5 Wellness Teas and Infusions for a Healthy Lifestyle
Tea is an instant mood lifter that can always be enjoyed regardless of the time of day or year. This cup of liquid gold has the potential to relax, refresh or re-energize you, but apart from being a delicious brew, it is also rich in minerals and has several health benefits.
Some benefits of drinking tea include aiding in weight management, improving cardiovascular health or gut health and lowering blood sugar, making tea a rather powerful elixir.
There are many types of tea, but the three most popular types are black tea, green tea, and oolong tea, the revered white tea also has its own fan base. Although these teas each have their own character when it comes to taste, colour and aroma, all of them are grown from the same plant: the Camellia sinensis tea bush. While these teas are perhaps the best known, there are herbal infusions like chamomile (tea) and rooibos (tea) which are just as popular.
Each tea and infusion tea is unique, from its production to its taste and its health benefits. Read more to find out why you should include these teas into your lifestyle.
Tea, more specifically black tea, is the second most-consumed drink in the world after water. Once the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are plucked, they undergo a process of withering, rolling, fermentation/oxidisation, and firing / drying. For the manufacturing process of black tea, the oxidation/fermentation stage is key and is what sets it apart from other types of tea. When the leaves are left exposed for a long period of time, an enzyme is activated which ferments the polyphenols found within the leaves, thus giving black tea its aroma, flavour and colour. The longer the leaves are oxidised, the darker the colour and the richer the taste, however this also depends on the teamaker’s skill.
Curious to know more about Ceylon black tea? Read our guide.
Are you wondering why black tea should be a staple in your lifestyle? Here are some health benefits of drinking a cup every day -
- Black Tea Benefits
Rich in vitamins A, B1, B6 and C, minerals and antioxidants that aid in preventing different types of illnesses, black tea has a myriad of health benefits. From reducing the risk of oral diseases to blood pressure, a cup of black tea will not just refresh you but can alleviate fatigue as well.
Detailed research on the effects of tea on heart disease and strokes have shown that flavonoids in tea could reduce these risk factors. Another study suggested that black tea has an anti-inflammatory effect on people suffering from diabetes. Tea is also a low caffeinated drink, so if you are trying to reduce your caffeine intake this is a good stepping stone.
- How To Enjoy Black Tea
To enjoy the natural flavour and to aid in weight loss management, black tea is best drunk as it is. However, additions that go well with the tea include sugar or honey, milk, a slice of lemon / lime or even fresh mint leaves. Please keep in mind that some additions, like sugar, will affect your caloric intake.
If you’re looking for a special way to incorporate black tea into your lifestyle, try this Fillet Steak in Black Tea & Wine Sauce for a delicious tea-infused meal.
Even though green tea is native to China and India, and has been used in their traditional medicines for centuries, it has only somewhat recently taken the world by storm. Green tea has a milder flavour than black tea as its tea leaves are not oxidised.
- Green Tea Benefits
This is one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Since its leaves are not oxidised, the tea contains a high amount of antioxidants which helps to combat free radicals that can bring about many ailments. However, like black tea, green tea also contains caffeine, and it is recommended to limit yourself to three to four cups per day.
Traditional Chinese and Indian medicines use green tea to heal wounds, improve mental and heart health and aid in digestion. Today, studies have proven that drinking green tea reduces the mortality rate of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, as it reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body. It can also help with weight loss management since it is a zero-calorie beverage and the flavonoids in the tea also boost metabolism, and enhance the brain’s cognitive functions - especially memory.
Read more about the various health benefits of green tea.
- How To Enjoy Green Tea
Green tea is best enjoyed as it is without any additives like sugar and milk which can often take away its delicate flavour and change the calorie count of the drink. If you want to add some extra flavour to your green tea, try our green tea ranges infused with various flavours like our Moroccan Mint Green Tea or Green Tea With Jasmine.
To spruce up your afternoon tea, try this Green Tea Sponge Cake which is sure to be a hit!
