Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe the holidays are already in the rearview mirror, isn’t it? I hope you were able to spend some of that time making memories with your loved ones and getting some rest. I hope you were also able to prioritize your health in the midst of all the parties, food, and social engagements. If not, don’t give up. There’s no time like the present to hit the “reset button”, from diet to fitness, from rest to stress management.
You might not realize that there is a widely available product that can positively impact multiple facets of your health. It’s not a fad or a gimmick. As a matter of fact, it’s ancient and usually quite affordable. It’s tea. January is hot tea month, so let’s learn a little more about this common beverage.
I am an avid tea drinker. Not only do I drink it consistently, but I have also read several books about the different types of tea and its many advantages. To be sure, the soothing, warming traits of tea are wonderful for a sore throat, but the list of positive effects goes beyond comfort when you’re under the weather.
Studies have revealed the following proven and potential benefits:
Can have a calming effect on your body and mind
Contains less caffeine than coffee
May help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
May boost the immune system
May help battle cancer
May lower stress hormone levels
May help with irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and insomnia
May help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels
As I mentioned before, there are multiple types of tea, and each one has its own set of strengths. Here are a few of them:
Green tea: may reduce bad cholesterol and promote healthy cell growth
Black tea: may lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes; has anti-inflammatory properties
White tea: may lower cholesterol and blood pressure
Peppermint tea: works to reduce congestion; may also help with appetite suppression
Ginger tea: eases motion sickness, nausea, and heartburn
Stinging Nettle tea: has anti-inflammatory properties and may thereby reduce arthritic pain
Dandelion tea: stimulates digestion, lessens hot flashes, and combats the formation of kidney stones
One important note: as much as possible, try and avoid using sugar to sweeten your tea. It’s much better to enjoy the health benefits of tea without making your body process sugar at the same time. If you cannot drink your tea plain, use honey instead. Check your local farmer’s market for local, raw (unheated, unfiltered) honey and you might see an improvement in your seasonal allergies.
As you can see, tea can positively impact or help prevent many of the ailments we and our families suffer from. Of course, before you change your diet or add tea for health, you should talk with your physician so he or she can check possible drug interactions and other concerns. Depending on your needs, tastes, and doctor’s advice, there may be several options available to you for addressing your health concerns. Why not explore this natural option in the New Year?
Health & Happiness,
Health and Wellness Director