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Herbal Tea

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From green tea to hibiscus, from white tea to chamomile, teas are chock full of flavonoids and other healthy goodies.Regarded for thousands of years in the East as a key to good health, happiness, and wisdom, tea has caught the attention of researchers in the West, who are discovering the many health benefits of different types of teas.

At the very least, it’s a flavorful way of getting enough fluid into your body each day. On top of that, studies have shown teas can help protect your teeth and your heart, as well as possibly even helping to stave off cancer. Which type of tea you drink can make a difference. All non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The amount of time the leaves are processed determines whether you end up with a green, black or oolong tea.

The green teas are the least processed and tend to have the highest amounts of polyphenols, and the only type that contain the polyphenol, catechin, which is why many studies have been done using only green teas. Certain herbal teas are known for their medicinal values, including soothing the digestive system.

TEA CONTAINS ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants work to prevent the body’s version of rust and thus help to keep us young and protect us from damage from pollution. Load up on antioxidants with a white tea, which is less processed than black or green tea so it retains more beneficial antioxidants.

TEA HAS LESS CAFFEINE THAN COFFEE

Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50 percent of what typically is found in coffee. That means you can consume it without those pesky effects on your nervous system, says Leslie Bonci, nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice. If you're trying to switch from coffee to tea, try a chicory root tea like Teeccino, which has a mouth feel and flavor similar to coffee. Chicory root is also known to help reduce stress and is a prebiotic so may be helpful to your gut. Bonus: this tea will give you a kick of energy without the caffeine.

TEA MAY REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND STROKE

There’s a lot of literature out there on tea and heart health,” said Anna Ardine, clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “This is a health effect for which there is the strongest evidence.In fact, a study published earlier this year that combined data from a host of earlier reports found a nearly 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35 percent reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea a day. Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Four cups of green tea may keep you running to the bathroom, but you can get the same benefit from drinking one cup of matcha tea, which is made from ground green tea leaves and is said to be the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea.

TEA MAY HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS

Research on this isn’t as strong, Ardine said, adding that studies that have shown an effect have depended on consumption of large amounts of tea, often in pill form.

Image height= TEA MAY HELP PROTECT YOUR BONES

Data from recent animal studies has shown that green tea may prevent bone loss. Moringa, a plant that's native to South Asia, has been known for its medicinal properties and is now quickly becoming a mainstream superfood. With more calcium than milk, as well as iron, vitamin A and K, moringa tea is a great addition to help keep those bones strong.

TEA MAY KEEP YOUR SMILE BRIGHT

"Japanese researchers have found that tea can decrease tooth loss,” Ardine said. “It changes the pH in your mouth when you drink it and that may be what prevents cavities.” Beyond that, tea, unlike many other beverages does not appear to erode tooth enamel, Bonci said.

TEA MAY BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Studies have shown tea can tune up immune cells so they reach their targets quicker. Holy basil or tulsi tea has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for centuries to help keep the immune system strong after injuries or illnesses thanks to its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

TEA MAY HELP BATTLE CANCER

Studies on this are currently mixed, which means more research is needed, Bonci says. But, in the meantime, “if you’ve got a strong family history of cancer and you want to do anything you can, you might increase your tea consumption,” she added.

HERBAL TEA MAY SOOTHE THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Herbal teas, in particular chamomile, can be good for people with irritable bowel syndrome because it is an antispasmodic,” Bonci said. “And ginger teas can calm nausea.” Get a dose of both with a ginger chamomile tea.

Treating insomnia

People who suffer from insomnia can easily go to sleep by sipping on a hot cup of Chamomile tea a few minutes before their bed time. As this herbal tea contains Tryptophan, a type of amino acid that relaxes the body and makes it fall asleep. However, Chamolie tea is effective in mild insomnia.

Promoting flawless skin

Regular use of herbal tea helps detoxify the body and cleane it from inside. This cleansing property, thus, helps in getting flawless and supple skin. The daily use of herbal tea promotes acne-free skin, curing psoriasis, preventing eczema, reducing pimples, redness, swelling and oxidative damage. Spearmint Tea, Green Teas, and Chamomile Tea are best known for such remarkable properties.

Relieving stress

The ultra-properties of herbal teas are also known to relieve stress and in many cases, work as an anti-depressant. Herbal teas calm the mind and release chemicals in the brain that fight stress and depression. Chamomile tea is best known for its relaxing property.

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