From protecting our teeth and hearts to even helping kick out cancer, that morning brew can be turned into the antioxidant powerhouse you never knew about.
It’s the little cup of comfort that soothes the soul and rejuvenates the body during rainy days. But there’s more to tea than a classic breakfast blend. Research shows that different teas are packed with properties beneficial to our health.
Best tea for an upset stomach:
Tummy in tatters? Reach for the peppermint. There’s a reason this aromatic brew is often sipped after a meal - it combats bloating, stomach gas and flatulence, thanks to its antispasmodic properties. Many IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferers are prescribed peppermint to relieve cramps and spasms. The menthol in the tea also helps relax muscles to reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to disruption in your digestive system.
Best tea for antioxidants:
Protect your cells from free radical damage with a cup of black tea. As well as making you feel more alert with its caffeine content, these soothing tea leaves contain polyphenols - antioxidants that may help stave off some types of cancer. Studies have also shown that black tea may reduce stroke risk and prevent the onset of dementia.
Best tea for the heart:
Staying young and healthy is much easier when you drink oolong tea, since it also contains antioxidants in droves. Its polyphenols aid the removal of free radicals, reducing the harm these free-moving cells can often cause to our bodies. It’s thought to significantly lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women.
Best tea for better sleep:
Sipping a calming chamomile around 30 minutes before bed can help you drift off more easily. It’s thought that a flavonoid called apigenin binds to receptors in your brain responsible for helping you sleep, creating a sedative effect. It also ups the glycine in your body, a nerve and muscle relaxing chemical that helps you destress after a hectic day.
Best tea for fat loss:
Scan the ingredients on any diet supplement and you can bet green tea is featured. That’s because this wonder-tea has been proven to increase fat-burning and boost your metabolic rate. Thanks to its caffeine content, it’ll kick you out of that dreaded post-lunch slump while providing a welcome hit of antioxidants and stimulate weight loss in the process.
Best tea for youthful looks:
Another antioxidant-rich brew, the free radical presence in white tea can help slow down the ageing process. Its properties help damaged skin recover more quickly and help protect against the effects of UV light. Polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins all work their magic in inhibiting bacterial growth in your mouth, too - reducing your chances of plaque and eventually, tooth decay.
Best tea for the immune system:
Steer clear of that nasty cold going round the office with a regular cup of echinacea tea. Used for hundreds of years by tribes, it’s one of the best herbal remedies for fighting common cold and other respiratory infections. But science has shown that its flu-fighting properties aren’t just those of old wive’s tales - the cornflower boosts your white blood cell count, ideal for fighting infections.