Drop the caffeine and regulate your insulin. The pounds will melt away.
January is national tea month and the perfect time/temperature to experiment with some alternatives to coffee. We often see a variety of teas touted as superfoods, but it’s confusing as to which tea delivers the best benefits for YOU. Here's an overview of some of my favourites and how you can incorporate them into your daily routine.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, all non-herbal teas come from camellia sinensis. Green tea contains the least amount of caffeine and the highest amount of flavonoids (antioxidants found in plants). Green tea is also high in catechins, antioxidants thought to prevent cellular damage. Studies have shown green tea helps balance blood sugar, reduces cholesterol, prevents heart-related issues and supports weight loss.
Unlike other teas, do not add green tea to boiling water – it destroys the catechin content. And try adding the juice of a lemon wedge – vitamin C content improves catechin absorption.
This herbal, caffeine-free tea comes from the rooibos plant originally found in South Africa. This “red tea” has gained in popularity because it has an incredible taste and is rich in antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and iron.
However, rooibos has shown estrogenic activity, so should be avoided for those with hormone-sensitive conditions.
The poor dandelion gets such a bad wrap when it appears in our backyards, but it really is a superfood that can support our health. It has specific actions on reducing inflammation of the gallbladder and bile ducts, and supports the function of the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, stomach and gallbladder. It is also a powerful blood cleanser. Dandelion is considered a diuretic, so avoid if you are on blood thinners or diuretics (water pills) – it reduces bloating and water retention by enhancing urination.
Dandelion has a bitter taste, making it a good am substitute for coffee. Try adding honey or stevia if you prefer a sweeter cup of goodness.
Similar to dandelion, burdock is used as a blood purifier for conditions like eczema, and a diuretic to eliminate waste. It contains powerful antioxidants (phenolic acids, quercetin). It also protects and repairs the liver from alcohol damage.
If you are on blood thinners, diuretics or diabetes medication, it is best to avoid. Also, those allergic to ragweed should avoid – it comes from the same family.
Ginger tea contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound known as gingerols that can have the same effect as an aspirin on a headache! Those with inflammation, pain or arthritis notice an improvement in symptoms when consuming ginger regularly. It can also provide gastro-intestinal relief from nausea, and aid in digestion. Finally, ginger can be warming on a cold day, assists in detoxification and health sweating if you have cold/flu.
Nettles is an adaptogenic herb used to nourish adrenals (which can come depleted from stress and caffeine!), boost the immune system, reduces inflammation, supports the kidneys, reduces allergies, and can even relieve menstrual symptoms. It even supports prostate health for men.
For a delicious tea to support both your digestion and immune system, mix 1/3 peppermint to 2/3 nettles and let steep for 5 minutes. Add a few drops of stevia for a touch of sweetness, if that's what you desire. Enjoy throughout the day - warm or cold.