Hello everyone! I’m super excited to share with you guys today one of my biggest secrets to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This thing has made such a huge impact in many different areas of my life and I have to admit that I’m slightly addicted. I’m talking about tea. I didn’t start drinking much tea until about 6 months ago, and ever since then it has been part of my daily routine because I started FEELING and SEEING changes in my body as a result of this new habit.
Now I’m not talking about fake teas or that so called “green-tea” at the grocery store that is loaded with artificial flavors and a TON of sugar. When I say TEA I mean coming from REAL tea leaves that are natural and either organic or minimally processed. No additives. No sugar. No colors. Just pure tea.
I drink 2-3 cups of hot tea a day right now, and not just because it tastes good annddd it keeps me warm (because I FREEZE during the Winter) but also because different teas have so many health benefits. I will get into the benefits of each specific tea in a moment, but there are many general reasons that I drink tea and basic positive effects that most teas can provide for our bodies. One thing I really like is that tea is 0 calories, so I can drink it throughout my day to hydrate myself and not worry about taking in extra calories. This keeps me from putting sugary or artificial drinks into my body. Another great thing is that many teas fight free radicals which means preventing DNA damage AKA cancer. It’s also been known to prevent/slow diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Many times we think these things are so far in the future, when in actuality we need to be trying to prevent them today.
Two of the biggest things I have noticed since drinking tea is that it curbs my appetite and reduces bloating. I usually get really hungry in between my breakfast and lunch because there is a pretty long gap of time there, so I will just brew myself a cup of tea and usually that holds me over until time for my lunch. In reference to bloating, I used to bloat ALL THE TIME especially after having a bigger meal that contained (probably too many) carbs or sweets. Now, I rarely bloat at all guys! It’s crazy. If I constantly drink tea throughout my day, my stomach is flatter and I don’t feel so heavy (as in sluggish/weighed down) after each meal like I used to.
So which teas are best for you?? Each type of tea has different benefits, and we are all different right? So depending on what your body is lacking or how you personally feel, this will determine which teas you need to have in your regular diet in order to help you feel and look your very best!
- Black Tea– I drink 1 cup of black tea every morning. Black tea has caffeine, so you definitely want to drink it it the a.m. or early afternoon. The biggest plus of this tea is that it contains polysaccharides which have been proven to slow blood sugar absorption. This prevents things like diabetes and high cholesterol which is totally amazing, and it is curbs sweet cravings and boosts metabolism as well. A lot of weight loss teas claim to do this same thing, but in reality they combine too many of these things at once and can potentially detox your body too quickly. This is what happened to me when I attempted to drink a tea called FitTea; it left me feeling weak and actually caused me to be more prone to injury in my dance and fitness. Simple black tea is a much better option and you will still get the same wonderful benefits. There are several black teas that I love drinking. My favorite is the Twinnings brand of Chai. I’m such a Chai girl! I also love Earl Grey Tea (which seriously tastes like fruit loops!) and Trader Joe’s Mango Chile Tea which is fruity with a little bit of spicy kick added.
- Green Tea- Green Tea is something that I don’t drink enough of, but I would really like to start drinking more often because the benefits are just that good. Green Tea is the tea highest in antioxidants which is wonderful, but its biggest benefit is that it contains catechins that are known to prevent cell damage caused by sun radiation. This means skin cancer prevention as well as anti-aging….how awesome is that?! This is such a huge thing for me because I have spent so many years of my life baking in the sun, trying to get darker, harming my skin with things like tanning beds….terrible. But now I see the danger of these practices and I’m trying to redirect my mindset. So this tea is the PERFECT place to start. This Tazo Peach Green Tea is one of my favorite flavors because it’s so light and fruity.
- White Tea- This is another tea I haven’t drank much of, but the most important thing that it is known for is cancer prevention as well as fighting viruses and bacteria. You can buy basic white teas, or more fruity flavors like this Orange Spice by Numi.
- Oolong Tea- If you’re looking for a tea that will shrink fat cells, this is your tea! I’m not saying it will make you skinny overnight but it will definitely aid you if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet and steady exercise in order to lose a little weight. Certain enzymes are in this tea work to dissolve triglycerides which is the fat store in our cells. It also is known to improve skin irritation like eczema.
- Herbal Tea- Yay! We’ve reached my favorite type of tea you guys! Herbal tea not only has a ton of great benefits, but there are so many different varieties and flavors. Different kinds of herbal tea have various positive effects, but most of them have the common theme of fighting colds, and restful sleep/relaxation. Peppermint tea is my favorite tea for those sick days or especially when you have sore throat. It’s also really great for bloating. One of my current favorite Peppermint teas is the Peppermint Bark by The Republic of Tea from World Market. It’s one of their holiday teas and I LOVE it (currently still in Christmas mode). Chamomile is the herbal tea I notice the most relaxation from. I usually drink this tea about an hour before I go to bed and I almost always have a wonderful night’s sleep. Yogi tea has a delicious Honey Lavender Tea that contains organic Chamomile flower. And for my favorite tea of all…..Rooibos!!! This is like the supertea, and I can’t get over how delicious it is. Rooibos tea is a red tea, and it’s high in Vitamin C, aids in digestion, and is known for acne treatment/prevention. Two words: chocolate. tea. YES it is that good. The Republic of Tea makes a Red Velvet Chocolate tea that is TO DIE FOR.
Now you have so many different teas to choose from! Here are a few more tips about how to prepare/drink your tea throughout the day (that work best for me).
- 2-3 cups a day
- I drink mostly hot tea in the Winter but I will switch to more iced in the Summer
- Organic/Natural brands
- Stevia to sweeten (miracle worker!) just don’t overdo it or else it’s DISGUSTING
- Black tea in the morning, Herbal at night (I alternate my mid-day teas)
- For a yummy treat, add a little bit of steamed/warmed milk and vanilla extract to your Chai tea for a delicious treat!
- To make drinking tea even more fun, use an adorable teapot like this one from Bodum. Isn’t it just the cutest?! It makes the process wayyy more fun, and also the strainer is a great tool to keep excess tea leaves from getting into your cup (because that is disgusting).
I hope you all have a much better understanding now of why drinking tea is so important for our overall health, and which teas will benefit YOU the most! Check out my YouTube video that goes along with this post for even more information about these yummy teas and don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂
“It’s always tea time,”
Ashlyn Tori <3