For me, the tea isle at the supermarket is a bit of a Bermuda triangle…I can get lost in there for some time, trying to decide what I fancy or just plain-looking for the one I am after. There are more and more becoming available which is makes the process that much harder!!
From what I can see here are some health benefits of so called ‘real’ tea and some plant infusions.
+ Green tea – can contain as much caffeine as a coffee, so take it easy. Brew it twice to lessen the strength if need be. It is a high antioxidant which may interfere with the growth of some cancers and may also help with the burning of fat after a meal and improve your cholesterol.
+ White tea – This is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidants levels. It has many of the benefits of normal tea but one that stood out is that it is a natural killer of bacteria and viruses. The antioxidants are so abundant in white tea that it helps guard against the common cold and flu. Great drink for winter time! I love white tea because it has quite a mild taste.
+ Black tea – Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavoured teas like chai, along with some instant and flavoured teas (not to be confused with herbal ones).
which have a lower concentration of tannin than the ones above, yet still have some of their own unique benefits.
Here are some of the varieties in my cupboard.
+ Peppermint – a nice little pick me up and refresher. The active ingredient in peppermint, menthol, has an anti-spasmodic effect so it explains why it relieves stomach upsets so quickly and may help to relax muscles and reduce stress.
+ Chamomile – It has a reputation as a drink to have before bed due to its relaxing effect but I just enjoy it for its smooth taste.
+ Chai – I am talking tea bags here, not the westernised milk powder or syrup forms. It is made up of the spices cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Indian chai produces a warming, soothing effect and acts as a natural digestive aid. Cinnamon also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
So there you have it. What is your favorite tea? Do you have any outlandish ones you would like to share?
Written by Karla Gilbert, certified Lifestyle Food & Wellness Coach and Level III and IV fitness coach. Karla blogs at Ironmum Karla where you can catch more healthy eating tips, fitness news and yummy recipes!