The easiest healthy win – especially with winter upon us – is hot herbal tea! It’s a health and beauty staple that’s comforting and delish, while delivering nourishing antioxidants and hydration with zero calories. Need I say more?
Herbal tea is an oldie but a goodie. And when I say oldie, I mean really an oldie! Chinese legend has it that tea was first discovered in 2737 BC, when an emperor was holding a cup of hot water and leaves from a nearby tree fell into it, creating the first cup of hot herbal tea! The emperor enjoyed the taste and restorative properties, and a major food trend was born :).
Herbal tea is made from leaves, roots, seeds or bark infused in hot water, and plants like these are the original medicines, delivered to us straight from mother nature. Steep your herbal tea well and you’ll enjoy varying remedies depending on the plant, whether you want to nurse a cold, ease a too-full tummy or relax after a long day.
Here are six reasons why herbal tea is a really easy step in the right direction. It’s…
delicious. From blueberry to apple cinnamon and chai, there are so many yummy flavors to choose from.
comforting. Just holding a warm mug in your hand makes you almost happy it’s winter.
nourishing. Antioxidants in herbal tea help protect your cells from free radical damage, which means it’s anti-aging – and helps to prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and alzheimer’s. It can also help with detoxification, improving the immune system and reducing inflammation.
great for digestion. While cold water actually impedes digestion, hot water helps it along. And remember, the more efficient your digestion is, the more energy your body has for detox and beauty. Some herbs are especially good for helping with digestion, including peppermint, lemon balm, ginger, chamomile and dandelion.
a replacement. One of the best things about herbal tea is that you’re not drinking coffee (too much is taxing on the body) or something with chemicals and refined sugar! If everyone’s hitting up Starbucks, bypass the holiday drink specials and try a bag of chai tea (not the mix!) with a splash of steamed coconut milk. Yum!
great for weight loss. If you’re trying to lose weight, herbal tea is your friend. Not only does the added hydration help, but it can deter boredom snacking – you can turn to zero calorie herbal tea when you want a little something yummy but aren’t truly hungry.
Right now I’m loving blueberry green tea in the AM and tulsi and chamomile tea for anytime, and my favorite brands are Traditional Medicinals and Yogi, which are both organic. Here are just a few types of tea and what they can help you with:
Made from flowers, chamomile is very soothing and can help with upset stomach and anxiety. It can also help you relax and promotes sleep, so it’s wonderful to drink when you get home from work or at bedtime. This has a very mild taste, so it’s a good basic if you don’t know where to start!
Holy basil or tulsi tea has been used for thousands of years in aryuvedic medicine, and is known as the most sacred herb in India. Studies done on this “super herb” found that it lowers the stress hormone cortisol (reducing the effects of stress), and helps to control blood sugar levels. Amazing – so anti-aging!
Milk thistle and dandelion help with gentle liver detoxification, as well as elimination and digestion.
Ginger helps ease nausea and helps your body fight infection, making it a great choice for when you’re getting sick. It’s also been said to help ease the pain of arthritis.
Peppermint can ease bloating and help with digestion. Amazing to drink after a big meal when you need to soothe your stomach – and want to freshen your breath!
Passion flower tea is said to help with stress, anxiety and insomnia. Enjoy a cup after a long day when you want to relax.
Cinnamon is really warming and can help with digestion and blood sugar regulation. Try finding a mix with apple or stick an apple slice straight in your cup with your tea – yum.
Green tea has caffeine, so a cup or two will make you more alert. It’s also said to be especially anti-aging because of its high level of anti-oxidants. Try subbing this for a cup of your coffee!
Rosehip is high in vitamin C and can help with the immune system.
Sage can have a strong taste but you may not mind because it’s known for lifting the mood. Try sipping some during PMS or when you’re just having a bad day!
Living a lifestyle that supports your health isn’t about restriction. It’s about self-care that’s easy, delicious and fulfilling. That’s why a great way to make positive changes is to add in something fun (like trying a new herbal tea!) rather than taking something away. Through this method, habits that don’t serve you will effortlessly start to fall by the wayside.
Here’s to your health! 🙂
Lots of love,