TEA TIME EXPLAINED: WHY TEA IS GOOD FOR YOU
Different types of teas and their benefits
There are many health benefits to drinking tea. Including a variety of teas in your day can boost your immune system, fight off inflammation and up your levels of antioxidants. But are all types of tea good for you? If you enjoy drinking tea every day, learning about their different benefits is a great way to choose which teas work for your lifestyle.
All teas come from the same Camellia sinensis species of plant, it is the way the leaves from this plant are dried and processed that give the wide variety of properties that different teas offer. True tea is made from tea leaves while some varieties like herbal ones are referred to as tea but don’t include tea leaves at all.
Black tea has a strong, dark colour and flavour and contains caffeine. The most well known and consumed variety by South Africans, other than our beloved Rooibos, is Ceylon tea which is a black tea variety. Sometimes referred to as ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ tea by some, this everyday tea enjoyed with milk and often sweetened with sugar is still packed with health benefits. Black tea contains flavonoids that support heart health and some studies have found that regularly drinking black tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Black tea is often blended with aromatic ingredients which offer added health and flavour benefits such as Masala Chai which include peppercorn, cloves and cardamom as well as the beloved Earl Grey tea that is infused with citrusy and aromatic bergamot oil.
Considered the most popular tea in the world, green tea has many health benefits. This earthy and fresh tasting tea has less caffeine than black tea and is packed with research backed health benefits that suggest green tea may help you focus, support heart and brain health and protect your body against free radicals. Green tea is often steeped from loose leaf or tea bags and is also popular in the form of Matcha, a Japanese green tea powder made from finely powdered dried tea leaves. This variety can be made into a creamy drink or even used in cooking. Matcha boasts even more antioxidants than classic green tea.
This proudly South African herbal tea comes from the fermented leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub. This caffeine free tea has a light, earthy and almost sweet, honey-like flavour. Rooibos is packed with antioxidants, supports heart health and contains fluoride minerals, calcium and manganese which support the health of your bones and teeth.
Rooibos tea lends itself to flavour blends like vanilla that make enjoying different varieties fun and delicious.
Herbal teas are technically not tea since they are not made from tea leaves. They are made from dried herbs, fruits and flowers and carry with them plenty of health benefits. Naturally caffeine free, herbal teas can be enjoyed any time of the day or night.
Popular varieties like chamomile are said to aid with sleep, peppermint tea can help with digestion and ginger tea could help fight inflammation and support the immune system as well as ease nausea.
Whichever tea you choose to drink, one of the greatest benefits of tea for your wellbeing? The time you take out of your day to enjoy your favourite blend.