It’s a new year, and like many of you, I’ve noticed an unhealthy dependence on coffee. I love the taste and the quick-working power of that morning caffeine. I love the experience of holding that warm mug in my hands as I begin the day. As I settle into new habits and rhythms, though, I’m looking to other options for my beloved beverage, especially as I look more into the health benefits of drinking tea.
You may be in the same boat. Maybe you’re trying to cut out your second or third cup of coffee during the day and need a substitute. Or you may just feel the need for some variety in your drink options. Let me tell you, tea is the way to go. Besides the many varieties and flavors available, there are also great health benefits of drinking tea. If you haven’t started yet, check out these five reasons to bring tea into your daily life.
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We hear the word “antioxidants” a lot these days. They sound like something good for us, but what’s the big deal? Put very simply, antioxidants protect your body from pollution. Our bodies produce “oxidants” which can be helpful in fighting off sickness, but in large amounts can lead to problems like cancer and other diseases (“What Are Antioxidants?”).
When we bring antioxidants in, they help balance out the load and fight off the problematic oxidants. Tea is just one natural substance that contains antioxidants, but it is a great addition to any healthy lifestyle. Try some white tea for a great dose of pollution-fighting elements!
Have a headache? Feeling a bit nauseous? Before you pop out the pills, try some tea. Try some peppermint tea to ease the tension in your head. Or grab this Tension Tamer tea for some help with stress-induced aches. Tea with ginger can help settle an upset stomach. And herbal teas have been known to aid those with irritable bowel syndrome (10 Health Benefits).
One of the main reasons coffee-drinkers make the switch to tea is for the lower caffeine intake. If you’re noticing a need for less caffeine, tea is a great option. Some, like black teas and varieties of white teas, still contain a good dose of caffeine. If you select a cup of herbal or chamomile tea, though, you’ll have a great caffeine-free beverage. If you’re curious about specific amounts in caffeine in any beverage, check out this helpful chart.
A cup of tea at the end of a long day. A morning dose of chamomile to kick off your busy schedule. Tea and calm have long been associated together. It may be the lower caffeine contents or the fragrant aromas that remind us to rest a bit, but there may also be some actual mental health benefits in drinking tea.
In a 2015 study, depression levels in participants decreased by 37 percent. The study showed that when people drank tea regularly, about three cups a day, their overall tendencies toward depression were significantly less. Again, the correlation may not be completely direct, but there certainly are ways tea can benefit your mental health.
Aside from water, tea may be our best bet for calorie-free drinks. In its purest form, this leafy beverage adds zero calories to our daily nutrition. Though weight loss is not everyone’s top priority, the idea of getting fewer calories from beverages is always a great plan for our health. Trade out your daily soda or Carmel Macciato for a cup of Aveda tea (my favorite). Or find any number of flavors and tea varieties at Teavana or Mighty Leaf.
I love the health benefits of drinking tea. I’ve experienced the calming and headache-reducing power of a good tea, and I have spent many nights winding down with a hot cup of some sleep-inducing variety. My favorite thing about tea, though, is the never ending catalogue of flavors. Tea can give you a small caffeine boost or settle you down. It can be floral and fragrant or mild and subtle in taste. If you haven’t explored the world of tea yet, get out there and find your favorite.