Red, White and… Green?

Somewhere along the way you’ve probably heard that drinking tea is good for you. Well, it’s true! Here are some reasons why.

Because tea is made from leaves, herbs, roots, flowers and spices, it has beneficial health proprieties. Tea contains antioxidants, or polyphenols, which have been proved to reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent blood clotting. Studies have shown that tea may even protect tissues from tumor development. Because we drink tea, these antioxidants are easily and quickly absorbed.  Tea Plant

Green tea does contain caffeine, but much less than coffee. (According to the American Dietetic Association, a cup of tea contains an average of 40 mg of caffeine, compared to 85 mg as found in a cup of freshly brewed coffee.)

There is evidence that suggests that drinking green tea might help protect the skin from sun damage and sun burn, protecting our cells from damage. Regular green tea consumption is also associated with decreased bad cholesterol, increased good cholesterol and reduced free radical damage, promoting active detoxification.

Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years throughout Asia to promote longevity, improve mental function, and to prevent disease.

Black Tea leaves are fully fermented- they are the most processed and therefore the most intense in flavor. The health benefits include possible reduction of heart disease risk due to its partial prevention of cholesterol absorption. Black teas are good for blood sugar level and blood pressure regulation, for gingivitis and tooth decay prevention.

White Tea comes from the bud of the plant rather than the leaf and is, like Green Tea, unfermented and the least processed. The buds are withered and air-dried producing a light, clean and slightly sweet cup of tea. The antioxidants in white tea may help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, and may even help slow down the aging process.

Herbal tea is any type of non-tea herbal infusion. While these teas don’t come from a tea leaf, they contain many medicinal proporities.Chamomile tea is calming and contains anti-microbial properties. Peppermint Tea works as a digestive aid, is antiviral and contains antibacterial properties. Hibiscus tea effects mood and blood pressure (a study found three cups a day lead to a reduction in systolic blood pressure)

Red or Rooibos tea, an herbal tea native to South Africa, is made from a bush containing needle-like leaves and colorful flowers. The “leaves” and twigs are washed, fermented and dried. This tea contains no caffeine and is lower in antioxidants, but does contain a relatively high level of vitamin C.

Following water, tea is the most popular beverage consumed in the world and it’s no wonder why!

Try it Iced: By now, the steamy summer weather has set in and a cup of hot tea probably sounds unbearable. Now is the perfect time to make a pitcher of your favorite tea, iced!  For those trying to shed pounds, skip the Frappuccino from Starbucks and try a flavorful, fruity iced tea blend. Tea is a low-calorie, refreshing option!

Summer Recipe:summertime iced tea 

Honeydew Green Tea

Brew up a pot of your favorite green tea and let it cool. In a pitcher, add chunks of honeydew melon, pealed ginger, wildflower honey and ice. (You might find it easier to sweeten the tea with honey while it’s still warm.) Enjoy!


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