Tea should not be too complicated, right? Boil water, steep the leaves, and enjoy. Details do matter though, when it comes to this versatile and delicious beverage. Daily we hear new scientific information regarding the benefits of tea, from fighting cancer to preventing heart disease. Did you know the way you make your tea could hinder the healing properties and benefits of tea? We have some handy tips to keep in mind for your next teatime.
1) Choose the right tea or herb
There is usually a tea that fits nearly every ailment; it is just the matter of finding the one that is best suited for the job.
Have a cough?
It does not matter what time of year it is, someone will inevitable have a cough, either due to a seasonal cold or allergies. Why not combat it naturally instead of pumping your system with over-the-counter medications? Rooibos (ROY-boss) tea, which is an herb grown in South Africa and used for a myriad of illnesses. It is particularly helpful in treating coughs and throat irritations. Free of caffeine, along with its sweet, fruity flavor, it beats out cough syrup any day!
Because of their antioxidant properties as well as the disease-fighting catechin known as EGCG, Green and White teas can effectively protect skin from harmful pollutants and sun damage. These teas have been shown to improve the skin’s natural pallor and glow.
General Health Aid
Green tea is by far one of the best teas for general health and wellness. Before modern medicine came on the scene, green tea was widely used in China and across Asia for thousands of years as a natural medicine to treat various illnesses as well as a preventative against diseases. Green tea has shown great results in many areas of health, including: increasing the metabolism; regulating glucose levels; protects against blood clots associated with heart disease; reduces the risk of some cancers; reduces bad cholesterol; helps prevent the deterioration of brain cells that are common with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; destroys bacteria that causes tooth decay; reduces high blood pressure; as well as provides a calming and tranquilizing effect for those dealing with depression and stress-related issues. Just two to five cups of green tea a day can help in the overall wellbeing of your health.
Remember when your grandma would pull one of those peppermint disk candies from her purse when you were a child complaining about a tummy ache? Well, she knew what she was talking about! Brewed Peppermint leaves offer a calming effect over the stomach by improving digestion and eliminating inflammation, relaxing the body and mind in the process.
Black tea is just the ticket for punching stress in the face. Studies have shown that drinking four cups of black tea a day could lower cortisol levels that are affected during stressful situations. So the next time you are stressed, grab a cup of black tea instead!
2) Water makes all the difference
Just as with coffee, the taste of tea can be greatly affected by the kind of water that is used in the brewing process. Filtered water, whether from the bottle or the tap, is free of chemicals or additives, which can commonly cause beverages such as tea, pick up an odd taste.
3) Brew your own tea
While bottled tea is certainly convenient, it is packed full of unnecessary additives that could be eliminated by brewing tea yourself. Home-brewed tea has more antioxidants than bottled tea, and is free of bitter preservatives.
4) Pass on the milk
Whether you are British or you just picked up the habit along the way, adding milk to tea is a fairly common practice. However, that little splash of dairy can actually reverse the health benefits of tea. If you prefer the flavor of milk in your tea, that is completely fine, but if you are looking at reaping the benefits of antioxidants and other healthful properties, skip the milk.
5) Trade the sugar for something better
Sweet tea is a frequent enjoyable beverage, whether iced or hot, but a scoop of sugar a few times a day can add up. Instead, try opting for something like a cinnamon stick or a slice of lemon or orange. Cinnamon is good for controlling blood sugar and can effectively lower cholesterol, and a little twist of vitamin C is always beneficial.