Tea drinkers unite! Tea is consumed worldwide and has been a favorite beverage for centuries. All tea varieties including black, green, white, oolong and pu-erh are made from the Camellia sinensis leaf. Herbal teas are a blend of dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and flowers though are actually not really tea. We will include them in this article though considering their great taste and many health benefits.
While each tea is unique, the multitude of benefits can include:
· Increased metabolism due to caffeine and antioxidants
· A natural compound found in tea, called Polyphenols, has been shown to protect against cancer and improve bone strength.
· Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke.
· Increased ability to concentrate and improvements in overall mood
Pretty awesome! Now with all the varieties of tea out there one might ask, is one better than another? The most important factor is to drink tea in its most natural form. Commercial bottled teas are often made from tea concentrate and have additives, such as sugar, to make them taste better and last longer. These teas often have a much higher calorie count.
A second question one might pose-is there such a thing as too much tea? As with many foods and drinks, moderation is encouraged. Tea may be a great way to supplement your water intake however, due to some variety’s caffeine content, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Use your judgement in finding the right balance for you and your family.
Here is one of my favorite drinks using dandelion root tea! I drink it about 2x a week to help reduce bloating.
(Original recipe from Jillian Michaels)
1/4 cup pure cranberry juice
1 dandelion root tea bag
1 lemon wedge
Brew the tea as directed on the box and let it come to room temp. Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and keep in your fridge to drink throughout the day.