Let's face it: tea is not a daily staple for most. Here in the States, most of us reach for a tall cup of tea's stronger sibling: coffee. Until we get sick. Or feel down. Or want to relax before bed. But we're here to say give tea a chance! It's got loads of healthful benefits and it can be brewed in countless ways, from hot to cold, mild to strong, fruity to savory.
If you're quitting coffee in the new year, here are 10 good reasons to give tea a shot.
Reason #10: Sip and Kick the Habit
Some studies have found that the antioxidant effects of the polyphenols in decaffeinated green tea and black tea can lower the effects of smoking, including cancer. So if you're trying to quit, add a cup of Earl Grey to your diet, to sooth those nerves and reverse the damage caused by lighting up.
Reason #9: Cures Homesickness
Te de Manzanilla: Tastes like your abuela's love. True story.
Reason #8: Tea Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Certain plants that are native to Central and South America, when brewed in tea form, might help reduce high-blood pressure, hypertension, and cholesterol. Our favorite? Hibiscus! Try this Agua de Flor de Jamaica, great hot or cold... or spiked! Check out this Rosa de Jamaica Margarita with a Sweet and Salty Rim for a happy hour treat.
Reason #7: Tea Helps with Aches, Pains, and Cramps!
Studies suggest that flavonoids and antibacterial substances in tea, specifically manzanilla, might help with muscle spasms and menstrual cramps. Try brewing a cup before you go for that chocolate.
Reason #6: Tea Lowers Cholesterol
We know teas are great for sore throats and congestion. But for another health boost, try out oregano tea. It helps fight those cold symptoms, plus a study by the International Food Journal of Sciences and Nutrition suggested that oregano tea has antioxidants that help reduce bad cholesterol levels. Tip: brew oregano tea with an orange peel for a nice citrusy tang.
Reason #4: Tea Makes You Feel All Warm and Cozy
Some teas, like strong ginger tea for example, improve circulation, warming you up from the inside. Plus, brewed jenjibre acts as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce aches, including arthritic pain, and helps treat nausea associated with morning sickness and motion sickness.
Reason #3: Get Your Caffeine When it Counts!
By replacing your casual cup of joe with low-caffeine tea, your body will become less accustomed to the caffeine. This means that when you do look to your favorite study-buddy (8 a.m. Survival Cookbook) to keep you awake, it will have the desired effect. No longer will you need to guzzle down cup after cup to make your deadline.
Reason #2: Keep Your Curves in All the Right Places
Coffee and hot chocolate, those Latin go-tos, delicious though they are, contain tons of calories, meaning that an after-dinner sip late at night when your metabolism has slowed down can really work a number on your body. Herbal teas, however can help out your digestion without the unnecessary calories! Every once in a while, replace your Cafe Tres Leches for a pipping hot Panela Herbal Tea.
Reason #1: Tea Makes You Seem Charmingly Bookish
Fact: Holding a cup of tea makes you look more intellectual and adorkable. For maximum effect, supplement your te de canela and your homemade Chocolate and Chile Granola Bar with a pair of glasses.