A lighthearted article for you this week. I sometimes feel as if I should be covering serious hard-hitting topics all the time, but sometimes it’s nice to think about what’s right with the world instead of what’s wrong. And one thing that’s definitely right with the world is tea!
In case you hadn’t guessed, tea is one of my favourite things, whether black, green or herbal. I drink around four cups per day. Of course, tea is amazing for staying hydrated, but there are a ton of other benefits too.
Health benefits of tea
Let’s look at some different types of tea and their benefits. Take this with a pinch of salt, as I’m not an expert and I had to make use of Google!
This is what most of us think of as tea, often served with milk and/or sugar. Some people believe it’s unhealthy, but the opposite is true. However, it shouldn’t be drunk with meals as the tannins can inhibit iron absorption. It also contains caffeine, so you may want to limit it if you have a caffeine sensitivity.
- High in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and slow the aging process
- Reduces your risk of developing heart problems
- Helps fight cancer
- Reduces diabetes and stroke risk
- Relieves diarrhoea by calming intestinal inflammation
- Reduces stress
This is from the same plant as black tea, but it isn’t fermented, so even more antioxidants are preserved. Often mixed with flavours like jasmine and lemon.
- Has anti-ageing properties
- Has all the benefits of black tea, listed above
- Protects brain cells and reduces Alzheimer’s risk
- Protects your vision
- Improves bone health
- Even less processed than green tea and has all the above benefits.
- Helps with oral and skin health
- Relieves cold symptoms
Rooibos, also known as redbush, is a herbal tea but has many similar benefits to the teas above.
- Promotes heart health, reduces stroke and diabetes risk, is good for the skin and so on
- Promotes kidney health
- Is caffeine-free, as are all the teas that follow
- Can help with fevers, as it contains menthol
- Good for digestive issues and promotes healthy bowel movements
- Helps with nausea and vomiting
- Relaxes throat and chest muscles, which helps with irritating coughs and cold symptoms
- Good for the immune system
- Freshens breath
- Reduces stress
- Good for the skin
- Treats stomach cramps, IBS, bloating and nausea
- Reduces period pain and other menstrual symptoms
- Helps you sleep better
- Reduces stress and benefits the immune system
- Helps with allergies
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Improves hair health
Often combined with other flavours, most commonly lemon.
- Very effective for treating nausea
- Helps to relieve pain, including menstrual pain
- Good for brain function; may help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Good for bloating, indigestion and stomach ulcers
- Helps to reduce cholesterol and promotes weight loss
- Helps with coughs and clearing mucus
- Improves mood
- Reduces blood pressure
- Promotes liver health
- Is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
- Helps to treat depression symptoms
- Treats period pain and balances hormones
- Helps with weight loss
- Good for the digestion
These are just a few examples. Of course, there are so many other types of tea, and you can bet they all have their own set of incredible benefits. I really like the idea of using specific teas to help treat health complaints.
Emotional benefits of tea
Okay, so these are more subjective, but I definitely think tea can positively impact my mood! There’s just something so comforting (not to mention warming) about a hot cup of tea on a chilly day. In our house, we always have a mid-afternoon break where we stop what we’re doing and chat over our tea of choice. And after a long walk, a cup of tea is a really nice thing to come back to (can you tell I’m British?).
Sipping tea helps to calm me down, and some teas – green and black in particular – make me feel energized, alert and clear-headed.
Making your own herbal tea
Fancy herbal teas can sometimes be expensive, so what about making your own? It can be as simple as putting a few fresh mint leaves in a mug and adding boiling water.
Alternatively, you can dry out some herbs and break them up. Then you can make tea using a strainer. Or alternatively, I’ve seen reusable fabric tea bags which you can put your herbs in – I love this from a sustainability point of view!
Tea as a gift
Food and drinks are my favourite things to buy as gifts. You can’t go far wrong with them, and they won’t needlessly clutter up the recipient’s space – not for long anyway! I like going to health food shops and browsing the shelves of tea to pick out one which suits the person I’m buying for. The boxes are often really pretty too.
So that’s my tea appreciation post! I think it’s really important to be grateful for the simple things in life. What’s your favourite simple pleasure?