Black, green, white, peppermint, chai – the list goes on.
Whilst it was once cool to be a coffee drinker, the growing trend is now in its steaming hot rival – tea.
And the good news is that this hot beverage is doing a lot more than just keeping you warm this winter.
Here are 10 herbal teas and the health benefits you probably didn’t know they had…
While black tea some times gets a bad wrap for containing large amounts of caffeine, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Not only is black tea packed with antioxidants, it can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes and is known to regulate blood sugar levels. So for all of you out there who like to keep it simple with a nice pot of English Breakfast, keep sipping!
If you decided to jump on the Green Tea bandwagon along with the health enthusiasts and gym freaks, you’ve done your body a massive favour!
Green tea is high in catechins, a disease-fighting antioxidant. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) is the most powerful catechin, being 25-100 times more potent than Vitamins C and E. Only one cup of green tea provides 10-40mg of catechins, and has greater antioxidant effects than a serving of spinach, broccoli or strawberries. Insider tip – the longer you brew, the more catechins you’ll get.
An the all-rounder awards goes to… White Tea! This tea has grown quickly in popularity due to its vast range of health benefits.
It is the least processed of the teas, making it an antioxidant powerhouse. It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, and kills the bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay.
If you’re watching your weight, white tea is also the brew of choice. Research has shown that white tea can prevent new fat cells from forming, whilst encouraging the breakdown of fat in existing cells.
And it doesn’t end there! White tea’s antioxidant powers can fight the effects of aging.
This herbal tea is not only delicious; it’s a tummy-pleaser too!
Its base element of menthol is known to improve digestion and has the ability to move gas through the body as it accumulates. This is particularly helpful for bloating and cramping.
The sedative nature of menthol can also have a calming effect, so if you’re feeling a little stressed, try unwinding with a hot cup of peppermint tea.
This South African native is not only rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and zine, it is naturally caffeine-free.
Rooibos Tea also contains two bioflavonoids known as Rutin and Quercetin, which block the release of histamine – the chemical produced by our body in response to allergens. This makes it a natural anti-histamine, so if you suffer from hay-fever, asthma or general allergies, drain the Rooibos cup!
One of the most ancient medicinal herbs, there is mounting research that chamomile has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic, muscle relaxant and sedative properties.
Fun fact – chamomile is included as a medication in the drug list of 26 countries.
Matcha Lattes are starting to pop up on menus left, right and centre, and for good reason.
This bright green organic tea contains antioxidants, polyphenols and like its green tea sister, EGCg, which are the building blocks of a strong immune system.
It is also a source of vitamin A, C, E and K, as well as vitamin B-complex.
This fruit-flavoured tea provides the benefits of both black and green teas, but more commonly is known to aid weight management.
The polyphenol compound present in Oolong activates specific enzymes that enhance the function of fat cells, controlling the metabolism of fat in the body.
A word of warning – Oolong tea is very high in caffeine and should be consumed in moderation. Consult a doctor before consuming if you suffer from diabetes, heart conditions or any other ailment that may be affected by the consumption of caffeine.
This spice has been used since ancient times as a cure for diarrhea, and recent research has proven this age-old remedy, with several studies showing that ginger prevents stomach spasms and gases that can encourage diarrhea.
It has also been known to help treat nausea related to pregnancy and motion sickness.
Add a slice of lemon or a drop of honey to 20-40g of steeped ginger in a cup of hot water for extra flavour!
Who would have thought a word existed that was more difficult to pronounce than quinoa.
This type of black tea – pronounced like poo-air (how delicious) – has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol. A study conducted in 2009 and published in the journal ‘Experimental Gerontology’, found that rats that were given this unfortunately named beverage saw an overwhelming reduction in LDL (the bad cholesterol) and an increase in HDL (the good cholesterol).
And I promise, it tastes better than it sounds.
On top of the various health benefits that come with drinking these beverages, tea in general contains no sodium, fat, carbonation or sugar and is practically calorie-free. Its any wonder it is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water.
So to all the northern hemisphere dwellers, stay warm this winter with a pot of your favourite nutrient-packed brew, and if you’re lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere and are currently enjoying sun, sand and tans – put it on the rocks!