Oolong tea has been a popular beverage in China as long as 2,000 BCE. Like green and black tea, oolong tea is harvested from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush, but unlike the other teas, oolong is only partially fermented. This tea has a greater depth of flavour in comparison to green tea but far more delicate and mineral-dense, since it is only partially oxidised the tea retains more minerals.
- Oolong Tea Benefits
Similar to the other teas, drinking oolong has several benefits and you should try to incorporate it into your daily lifestyle whenever possible. One of the most significant benefits is that oolong boosts heart health as it can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Oolong also promotes oral health as it contains trace amounts of fluoride which helps to prevent the formation of cavities. Studies have shown that consuming oolong can aid in weight management, and on its own, oolong has zero calories.
- How To Enjoy Oolong Tea
To reap all the health benefits of oolong tea, it is best enjoyed on its own without any additions. However, you can incorporate the tea into meals and other drinks like this Oolong Marteani which is a great twist to this classic cocktail.
Herbal infusion teas are an excellent addition to your daily lifestyle. Although infusions like chamomile and peppermint are referred to as tea, this is incorrect. According to the ISO definition, tea should solely and exclusively derive from the Camellia sinensis tea plant. Therefore, the correct term for products made from other plants would be herbal infusions. Nonetheless, these herbal infusions are packed with minerals and have many health benefits.
Chamomile is easily the most popular herbal infusion and has been used in medical remedies for centuries. Chamomile (tea) is made from dried chamomile flowers which have a close resemblance to daisies and is native to parts of Europe. This infusion has a sweet flavour and calming effect. Here are 4 reasons why you should drink chamomile.
- Chamomile (tea) Benefits
This daisy-look-alike herb has many health benefits and while most are not conclusive, some existing studies show that consuming chamomile helps to reduce menstrual pain, reduces anxiety and improve sleep due to its calming effect, as it is a caffeine-free drink and has anti-inflammatory qualities.
- How To Enjoy Chamomile
Chamomile is naturally sweet and has a very subtle flavour. Adding milk or sugar is not recommended, as it can affect the natural flavour. However, should you require a sweetener, opt for honey instead, a healthier alternative.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try this Chamomile Chai which is a more subtle version of masala chai.
Rooibos , pronounced ‘roy-boss’, is made from the rooibos bush plant which is native to South Africa. This tea is a wonderful caffeine-free alternative to black tea and is made in a very similar way to traditional tea - the only difference is the plant used! Rooibos was consumed by native South Africans for its health benefits, but in the 17th century, Dutch settlers began drinking this crimson tea as an alternative to black tea.
- Rooibos (tea) Benefits
The main benefit of rooibos tea is that it is a 100% natural caffeine-free drink, making it a great alternative for people who want to reduce their caffeine intake or for pregnant women who are lovers of black tea. While black, oolong and green tea have many health benefits, they are rich in tannins—a naturally occurring compounds in plants. Other benefits include helping with weight management and promoting heart health.
- How To Enjoy Rooibos
Like all teas, you can enjoy rooibos tea hot or cold, it has a tangy flavour and can be consumed with milk or honey. If you’re drinking rooibos to lose weight then it’s best not to use any additions. With so many benefits, try incorporating rooibos into your diet either by drinking it or infuse into your meals like this Mixed Bean And Tofu.
How To Store Tea
While tea does not have an expiration date, it can get stale if the dried tea leaves come in contact with air, affecting their flavour, aroma and minerals. Here are some tips on storing your tea:
- Store it in a cool and dark place. Make sure that the tea does not get any direct sunlight. Try to use an opaque container.
- Keep it in an airtight container, make sure no oxygen seeps through as this can affect the taste of the tea over time. Tea is hygroscopic and it can absorb odours over a certain time period, so it is also best not to store your tea close to other goods with strong aromas like coffee.
Drinking tea, whether it be regular tea or a herbal infusion, comes with many benefits. Savour in the innumerable health benefits of these teas and infusions today.