There’s nothing but good news for tea drinkers. Recent studies by The Health Council of the Netherlands have revealed that drinking between three and five cups of tea a day will keep your health in check. From reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease to preventing diabetes, drinking tea could be one of your healthiest habits. But it’s not just your regular black tea that boasts benefits — there are numerous herbal options that can do everything from boosting your metabolism to helping you sleep like a baby.
The next time you’re popping the kettle on for your daily cuppa, try one of these herbal options to really make the most out of your tea time.
The Hunger-Pang Preventer
This South American tea, pronounced yer-bah mah-tay, is said to have the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate”. Containing 24 different vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and a whole load of antioxidants, it’s one of the most nutritionally dense plants in the world, helping to boost energy levels, enhance mental focus, and reduce appetite and cravings for sweet treats – essentially the perfect tea to turn to when the biscuits are calling your name. It does contain a moderate amount of caffeine, so try not to drink it after 4 p.m. to avoid sleep disturbances.
One of the healthiest brews you can buy, green tea is abundant in antioxidants, making it one powerful protector. Originally grown in China, it’s now served in almost every café and coffee shop around the world as more and more of its health benefits are revealed. Rich in a variety of phytochemicals, polyphenols, enzymes, and amino acids, green tea has been proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, help protect against cancer (it inhibits carcinogenic chemicals and protects the body from free radicals). It also lowers cholesterol, promotes heart health, and speeds up the metabolism, helping the body burn more calories – no wonder Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are fans. So for the ultimate health boost and dose of protecting properties, guzzle green tea.
For a calming cuppa, chamomile is the one, especially if you need a helping hand to nod off at night. One of the oldest and most widely used medicinal plants around the world, this delicious daisy-like plant has been used for centuries thanks to its amazing health properties, including soothing stressed skin and treating wounds. But what it really works wonders at is helping you sleep as it reduces anxiety and stress whilst acting as a nerve relaxant, helping your body and mind to switch off at the end of a long day (the reason why it’s been used as a herbal remedy to treat insomnia for hundreds of years). So the next time you’re struggling to get some shut-eye, pour yourself a cup of chamomile tea and drift off into a blissful slumber, naturally.
The Stomach Soother
Whether you’ve indulged in one too many burgers on the beach, have a tummy bug, or suffer from IBS – when it comes to soothing the stomach, pick peppermint tea. It helps with the digestion process, making it the tea of choice to drink after eating a meal, and aids with stomach sickness and nausea. Peppermint is also the perfect pick-me-up thanks to menthol, a natural muscle relaxant that helps reduce stress and anxiety. It also contains calcium, vitamin B, and potassium to give your immune system a boost, keeping colds and flu at bay.
If you reach for the nearest cup of coffee every morning, or lean towards a latte to get you through the afternoon, then start thinking of ginger tea as an alternative. A natural energizer, ginger is great if you need to “get up and go”. It stimulates and soothes the stomach and digestive system, making it one of the best natural aids to treat nausea, while its anti-inflammatory properties offer relief to those suffering from arthritis, joint pain, or even muscle pain after a workout. It contains the powerful antioxidant gingerol, which helps cleanse our bodies of harmful chemicals, and it’s wonderfully warming to drink – perfect as cooler temperatures kick in.