You heard us. January is National hot tea month!
For ages, teas have been used and looked at as a staple for healthy beverages and pure delight. From bottled green tea energizing our yoga enthusiasts, Arizona Teas becoming all the rage, and who could forget good-old sweet iced tea from south of the Mason-Dixon.
In honor of hot tea month, we did a little digging and found the basic myths and highlights about teas. Hopefully, this can keep reminding us that just because it says “tea”, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu.
First the basics:
“Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.
All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.” (We found that gem of a description from WebMD)
Three steps on how to keep your tea simple and healthy:
What kind of tea did you choose? If you stop by your local café and order a Passion, Refresh or Vanilla Rooibos, you’re ordering an herbal tea. They are going to taste great because of they’re a fusion of plants, fruits, and flowers, but are not derived from the Camellia plant. This means that the antioxidants unique to tea are usually missing. Ask your barista what kind of tea your usual is. Ask them which tea would be most related if it is herbal or another fusion.
What are you adding to your tea? Sweet tea has a pretty strong hold on the southern states of the U.S. Filled with sugar (the more the better) iced sweet tea, can boost your daily calorie intake by up to 300 calories! (Per serving). Talk about drinking your calories. Other teas to look out for are stationed at your convenience store, bottled or canned. Remember to take a look at the label to see what the “tea” you’re buying is really made of. Watch out for preservatives, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Obviously, drinking that would be counterproductive if you’re drinking tea to get a jump start on your health consciousness.
**Do you add sweetener to the tea yourself? Try using natural enhancers like Agave or Honey! Any Tea-Bar should be equipped with a supply, and it gives your tea a holistic essence. Way better than dissolving a few packs of sugar, if you ask us.
What do you want your tea to do for you? Many have sought after green tea as a metabolism booster or black tea for a caffeine kick. Read this blog we found, 6 , to learn more about your favorites and to find new teas that could benefit your goals.
So, tell us! What are your favorite teas? Have you made a switch from coffee to tea; what has your experience been? Leave your ideas in our comments section!