Tuesday, March 4, 2014

9 Ways Tea Can Change Your Life

I love tea. Hot or iced, tea not only comes in a never-ending abundance of flavors, but it’s also incredibly good for you. The health benefits of tea have long been researched, and studies have found that tea’s benefits range from helping with diseases such as cancer and diabetes to encouraging weight loss and lowering cholesterol. With less caffeine than coffee, tea is a gentle mood and energy lifter.

In the words of Katherine Tallmadge of the American Dietetic Association, “There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea.” I sure can't think of any--can you? I'm so glad to have such a delicious and healthy drink available, especially during rainy Seattle winters like this one.

With all its positive affects on the body, tea has been touted in the East as the “key to good health, happiness, and wisdom,” according to WebMD. So, what are the ideal blends of tea for different moods or ailments? I was inspired to find out by both my love of tea and by Back on Pointe's lovely graphic below, which I discovered on Tumblr. Here's what I found out about the mental and physical health benefits different types of tea can bring.
The Effects of Tea
The Effects of Tea
Image: Back On Pointe / Tumblr

Energy Boost—Black tea has a significant does of caffeine, less than coffee but still enough to perk you up. Plus, the bold flavor will help give you an extra jolt of energy. Spiced green teas will also give you a boost without the jitters.

Refresh—White tea has the most antioxidants of all types of tea, as well as the lowest caffeine content (other than herbal tea, which is caffeine free). Sip on some white tea for a mellow drink that will leave your body feeling refreshed and healthy.

Stress Relief—Green tea’s naturally leafy flavor and light dose of caffeine will help ease stress and refocus all those frazzled brain signals without wiring you for overload. Try to avoid black tea when extra stressed, as it has higher caffeine content. Roobios, honey bush, and herbal chai blends all help keep stress away, and ginger teas can get rid of those nervous jitters when they come a-knocking.

Creative Boost—To get those mind juices flowing, try a spicy blend like Indian Chai mixed with a little cream and honey or a rooibos tisane rich in electrolytes.

Immune System Boost—Get a dose of anti-sickness with fruity herbal teas like orange, lemon, or raspberry. The hot liquid will ease sore throats, and the lack of caffeine will help settle your stomach. Chamomile tea is also a great way to combat general winter blues.

Anti-Nausea—My personal favorites for settling an upset tummy include herbal mint and ginger teas. Mint and ginger naturally ease nausea and always leave me feeling much better. Try these with just a touch of honey if you want a little sweetness.

For Tranquility—Feeling frazzled and just want to relax? Try chamomile, lavender, roobios or lemongrass teas, which will help your body settle down. A steaming cup of any of these is wonderful shortly before bedtime.

Think Happy Thoughts—Need a mood elevator? Try lemon verbena and rooibos teas, which have natural mood-boosting qualities.

Focus—Sip on green tea or yerba mate to help with focus and overall productivity. Green and black teas help improve our cognitive function, alertness, attention span, and more. 

What's your favorite tea blend?  
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