Benefits of Tea Time: An Ancient Ritual Steeped in Wellness

tea

Iced or hot. Day or night. There's no limit to how you can enjoy a cup of tea.

Its popularity makes it one of the most consumed beverages in the world, second to water. In 2017 alone, Americans sipped over 3.8 billion gallons of tea. And, the industry is expecting to see a steady uptick in the year to come.

But, this shouldn't be a surprise.

For centuries people have been enjoying the brew for its ancient health benefits that purify the body. However, it hasn't been until recent years that science backed the benefits. With each new research study, modern science is finding exceedingly more evidence to support the acclaimed health benefits of drinking tea.

Health benefits include:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Cancer risk reduction
  • Neurological health
  • Metabolism and bioavailability
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Arthritis and inflammation reduction
  • Oral health
  • Immune function
  • Bone health

What contributes to this long list of healthy perks are the numerous bioactive compounds that tea leaves contain, such as amino acids, proteins, xanthines, caffeine, and flavonoids. Of these polyphenols, the flavonoids found in both green and black tea contribute greatly to tea's healthful advantages.

Choosing Your Brew

Traditional Teas: Green and black teas specifically have earned the most street cred for their health benefits. Green tea, and particularly matcha, are well-known as the healthy sip on the scene. However, black tea is gaining popularity as recent studies find that when it comes to gut health, going darker with your teas may be a better choice. Adding either one to your daily routine can pack a powerful punch.

Traditional tea is derived from the plant Camellia sinensis. The leaf production and processing determine the type of tea. For example, green tea is made up of young leaves which are heated with steam or pan-fired, then dried. This process prevents oxidation from occurring in the leaves. To make black and oolong teas, a similar heating and drying process is followed; the leaves are left to oxidize first, which gives them their darker color and rich flavors.

Herbal Teas: Although these beverages don't have the same type of health impact as traditional teas, they can ease other bodily symptoms. Looking to beat the bloat? Try ginger or fennel tea. Wondering how to ease an upset stomach? Peppermint tea is the answer. For these teas, bags with dried ingredients are common, but don't be afraid to branch out and try drinking it with loose leaves and roots.

Unlike traditional tea, herbal tea is derived from an infusion of various leaves, flowers, herbs, spices, and plant ingredients, based on the flavor of the herbal tea.

Kombucha: This effervescent concoction seemed to bubble in popularity overnight, but it's been around for awhile. It's made with tea, sugar, and a colony of yeast and beneficial bacteria. The added sugar serves as fuel for the yeast and bacteria, which gives it its naturally occurring fizz. Balancing your gut's microbiome is its claim to fame, and it is also a healthy alternative when you're craving carbonation. A word of caution: look for kombucha withlow sugar content and avoid drinking if pregnant due to risks associated with the fermentation process.

Tea Steeping Tips

When it comes to steeping your tea, we like to follow these rules of thumb. For best results with green and black teas, water temperatures should remain between 150-180 degrees and 180-200 degrees respectively. If using loose-leaf teas, invest in a pot and strainer verses a cage or ball for steeping to give leaves room to open up. Also, consider reusing the same leaves for multiple brews. After each steep, the leaves will further open and reveal new flavor profiles for you to enjoy.

In the mood for some tea? Start steeping, and reap the health benefits today by visiting Terra Health & Wellness Market. We source the finest, healthy ingredients and will help direct you to the tea that suits your preference and wellness goals.

New to tea? Let us know and we can offer up a few staff favorites for you to try.

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