As you might know, I can't drink coffee. This makes me sad, because I used to LOVE coffee...the smell, the taste, the fact that it woke me up when I was tired! But when my gastrolenterologist told me that it was contributing to my horrible pain caused by acid reflux, I quit drinking it. I even cheated for a while and had a Starbucks latte or two, but after suffering even then, I quit drinking those as well.
We all like to drink hot beverages in the winter though, right?! I had always been a fan of tea, but now I was forced to drink tea instead of coffee. I love getting hot tea first thing in the morning when I get to work and often again in the evening at home, however, I hate drinking the same kind every time. So I began sampling many different types of tea and discovered the kinds that I like. I really like a good variety - here's a snapshot of my snack drawer at work:
Don't judge me for having the girl scout cookies! Those Lemonades are to die for! And yes, I drink Advocare Spark too.
Here is my tea collection at home:
Sorry it's not super organized! We registered for a tea box during our wedding but didn't get it. Maybe we should go ahead and get one anyway.
There are so many different types of black tea. Just to name a few: earl grey, english breakfast, chai, darjeeling. To be honest, I drink these the least. I just don't prefer the flavor and they have more caffeine than the other teas.
My favorite black tea is Chai. I steep a bag with only 4-6 oz of hot water for about 10 minutes so it's nice and strong. Then I add almond or soy milk to the rest of the mug and add a little sweetener - I prefer Stevia in the Raw. Celestial Seasonings has a great Chai, but there are so many choose from here.
Let's talk benefits:
1) It has antioxidants!
2) It helps reduce plaque formation on your teeth
3) Lower risk of diabetes
4) Boosts your immune system
5) Increased energy (hence the caffeine)
To read about these benefits in further depth, go here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-black-tea.html
Green tea is one of my favorites! I like normal green tea or flavored green tea. I'll be honest, if you don't like a real earthy taste, you may not like the normal green tea. Try a flavored one! And I prefer all of my green teas without sweetener. This is my favorite green tea:
I love this tea because it has a little lemongrass and spearmint in it. It helps clear my head (literally). I have horrible allergies and the mint in it helps open up my breathing passages. It has caffeine, but not as much as black tea.
I've bought various green teas from Japan and China that were wonderful too! You can even buy a decaf green tea in case you want to drink it before going to bed. I know caffeine really affects me so I need that in the evening.
Here are the benefits of green tea:
1) Increased metabolism
2) Lower risk of diabetes
3) Reduce risk of high blood pressure
4) Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants!
5) Lower risk of heart disease
To read about these benefits in further depth, go here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-of-green-tea-that-you-didnt-know-about.html
White tea is my next favorite tea! There are so many different types! Just to name a few: blueberry pomegranate white tea, mango peach white tea, berryblossom white tea, apricot vanilla white tea, ambrosia plum white tea, and my favorite....cucumber white tea.
Benefits of white tea:
1) Loaded with antioxidants!
2) Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
3) Lower risk of heart disease
4) No caffeine
5) Healthy teeth, gums and skin
To read more about these benefits in further depth, go here: http://www.whiteteaguide.com/whiteteahealthbenefits.htm
I've tried a few red teas and I've liked all of them. They definitely have a unique taste! Red tea is made from a South African red bush. I was first given a box of red tea by a friend from Africa who said that it was good for allergies. I'm not sure how much it's helped my allergies, but I also don't drink it every day. Studies have shown that it helps fight respiratory diseases (see link below). Here is the one I drink most often:
A great drink that Starbucks has and is not well-known is the vanilla rooibos tea latte. It's red tea with steamed milk, syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. I order it with soy milk and only two pumps of syrup instead of the normal three. Three pumps is a little too sweet for me.
Benefits of red tea:
1) Respiratory health
2) Digestive health
3) Lower risk of heart disease
4) High levels of antioxidants
5) Lower risk of arthritis
To read more about these benefits in further depth, go here: http://www.chinese-tea-culture.com/tea-health-benefits.html
There are many different types of herbal tea. Herbal teas are actually not teas - they are an herbal infusion. Red tea (above) is actually an herbal tea, but I wanted to list it separately. Just to name a few others: apple cinnamon, chamomile, mandarin orange spice, ginger, lavender, peppermint. See others here. Chamomile is supposed to help you calm down so many people drink it before going to bed. I enjoy it with a little honey, especially when I'm feeling under the weather.
Herbal tea benefits:
1) Calming effect
2) Digestive health
4) Strengthen the immune system
5) Supports heart health
To read more about these benefits in further depth, go here: http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Herbal_Tea_Benefits
As you probably saw, most all teas are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer so I think this is a big plus! Read the technicalities and research here.
I do have to mention Teavana. Teavana is a tea store that has TONS of different loose leaf teas. It's a little pricey, but I make mine last a long time. Check it out!
Leave me a comment below! Let me know your favorite tea! I'm always looking for new ones to try!