One of the hardest things for the average person to change about their diets is what they drink. Without even realizing it, it is easy to consume half of your calories in a day from what you drink. So what do people do when they have an issue with consuming something other than their normal sodas and juices? Many people change their soda drinking for tea drinking. For some of us this brings up visions of cucumber sandwiches and tea pots, but these days tea has taken on a whole new form and is an icon the forefront of healthy living.
Tea leaves are predominantly harvested from the Camellia Sinensis plant and then are dried to be brewed. Everything from regular black tea from Indonesia to the various herbal teas are becoming the premier beverage for health conscious people. Not only their flavor, but the many health benefits as well. Each kind of tea is used to aid in the treatment or prevention of many diseases and illnesses. Packed with flavor and low in calories, these beverage choices can easily take the place of soda, juices, or other calorie consuming beverages.
This variety is drank by over 75% of the world. It’s slightly bitter flavor sports only 40 mgs of caffeine. This variety is the most consumed of all the teas. It contains theaflavins and thearubigins which are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are known to not only lower cholesterol, but can also lower the risk of stroke by 21%.
This tea is popular with Asian themed restaurants, but also has many medical uses. Green Tea is loaded with EGCG which has been known to help ward off all types of cancer as well as heart disease. It is also linked to reducing the risks of Parkinson’s disease. With 25 mgs of caffeine and a light flavor this wonder beverage is also known to help reduce weight making it a dieter’s staple.
At 30 mgs of caffeine and a lighter flavor, Oolong tea has become very popular. It also has the ability to activate an enzyme that breaks down the triglycerides that form fat cells in the body. Oolong makes a great beverage for dieters due to its flavor, versatility and ability to help burn calories.
This tea along with powerful antioxidants has many other benefits for the body. White tea can help reduce the chances of recurrences of breast cancer in survivors. White tea is also known to improve Glucose tolerance and reduce LDL cholesterol. With a mild flavor and only 15 mgs of caffeine it can make a great anytime tea.
Rooibos (Red Tea):
Native to South America this tea is packed with cancer fighting flavonoids. Red tea is used in many canned tea drinks for it flavor profile as well as its ability to reduce the signs of aging.
Many of the teas we know as herbal are more than just a few herbs added to a regular tea to add flavor. They are usually from other types of plants and come with their own group of benefits.
This tea comes from the chamomile plant and has been known to help people relax at night. Along it’s relaxation benefits, Chamomile is also known to stunt the growth of cancer cells as well as reduce the side effects of Diabetes including vision loss and nerve damage.
This herb is harvested from the Echinacea Pupurea plant. The leaves have been linked to helping fight illness and improve immune function.
With its deep red color from the Hibiscus flower and slightly sour taste this tea has a small following. Besides making a great dye for clothes it can also help your body recover from illness and lower blood pressure.
This tea is made from the leaves of the same Dandelions we all dread seeing every year. The leaves are dried and when made into a tea are great for cleansing the liver and removing waste from the body. Dandelion is also great for reducing water build up in the system.
Lemon Balm Tea:
This easy to grow at home herb makes a tea that is great for mood enhancement as well as improving REM sleep.
Rose Hips Tea:
The tea is made from the fruit of the rose bush. Besides being loaded with vitamin C and its ability to assist in immune functions, Rose Hips are also known to help adrenal functions. Rose Hips can also benefit both internal tissue and the skin.
This odd tea is usually found in Korean cuisine. With a list of benefits that include immune function, anticoagulant abilities, and the ability to help cleanse the blood this should be introduced into many people’s diets. Barley tea also aides in digestion and bowel movement in the system.
With so many types of teas and their increasing popularity and availability, teas make an easy and healthy option to replace sodas, juices, and high calorie beverages. By including some cups of either iced versions or hot versions of teas to your diet you can help your body function better as well as slim down and ward off disease, not too bad for a small little leaf!