A cup of tea is a pleasant way to enjoy many potentially important health benefits. Learn about the various types of teas – both traditional and herbal teas – and their health benefits.
Understand the Health Claims for Traditional Teas
- Distinguish between different kinds of tea. All traditional teas come from one plant called Camellia sinensis. Depending on how it’s processed, it becomes green, black, white or oolong. All teas seem to have some health benefits, but those that are less processed are superior so you may want to focus on green and white teas.
- Learn about the basis for the health claims. The power of tea comes from the antioxidants it contains that can slow down cell damage due to aging.. In particular, tea contains a category of antioxidants called catechins that are even more effective than vitamins C and E in boosting your immune system.
- Keep up with relevant research. Tea has been credited with reducing the risk for many cancers as well as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Other benefits may include lower cholesterol, improved memory, and burning body fat more efficiently.
Investigate the Health Benefits of Herbal Teas
There are all kinds of herbal teas available. Try these herbal teas for a wide range of health benefits.
- Chamomile Tea. This is known for its calming effect and is often used as a sleep aid.
- Peppermint Tea. One of the most used herbal teas, it is known to help digestion.
- Ginger Tea. Also known for its beneficial effect on nausea and digestion, it can also be helpful as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Echinacea Tea. This tea is known to boost the immune system and help fight off colds and flu.
- Rooibos Tea (Red bush) This tea grows in South Africa where it has been used medicinally for centuries. Although there has not been much research on the health benefits of this red tea, one study showed that it has a beneficial effect on bone health and can lower bad cholesterol and fat.
Get the Most Benefits From Your Tea
- Give tea time to steep. Steeping brings out the benefits and the full flavor. Let it sit for three to five minutes.
- Aim for about 3 cups a day. Based on countries where people drink a lot of tea, it’s reasonable to assume that several cups a day is a safe level. Brew a pot to make refills more convenient. If you have concerns about caffeine, drink a herbal tea that has no caffeine or tannins.
- Visit a tea shop. If most supermarket brands leave you feeling disappointed, visit a tea shop to discover new blends. You can sample a cup before buying a batch you like to take home.
- Switch from soft drinks to tea. One of the major culprits of metabolic disorders in America is the consumption of sugar in soft drinks. The empty calories contribute to obesity and colas may lower mineral bone density. Make a healthy, natural tea instead.
- Read the labels on bottled tea. Many bottled teas contain very little tea and may be loaded with sugar. Brew the real thing instead.
- Drink the tea rather than take it in supplements. Scientists still know very little about the individual ingredients in tea. You’re likely to get more advantages from drinking actual tea than taking a pill.
A few cups of a healthy herbal tea a day is an easy way to put more antioxidants into your diet and may help protect you from many serious diseases. Talk with your Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner about your individual concerns and find the right tea for your needs. Make a healthy tea part of your daily routine.