Tea for Cravings, Weight Loss, Better Sleep and More
Many of us are partial to a warm, comforting cuppa, so it may come as a pleasant surprise that each different kind of tea has additional benefits above and beyond the delicious taste!
Teas contain a whole host of beneficial compounds called polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant plant compound found in the tea leaves themselves. These are found in all black, green and herbal teas in different amounts and types.
Regularly consuming polyphenols is thought to boost digestion and brain health, as well as protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. The health benefits of polyphenols are primarily due to their antioxidant action.
Antioxidants neutralise harmful free radicals which cause cellular damage in the body, and thus antioxidants can prevent further complications from free radical damage such as cancer. Another bonus of tea polyphenols are their ability to regulate lipid (fat) metabolism \ as a result of beneficial activity on the gut and gut bacteria.
Now it’s worth noting that each tea has a different profile of polyphenols, of course, so the effect of various teas will differ. A few notable teas are as follows:
Hibiscus tea and heart health:
This is made from the hibiscus plant, which grows in tropical climates. This tea has historically been used to decrease body temperature, treat heart disease and soothe a sore throat.
There is some evidence to suggest that drinking hibiscus tea can improve blood pressure, needing three cups a day to see this benefit.
Green Tea and weight loss
Green tea has been the subject of countless studies showing a positive effect on body composition with regular green tea intake.
One particular study showed that simply adding green tea intake of just 2-3 cups per day (and making no other dietary changes) resulted in weight loss of up to 1.3 kgs per week across 12 weeks! This is thought to be due to the metabolically stimulating effects of caffeine, combined with its catechins. This is an easy and effective tea to boost your weight loss.
Ginger tea and nausea
Ginger is an ancient remedy for relief of nausea and vomiting, and the research backs it up strongly! This can be utilised for travel sickness, pregnancy sickness, and nausea associated with certain medications. To get the full anti-nausea benefit from tea, you’ll need to drink 4 cups of it.
Chamomile tea and sleep
If you struggle to fall asleep then you may want to try drinking 2cups of chamomile tea each day. Chamomile contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia (the chronic inability to sleep). Studies have shown that people who consume 500mg of chamomile fell asleep faster than those who didn’t and woke up less during the night.
Having a wide variety of teas, including herbal, green and black is an excellent addition to your routine and complement a healthy eating plan. Happy brewing!
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Accredited Practising Dietitian