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January: National Hot Tea Month

Beatrice Verhoeven |
January 16, 2014 | 1:50 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Celebrate National Hot Tea Month for good health, if nothing else (Creative Commons/FlickrUserAGirlWithTea).
Celebrate National Hot Tea Month for good health, if nothing else (Creative Commons/FlickrUserAGirlWithTea).
By incorporating tea into your daily diet, you can boost your immune system, curb your appetite, and actually achieve your weight loss goals. That's why it is perfect that January is National Hot Tea Month.

According to Teavana’s website, all tea is produced from the same plant called Camellia Sinensis. The different teas, such as white tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea, are harvested and processed in different ways so that they acquire unique colors and tastes.

Green tea leaves, for example, are plucked when they are partially withered and are heated to 200 degrees celsius to stop fermentation. Most other teas are made from the above mentioned teas - for example, jasmine tea is made from black tea. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “all things delicious are bad for us.” This is true in many cases, but consuming tea is not one of them. Tea can be a powerful elixir. Every type of tea has it’s own benefits:

Green tea

study by the University of Maryland Medical Center shows that green tea has been used as a stimulant, a duiretic, and as a means of improving heart health. Green tea also treats gas, promotes digestion, and regulates blood sugar and body temperature. But it doesn't end there. The study also shows that drinking green tea lowers cholesterol levels and that it might help prevent certain types of cancer. Because green tea helps regulate blood sugar levels, it is useful in preventing diabetes. And for all those looking to lose weight (who isn't?): drinking green tea speeds up your metabolism and helps burn body fat. 

Black tea

The National Library of Medicine rated the effectiveness of black tea on a scale of "likely" effective and "possibly" effective. The database states that black tea is beneficial for mental alertness, and will even help along those late-night working sessions. Black tea can also reduce the risk of heart attacks, kidney stones, Parkinson’s disease, and ovarian cancer. Livestrong.com states that black tea is one of the healthiest liquids you can consume.

Fruit tea leaves (Creative Commons/Flickr User le living and co.).
Fruit tea leaves (Creative Commons/Flickr User le living and co.).

White tea 

White tea can kill bacteria and viruses in your body and even help protect against colon cancer. Because the white tea leaf is picked right after the bud is opened, the leaf contains more antioxidants. And for those of you that don’t want to consume too much caffeine, white tea has less caffeine than green and black tea. Among other benefits, white tea can help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and faight fatigue. It’s a great way to get your overall health levels up.

Oolong tea

Because oolong consists of both black and green tea, their health benefits are doubled. Health benefits include the reduction of heart and inflammatory diseases and high cholesterol levels, a healthy bone structure, healthy skin, and great dental health. It contains valuable vitamins and minerals such as calcium, carotin, and potassium, as well as folic acids. Oolong tea helps with weight and stress management and improves mental alertness.

Chamomile

There’s a reason why hospitals give their patients chamomile tea. Because it lacks caffeine, it soothes the nerves system and promotes sleep. A 2005 American Chemical Society study showed that drinking chamomile tea increases levels of Glycine, which reduces muscle spasms. Therefore, it can also aid in menstrual cramps.  

The health benefits that come from tea make incorporating tea into your daily routine a no-brainer. To get started and participate in National Hot Tea Month, try the following tips:

1) Detox with any of the teas mentioned above. All of them are rich in antioxidants and promote healthy digestion.

2) Even if you haven’t been a big fan of tea lately, take a peek through your cupboards because chances are, you’ll find an old batch. If not, revisit your old favorites and go on a spree to tea stores like Teavana.

3) Try something new. If you’re usually a fan of spiced teas like ginger or chai, try white tea or kombucha.

4) Add a cup of chamomile tea to your evening TV sessions - it’ll soothe you and prepare you for sleep.

5) Drink tea as much as you want, as long as it’s pure. That means no sweeteners or milk.

Reach Staff Reporter Beatrice Verhoeven here. Follow her on Twitter



 

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