Incredible Health Benefits of 7 Types of Tea
Teas that Are Natural Health Remedies
Though it seems to have been around since the beginning of time, green tea has solidified its massive cultural popularity in the past decade (Green Tea Frappuccino anyone?).
“Green tea has enjoyed fame in recent years as it has been under the research spotlight,” explains registered dietitian Jacqueline Aizen. “Green tea is rich in EGCG, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to improved cholesterol, and possibly inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.”
Registered dietitian Samantha Lynch adds that the chemicals in green tea also have been shown to help prevent heart disease and uplift your mood.
But here’s what may just be your favorite part: The EGCG in green tea also makes it an incredible fat burner. Studies have shown that EGCG in green tea may both reduce the body’s ability to absorb fat and enhance the body’s ability to use fat. Pretty magical, huh?
Ginger can be a godsend for your stomach. Internist Dr. Andrea Ruman explains that ginger is “used to aid digestion and treat stomach upset, stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and nausea.” Ginger accomplishes this mighty task by suppressing stomach contractions and improving the movement of food and fluids through your intestines. You can buy pre-made ginger tea, but why not make your own from ginger root when your stomach needs calming.
Aizen recommends slicing two inches of fresh ginger root and boiling in it in a cup of water for five minutes. Then strain the ginger and sip the “tea” slowly.
“I also like to boil one tablespoon of fennel seeds in one cup of water for five minutes, strain, and sip on it slowly,” she explains. “Both ginger and fennel are excellent digestive aids.”
Hungover? Ginger tea can help quiet your rollercoaster stomach the next morning. With its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger tea is also used to help silence pounding headaches.
Read here for more hangover remedies.
You may remember hearing rumblings of oolong tea a few years back when it burst on the scene as a weight loss aid.
The antioxidant catechin in oolong tea, along with the tea’s caffeine, is thought to boost the metabolism for up to two hours after you drink it. Oolong also contains Polyphenols, which have been shown to help block the body from storing fat, which in turn may help you to keep the weight off.
The high concentration of polyphenols also helps improve dental hygiene by fighting tooth decay and helping prevent cavities.
Oolong’s antioxidants are so potent that they help remove harmful bodily toxins, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. It also helps remove toxins that damage the skin and cause wrinkles, age spots, and slowed exfoliation. We’ll drink to that.
Get ready for this: studies have shown that black (and green) teas have many more times the antioxidants of fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants work to detoxify free radicals in the body as well as block DNA damage. Translation? They may reduce cardiovascular disease, cancer and delay the onset of diabetes.
If chronic disease is too far in the future to motivate you to drink-up, know that black tea may also boost the metabolism, fight halitosis (bad breath) and improve skin.
Like with any tea, be careful not to add too much sugar and avoid tea lattes (that chai latte ring a bell?), which can be packed with sugar and high in calories. For a healthier black tea fix, try an iced pure black tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. Black tea does, after all, have the highest caffeine of teas.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, try a dose of nettle tea before popping a few anti-histamines. And yep, nettle tea does come from nettles—those stinging weeds found in parts of the U.S.
Nettle tea works to relieve those sneezing, stuffy nose, scratchy throat, rub-your-eyes-out allergy attacks through its antihistamine properties. If you start drinking it before your allergies reach full-blown status, you may even be able to ward off the attack entirely.
It’s nice to know nettles are good for something besides ruining afternoon picnics and hikes.
The word chamomile just sounds soothing doesn’t it? People have long used chamomile as a before bed ritual when they are feeling anxious or need to wind down from a busy day.
Researchers believe chamomile acts as a sedative in part because it can increase levels of the amino acid glycine in the body, which is known to act as a nerve relaxant. Try having a cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime if you need help winding down. (Check this out for more tips to get better sleep.)
In addition to these calming properties, chamomile is also shown to help ease menstrual cramps. This may be because glycine also helps reduce muscle spasms, and may help to relax the uterus. (Likewise, chamomile has also been found to be effective at calming stomach and intestinal cramping—great for irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, who are commonly women).
Evelyn Resh, a certified sexuality counselor and nurse-midwife, even recommends drinking chamomile tea and mint as a natural remedy for upset stomachs related to our old frenemy PMS.
You can also use chamomile tea bags to help reduce puffiness under the eye area, recommends certified holistic and clinical nutritionist Pamela Warren. Just dip the bags in warm water, let them cool to room temperature and then rest them over your eyelids and under-eyes to sooth the area and help fluid dissipate.
Like chamomile, peppermint tea is also shown to help release tension, promote relaxation, and aid in calming the body to prepare for sleep.
Peppermint tea is also great for relieving constipation (how’s that for a segue?). It can also help relieve mild stomach pain, flatulence and diarrhea.
The tea can also help keep you smelling better in other ways too: the minty aroma is a great natural remedy for bad breath.
This, combined with its ability to ease the unfortunate symptoms listed above, just may make peppermint the perfect tea for a first date.
References: webmd.com/food-recipes/features/antioxidants-in-green-and-black-tea; sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104112140.htm; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/; doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-benefits-tea; livestrong.com/article/322104-the-advantages-of-oolong-tea/; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104112140.htm
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