We often hear about the negatives in life, especially when talking about the things we are eating or drinking. And so, to buck the trend, I thought I’d write about the positives. The world zigs so I'm going to zag. So without much further delay, here are some wonderful benefits to drinking tea and coffee!
Tea is comfort, it is safety and warmth wrapped up in a mug. It was the drink that was most thought of in connection to the queen, it conjures thoughts of emperors and formalities, but also a loving granny figure and blankets in front of a fire on a rainy day. It is timeless and has been a popular beverage since before any of us can remember, with comments of ‘put the kettle on’ filtering through those celebratory moments, the deepest hurts and everything in between. However, as well as being a popular drink, it can also be pretty good for your health, especially when you take into account all of the different types and flavour profiles of tea. The different flowers, herbs, spices and other ingredients that make up tea each bring a whole host of good health and benefits to your cup.
When talking about different types of tea, I'll start off with the 5 “traditional” teas; so named as they come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but are all processed in different ways for different tasting notes. The Camellia Sinensis is a shrub or small tree and the leaves and buds are harvested to create green tea, white tea, yellow tea, black tea and oolong tea. All of these teas contain antioxidants, the strongest is called ECGC and can help protect your system from radicals that contribute to cancer, heart disease and clogged arteries. They also have caffeine; which is known to heighten mental alertness and physical energy, in the right doses. Green tea is one of the healthiest teas that you can drink as it has been tested frequently and widely studied. It is known to burn fat, reduce risk of neurological disorders and improve cholesterol levels. Chai tea is also good for you. It's a firm favourite that is sold throughout India and mixes a black tea base with a whole selection of spices that lift the flavour and boosts your immune system, metabolism and energy.
On the more herbal side, rooibos merges vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into a delicious drink that is perfect with milk, honey or lemon. Historically it has been used for medical properties. Some studies suggest that it can improve blood pressure, circulation and cholesterol. It is naturally anti-inflammatory, keeps hair strong and skin healthy. Chamomile is also well known for its contribution to our health - but more targeted to the inside layers. It is known for its calming effect, reduction of stress and ease of relaxation; all of which helps our bodies when it comes to a better night's sleep. Another advantage is the alleviation of symptoms of PMS and menstrual pain, as well as managing digestive issues and improving heart health.
Coffee is also pretty good for your overall health in ways you might not have thought of. However, it is more about making sure you drink the right amount and not too much! Firstly, caffeine fights fatigue and boosts your energy levels by altering levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. It has been argued that coffee can influence your gut health and alter your fat storage - which would suggest that in a backhanded way, coffee can be beneficial for weight management. Though only when balanced with eating habits and regular exercise.
Overall, there are some pretty positive things that can come from some of your favourite drinks and it's always good to look on the bright side. Next time you make a fresh pot or buy yourself a brew, have a look into what the benefits might be, you might be surprised - I know that I was!