infusion. Save the rest of the can for baking, freeze it, or turn it into this cozy cold-weather side.
- 1 1/2 cups very hot water
- 1 sachet of roasted dandelion/chicory tea (like Teecino)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 2 shakes pumpkin pie spice (sub. cinnamon for strict AIP)
- Dash vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 1/4 cup guar-free coconut milk (for AIP) or clean dairy-free creamer like Nut Pods
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Optional: 1 scoop collagen hydrolysate
Steep the dandelion tea in hot water according to package instructions. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust as desired. You may need to reheat this to your desired temperature once all the ingredients are combined.
Hope you enjoy these thyroid-healthy hot drinks and have found something here to keep you warm, inspired, and thyroid-healthy. Cheers to your health!
P.S. Need more thyroid-friendly recipe inspiration? I’ve got you covered. My Thyroid-friendly Everyday eCookbook features over 50 quick and easy, thyroid-friendly recipes your whole family will love. To take a peek at what’s inside, CLICK HERE.