It’s come time to talk about a particularly hot topic–tea. A year ago, I knew absolutely nothing about the subject. I viewed tea as “dirty water” and figured that there was no point to it. After all, if I was thirsty, why waste time boiling water to drink when it took me less than a minute to pour myself a glass and drink that instead? Also, after years of soccer camps and practices where I was forced to drink from water bottles that had been heating in the sun for hours, any type of warm water was categorized into the same compartment as sweaty gym socks in my mind — something unpleasant and to be avoided at all costs.
Then, on Mar. 11 2017, I purchased my first box of tea. Six days later, my entire existence was transformed — a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. As if. I only know the date because I was in Disney and my mom and I made the impulse buy for the sole reason that Emma Watson as Belle was on the box. So, as is done when anyone realizes they have bought an excessive amount of a product they don’t care about just because of some, admittedly very good, advertising, we snapped a picture.
Anyway, after realizing that tea wasn’t all that bad, I took a page from my favorite bookworm’s books (Hermione Granger and Belle who *gasp* coincidently are both played by the same Emma Watson whose face convinced me to purchase the three said boxes of tea) and did some research. As it turns out, tea has a lot of health benefits. These include naturally helping with high blood pressure, warding off sickness, assisting with both relaxation and sleep, and aiding in decreasing bloating and increasing weight loss.
With spring break on the way and the cold, wet months of February and March still ahead of us, here are some teas, from caffeinated black and green teas to tasty, zero calorie, ultra healthy herbal teas, to indulge in.
Black tea is the tea with the highest caffeine content, if you’re trying to wean your coffee addiction, but need something to stay awake without the jitters — this is a good drink to turn to. Due to its taste, most people add milk and sugar to black tea, and this can result in it being the least healthy type. Despite this, some studies have connected drinking black tea to lowering the risk of having a stroke.
Green tea- Green tea is filled with antioxidants. Due to this, it has a lot of health benefits including burning fat, lowering the risk of clogged arteries, and some studies have even found that it helps slow the growth of cancer cells. Whether this is true or not, green tea is much less popular than black tea (the Tea Association of the USA — yes, this organization really does exist — reports that only 13 percent of United States tea drinkers consume green tea) and, as someone who is not a fan of green tea, I advise new tea drinkers to start off with something herbal.
Herbal Tea- There are dozens of different flavors of herbal teas, each with vastly different health benefits. Here are a few different varieties but, if you’re looking for a specific health benefit, my suggestion is to Google what tea helps it. More likely than not, there’s a tea out there that will help you.
-Peppermint: this is my favorite. Not only does it taste delicious and is perfect to drink all year long, peppermint tea is full of the same antioxidants as Green Tea. This means that it aids in digestion, reduces bloating, prevents viruses, aids with even the worst cramps, and is also incredibly relaxing.
-Chamomile: great for sleep and relaxation, this is good to have before sleeping or at the end of a long day of classes or work. Just make sure not to have it if you still have work to do because, for more people than not, a cup of chamomile tea can completely knock you out. When indulged in regularly, chamomile tea has also been shown to aid with mental health and to help restless sleepers develop a more regular sleeping schedule.
-Ginger: ginger tea is THE tea for fighting sickness. Feel a cold coming on? Catch the stomach virus? Feel nauseous? Have some ginger tea. It packs the same punch as ginger ale without the calories or the sugar content.
-Echinacea: I’ve never tried this tea, nor can I pronounce the name, but I have to mention this tea for the sole reason that there’s currently research being done to see if it shortens the time someone experiences the symptoms of the common cold. If that turns out to be true, I know that I for one will be chugging this stuff the next time I have a cold regardless of the taste.
-Sage: this tea provides cognitive brain benefits and aids in cognitive brain functioning. Have a test? Drink tea–be sage. Do you really need more of a reason?
Happy tea time — and don’t forget to enjoy it with a snack like some lightly oil popped popcorn with a hint of salt. Healthy and delicious.