Tea – Delicious and Healthy
So many of us are tea drinkers here in America, although I tend to think of tea drinking as a pastime of the British mostly. That’s not even true! But recently I have been increasingly aware of the many tea drinkers here at home; in fact, more than 159 million Americans drink it.
In fact, in 2020, Americans drank more than 84 billion servings of tea! And, on any day, over 50% of the American population drinks tea.
So, it seems wise, knowing how popular tea drinking is, to explore the many health benefits of tea, and there are a bunch!
Tea has been clinically studied for a long time, so when we talk benefits, we mean real, scientific benefits. Here are a few:
Tea can boost the immune system. And if there’s ever a time to boost the immune system, it would be during the current pandemic! In fact, white tea may be the most effective type in fighting cancer, another disease having to do with our immunity.
Chamomile tea can help reduce menstrual pain and muscle spasms; it is also known to improve sleep quality and quantity, help generally with relaxation, thereby reducing stress.
Rooibos tea, an African tea, is known to improve blood pressure and circulation (thereby being heart healthy) and can help boost our good cholesterol and lower our bad cholesterol. It can also help keep our skin and hair healthy.
Peppermint tea, which has menthol naturally in it, can help sooth an upset stomach and help you if you’re constipated and/or have irritable bowel syndrome or even motion sickness.
Ginger is wonderful any way you eat it! But as a tea it can help to ward off morning sickness and is useful if you have chronic indigestion. It is also known to help relieve joint pain if you have osteoarthritis.
Green tea, being high in flavonoids, can also help your heart health like rooibos tea by lowering bad cholesterol and raising your good cholesterol. It can also help lower your triglycerides and impact total cholesterol count.
Black tea, which stems from the same plant as does green tea, is made by drying and fermenting the leaves which results in a darker color and different taste. This one is useful if applied to minor cuts and abrasions and bruises; it is also known to reduce swelling and can lower inflammation from rashes and even poison ivy. In general, tea has antioxidants which are completely healthy, it has less caffeine than coffee (or none at all), and as stated above, can help reduce your risk of heart issues. It might also be helpful in the battle of the bulge (i.e., weight loss). It may be able to help protect your bones and is gut healthy. Remember – three-fourths of our immune system resides in the gut so it’s a great idea to keep the gut nice and healthy!
At the time of this writing, we are heading into the cold weather seasons. There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea (or iced if you prefer) to give you comfort and warmth and a sense of feeling cozy.
How about a few recipes?!
One favorite tea recipe is Moroccan tea. You can make this with green tea and fresh (preferably organic) spearmint leaves. Be careful about sweetening this up, as table sugar is never really good for you – LOL! Add the tea to boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Strain it, if need be, put the spearmint at the bottom of the teapot and pour the tea over the leaves. Enjoy!
Another good one is lemon ginger tea. You will need fresh ginger root (preferably organic), perhaps a very little honey if you like it sweet (but use very sparingly), and one (organic or local) lemon which has been rinsed well. Fill a pot with water and boil. Turn the heat down to medium. Add some thinly sliced ginger root (leaving the peel on it). Simmer for about 15 minutes or until it tastes well and some of the water has reduced. Enjoy!
Then there’s chai tea. You can use Darjeeling tea, fresh cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger root, cloves, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, and a little honey. You’ll also need whole milk. Using a grinder or a mortar and pestle grind the cloves, cardamon, and black peppercorns. Add all the above (except the milk and honey) to a saucepan, stir, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. You may want to strain the spices and tea leaves out and then add the milk and honey, and make sure everything is nice and warm for a cozy, cuddly day. Enjoy!
Now, if you’re wanting to lose some weight, you can enhance the process of dieting and exercising with some homemade recipes. As many of you know, green tea can be particularly useful in a variety of ways. It is also good if you’re trying to lose weight. You can make a delicious and healthy tea with grated ginger (using either the root or powder), cinnamon (use sticks or powder), water of course, green tea (loose or in teabag form), a little lemon juice (fresh organic will be the best), and if you want a little sweetener, use a tiny bit of honey. You can also use – in any recipe – a healthy sweetener like stevia or erythritol, for example. You can always put in a few fresh mint leaves as a garnish and some of its nutrients will add flavor and health-giving properties to your tea. Boil the ginger and cinnamon in the water for a few minutes. Add honey or healthy substitute (or leave it out if you wish), and a little lemon juice and mix. Strain this mixture. Then put in your green tea bag or leaves. Let it steep for just a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
As an addition to a healthy weight-loss program, you can choose a tea recipe that will help give your metabolic rate a boost. Take some warm water, a little bit of raw honey or other healthy substitute, a little fresh lemon juice, a little raw apple cider vinegar, a little fresh ginger, a little cinnamon, and a bit of cayenne pepper. First mix the honey with the warm water, add the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add ginger (preferably freshly grated) and some cinnamon (use a healthy one). Finally add the cayenne pepper; mix up well and … enjoy!
And as always, have a happy, holistically healthy day!