If you’re like many people around the world, one of your daily morning rituals involves downing a cup of coffee. In fact, according to research, in the United States alone, 54 percent of citizens aged over 18 years drink java every single day.
However, while the jury is still out on exactly whether or not coffee is good or bad for the human body, there are a number of indicators that regular cups can attribute to health issues such as high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, and potentially even cardiovascular disease.
Tea, on the other hand, especially herbal varieties that are caffeine-free or lighter on the stimulant, can have many different beneficial effects for the mind and body. If you’re wondering if it’s high time to start incorporating this drink into your day, read on for some of the reasons it’s a good idea to switch from coffee to tea — at least for some of your daily beverages.
One of the most fun things about becoming a tea lover is the wide variety of blends you can choose from. To start with, there are the popular choices made from the Camellia sinensis plant, such as black and green tea.
This plant is actually used to create thousands of different of tea varieties around the world. These options fall into six broad categories: black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh (it’s fermented twice, rather than once), and flavoured teas. You’ll find many subtle variations available from all of these categories, as well as tea “blends” that incorporate multiple types into one— for instance, English Breakfast and Earl Grey drinks.
There are also plenty of other tastes to try out in the area of herbal infusions. Made from steeping different flowers, herbs and spices in boiling water, herbal drinks are perfect for anyone wanting to avoid caffeine. Common beverages in this category include chamomile, peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, and licorice.
For more unusual drinks, keep an eye out for options such as the South American classic, Damiana leaf tea, which can be found online at BuddhaTeas.com. There are also varieties such as Yerba Mate (a common alternative to coffee), alfalfa leaf, calendula, cat’s claw bark, and hawthorn berry, to name just a tiny sample.
The Health Benefits
Apart from the variety of tastes it provides, tea (whether made from the Camellia sinensis plant or from herbs, spices, and flower petals) is also a beneficial drink for human health. For starters, look at the wildly popular black tea, the most common option drunk across the globe.
Black tea is loaded with high levels of compounds such as theaflavins and thearubigins, antioxidants that help to prevent and fight disease. The compounds work to stem cellular damage in the body; have been linked to reduced cholesterol levels; and have been shown to radically reduce a person’s risk of stroke.
Green tea is also chock-full of antioxidants, but this time catechin polyphenols. These particular compounds can work to prevent many different conditions.
As well, studies have shown that the catechin polyphenols in green tea can help people lose weight when at least three cups are consumed per day. The catechin compounds in the drink work alongside other chemicals in the human body to increase thermogenesis levels and fat oxidation (basically, the process that occurs when fat is burned for fuel).
When it comes to herbal teas, the list of health benefits for both the mind and body is also a mile long. For example, ginger tea has long been used as a means of combating motion sickness. Whether you tend to feel nauseated from traveling in a car, plane, boat, or other means of transport, you should try out ginger tea on your next journey.
Made from the chunky root of the flowering ginger plant, ginger tea acts as a soothing digestive aid. It helps bodies which are feeling the effects of motion sickness and can curb vomiting and nausea and other issues caused by an upset stomach. Drinking this type of herbal tea can also help to ward off chills and warm up the body quite quickly.
Peppermint tea, created from the dried leaves of peppermint plants, is another beverage that helps to sooth nausea. In addition though, the herbal drink can also be used to relieve stomach issues such as bloating, abdominal gas, and muscle spasms.
Furthermore, the tea can also be a suitable treatment for colds and the flu. The main active agent in the peppermint plant is menthol, a well known decongestant that is beneficial for thinning mucus, soothing sore throats and breaking up nasty coughs.