Tea is a drink that can be enjoyed all year round, whether it is hot or cold. While tea can be refreshing, it can also offer a host of health benefits, depending on the variety you choose. The variety is almost an understatement, there are so many options available on the market, online, and in herbal stores that it can seem overwhelming. In this article, we'll keep it simple and take a look at the important health benefits of five commonly found varieties of teas that we should all be drinking right now.
5 teas can help prevent cancer and heart disease
Matcha is a tea that is available in powdered form, rather than loose leaf or tea bags. The shoots are collected, allowed to dry, and ground to a fine powder. While very high grades of matcha can be sweet, some varieties can be bitter and may require a sweetener.
How to consume: You can enjoy matcha as tea, latte, matcha shot, and even in desserts such as matcha ice cream, puddings, truffles, and smoothies.
To make a traditional matcha tea, sift 1-2 teaspoons of matcha into a mug, add two ounces of hot water, and whisk vigorously in a zigzag motion until the tea is frothy.
A second version of matcha tea is to heat the water (use just before the boiling point). Add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to a cup, add a few drops of water, and mix until you get a paste. Add more hot water to the mug and stir.
Matcha tea benefits
High in Antioxidants: The concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from matcha is 137 times higher than the amount of EGCG available from other green teas.
Liver Health: Green teas are linked to a lower risk of liver disease.
Against cancer: Test-tube studies have shown that the EGCG found in green tea is effective in fighting liver and lung cancer, as well as offering cancer-preventive properties.
Cardiovascular Health: The polyphenols in green teas have been extensively studied and are linked to a reduction in mortality related to cardiovascular disease.
White tea is a tea that has been minimally processed, usually steamed and dried at harvest time. It is made from young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, which offers a milder flavor profile. The leaves used can be from a number of plants including Da Bai (Large White), Xiao Bai (Small White), Narcissus, and Chaicha shrubs.
True white tea is much more expensive than other teas and can be difficult to find locally. It may require a special order at your local herbal or tea store or an online order. This tea can be found in tea bags or in loose leaf form. Unlike traditional black teas that can be kept for long periods, this tea rarely lasts longer than six months. It should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dark cabinet.
How to consume: Heat your water to a boil and let it cool for 5 to 8 minutes. If the water is boiling, it can make the tea bitter. Put the water in the kettle. Add two teaspoons of loose white tea leaves to an infuser or tea ball, insert into the kettle. Let sit as desired, anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. This tea is traditionally served on its own, so as not to mask the taste.
White tea benefits
Oral Health: White tea is rich in flavonoids, tannins, and polyphenols. Tannins inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a major contributor to plaque formation. Flavonoids and polyphenols also inhibit the growth of plaque bacteria.
Cardiovascular health: The flavonoids in white tea help lower blood pressure and are beneficial for cardiovascular disease.
Cancer Fighter: Numerous test-tube studies showed promising results of killing the cells that trigger white tea in a variety of lung cancers.
Peppermint tea has long been enjoyed because it is one of the most delicious teas, with the most stimulating flavor, and with medicinal benefits. This caffeine-free tea is a great option for digestive problems and as an after-dinner drink.
How to consume: Soak the fresh or dried mint leaves in a pan with almost boiled water for 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the strength you prefer. Strain and add sweetener to taste if desired.
Peppermint tea benefits
Digestive Health: Peppermint tea is a great option for an upset stomach and indigestion. It can also offer relief from diarrhea, gas, IBS, and general stomach upset.
Cold and Sinus Relief - Studies have shown peppermint's potency and significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, as well as strong antioxidant properties, making it an excellent choice for relief from colds and headaches sinus.
Boosts the immune system: Peppermint is a powerful antioxidant, making it an excellent option for boosting the immune system. Due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it is also an excellent choice to help fight many pathogens and bacteria, which can be the main cause of fever, cold, or cough.
This tea is made from the dried parts of the hibiscus plant (also called jamaica), which has a beautiful deep red color. The flavor profile is similar to that of blueberry, sweet but tart. The chalice that protects and supports the hibiscus flower is what is used to make a tea.
How to consume: Add dried hibiscus flowers to a pot of almost boiled water for five minutes. Strain and add a sweetener if desired. This is a very acidic tea that some say is similar to blueberries. This tea can also be enjoyed with the addition of spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg. It can be enjoyed hot or frozen.
Hibiscus tea benefits
Weight Loss: Studies suggest that hibiscus actually reduces the body's absorption of glucose and starch, which can help you lose weight.
Lowers Cholesterol: The results of this study revealed that hibiscus tea had a significant positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Due to its extraordinary anti-inflammatory benefits, hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure by up to ten points. According to the Tufts University study, the tea should be consumed three times a day for a few weeks to achieve these results. With this in mind, if you already have low blood pressure (hypotension) you should avoid this tea.
Derived from the Asteraceae / Compositae family, this tea offers a mild-flavored tea that many enjoy for its digestive and anti-nausea benefits. Two common varieties are German and Roman chamomile. Dried flowers contain a variety of terpenoids and flavonoids that contribute to their medicinal properties, such as relief from hay fever, muscle spasms, inflammation, insomnia, rheumatic pain, and digestive disorders. If you are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae / Compositae family, you should avoid this tea.
How to consume: bring the water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh chamomile flowers to a teapot and add water. Cover and let stand 3-5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Chamomile tea benefits
Sleep Better: Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea before bed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
Diabetes - The results of this promising study suggest that daily consumption of chamomile tea with meals may help with complications from diabetes. By helping to lower blood sugar levels and regulate the amounts of insulin in the body, it also helps balance the highs and lows in blood sugar.
Boosts the immune system: The phenolic compounds in this herb help to strengthen the immune system and fight infection.
Glucagon is released overnight and between meals and is important in maintaining the body’s sugar and fuel balance. It signals the liver to break down its starch or glycogen stores and helps to form new glucose units and ketone units from other substances. It also promotes the breakdown of fat in fat cells.