In many cultures, especially in Asia, this drink is simply part of peoples' everyday routine – many couldn't imagine life without it. It's tea! Classic variations include black tea, white tea and green tea. Add to that all of the kinds of hot infusions made with a plethora of herbs and you end up with near limitless options. Today you'll learn about the many ways in which tea is beneficial…the list is long!
All tea is not the same – let's look at the options
The love for tea that started in Asia has spread all over the world, and it's become part of everyday life. Today many people in Europe simply cannot imagine life without tea, and the day of many Westerners now starts with a cup of green tea. In the afternoon it's become quite common to drink a cup of black tea. Moreover, some enjoy a relaxing cup of tea in the evening, although drinking herbal tea is the norm later in the day. This is actually where we find the difference between "tea" and "infusion" – the only true teas are black teas, green teas and white teas. All other hot drinks that include herbs – for example sage, fennel or chamomile – are best described as hot infusions. A special characteristic of teas is the many phytonutrients that they contain. Our body can use these substances in many healthy ways!
Tea is so beneficial and improves everyday well-being
The ways in which the body can make use of tea are extremely varied, and green tea is especially beneficial to our health. Let's look at some of the benefits of drinking tea. Tea acts as a preventative when it comes to gynaecological problems. Tea helps to regulate blood pressure as well as cholesterol and blood sugar. Those who suffer with allergies are recommended to regularly drink green tea as doing this can dampen the reaction to various kinds of pollen. In a nutshell, tea helps reduce allergy symptoms. Random studies have shown shown that drinking three cups of green tea every day for the six to ten weeks before allergy season is the way to achieve the positive effects mentioned. Naturally it also makes sense to drink tea during allergy season to make use of the health benefits that tea offers your body, even if you don't manage to start in the weeks before allergies take hold.
The preparation method can make all the difference
As a general rule, most kinds of tea should not be steeped in 100-degree water. The common recommendation is actually to use water heated to 70 degrees to make tea, and this is a recommendation that you should be following. We've also all heard the advice to steep tea for no more than two minutes, although if you're preparing herbal tea then up to ten minutes is acceptable. Further research has moreover proven that making tea using cold water is another effective method as this actually preserves and significantly enhances the anti-oxidant effects of this healthy drink. If you'd like to give this a try, stir your preferred tea leaves into cold water (room temperature is fine) and let it steep for at least two hours. Done in this way, the amount of tea-specific caffeine is reduced, the bitter taste is lessened and at the same time, the aroma is improved.
Another way to enjoy tea is to simply use the leaves as an ingredient. Select the right tea for your purposes – a taste that would work well in a smoothie, for example – tear the leaves into small pieces and mix them into your everyday blended drink. Just as is true with so many foods and drinks, the amount you consume is key. Due to the high amount of caffeine that tea can contain, one should avoid using too much. You need not be concerned with a few cups every day, and up to three cups every day is actually recommended.
Source: Dr. Michael Greger and Gene Stone, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Flatiron Books, 2015
We hope that you make use of the info in this newsletter…enjoy your tea, and have a look at the many quality natural products in our healthy online shop!
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