woman nursing a cup of tea

Here’s Why You Should Be Drinking More Tea

Tea has been around for centuries, and has long since been linked to a wide array of different health benefits. It comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and true tea types include:

  • Black tea – the highest caffeine content out of all the tea types, and made from fermented tea leaves. Black tea forms the basis for many other flavored teas, such as chai
  • White tea unfermented and uncured, with more anti-cancer properties than the other tea types
  • Green tea made from steamed tea leaves, the benefits of green tea have been widely studied 
  • Oolong tea packed with antioxidants
  • Pu-erh tea made from aged, fermented leaves that have been pressed into cakes
  • Herbal teamade from fruits, seeds, herbs or roots. Lower in antioxidants than other tea types, but the benefits do vary depending on the exact plants that have been used

Wondering how long to steep these teas? Here’s a helpful infographic.

tea steep times infographic

Do you drink much tea?

If not, here are a few reasons to convince you to brew an extra cup each day.

Hydration

First and foremost, tea consists primarily of water, meaning that it is incredibly hydrating.

Yes, there are plenty of myths out there surrounding the fact that tea could potentially dehydrate the body, due to its caffeine content, but these are not true…

In fact, research has found that drinking four to six cups of tea a day is just as good as drinking a litre of water.

Still concerned about the dehydrating effects of caffeine?

The same study concluded that, when consumed in a moderate amount, caffeine has no effect when it comes to keeping the body hydrated. 

Packed with Antioxidants

Tea contains a range of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant, as well as several phytochemicals. It is these antioxidants that give tea the ability to protect against a number of different cancers, including breast, skin, lung, liver, prostate and oral.

These antioxidants are also essential in the fight against free radicals, which damage everything from the heart to the brain to the skin.

Lowers Cholesterol

For those who want to keep their cholesterol levels low, green tea is the way to go. Traditional Chinese beliefs also revere pu-erh tea for cholesterol, but there is not much scientific data available to back this up yet.

Both LDL and total serum cholesterol can be lowered by drinking tea, with experts recommending at least five cups a day if you want to experience maximum benefits. 

Wondering how this actually works?

When the tea reaches the large intestine, it is able to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol, therefore decreasing the amount of cholesterol that enters your body.

Lowers Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

The connection between tea and heart health is something that has been studied quite extensively, as the effects that tea can have on the heart are quite significant.

Studies have found that those who drink one to three cups of green tea a day experienced a 20% lowered risk of heart attack, as well as a 35% lowered risk of stroke.

Drinking four or more cups of green tea a day enhances these benefits even more.

Not sure you can handle drinking that much green tea a day?

Give matcha tea a try instead. This is made from ground green tea leaves, and contains a nutritional composition similar to that of ten cups of green tea. 

Prevents Cavities and Decreases Tooth Loss

There are so many beverages out there that are bad for your teeth, but tea does not fall into this category.

In fact, researchers in Japan discovered that when tea is consumed, it changes the pH within the mouth. This then helps to prevent cavities, by suppressing the growth of periodontal bacteria, and therefore decreases tooth loss.

Tea also has quite a high fluoride content, which is something else that helps to protect the teeth. Not only is tea usually brewed with water that contains fluoride, but the plant itself also draws fluoride up from the soil in which it is grown in.

Tea also does not erode tooth enamel, which is something that many other beverages are guilty of.

Aids in Weight Loss

Tea is a calorie-free drink, and does not need to have anything added to it, making it such a healthy beverage to drink.

In addition to this, each type of tea is able to help with weight loss in different ways:

  • Green tea – one of the most effective teas to aid with weight loss, green tea has been linked to decreases in body weight and fat. This is likely due to the fact that green tea, as well as matcha, is high in catechins, which can boost metabolism, and the rate at which the body burns fat 
  • Pu-erh tea – while research is limited when it comes to pu-erh tea, the studies that have been done show that this tea has an anti-obesity effect, and can help to suppress weight gain
  • Black tea – high in flavones, black tea has been found, by several studies, to be effective in helping with controlling weight
  • Oolong tea – speeds up metabolism and increases energy expenditure, therefore helping the body to burn more fat
  • White tea – has similar effects to green tea. White tea extracts have also been proven to be able to break down fat cells, while preventing new ones from forming, although this study has only been carried out in test tubes, and not yet on humans 

Try alternating the teas that you drink, so that you can experience the maximum benefits when it comes to weight loss. 

Helps with Sun Protection

While there is nothing that can compare to wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, it always helps when you can boost the effects of this.

Certain foods contain compounds that are able to help reduce the effects of UV exposure, and green tea is one of these foods.

In addition to drinking more green tea, you can also use green tea extracts directly on the skin, to protect against UV damage and reduce the number of sunburned cells in the skin. 

Prevents and Treats Neurological Diseases

As the body ages, brain health begins to decline, and the onset of degenerative neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, become quite common.

However, tea could potentially help to not only prevent these diseases from developing, but also when it comes to treatment…

How?

It is all down to the polyphenols found in tea, especially green tea. These help to boost brain health, while maintaining the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and learning.

Reduces Cortisol Levels

Many people turn to tea in times of stress, and science has now backed up why this is…

Studies suggest that drinking tea on a daily basis can help drop your cortisol levels back down to normal much faster after a stressful situation has occurred.

What is cortisol?

This is the hormone that your body releases in times of stress. While it is harmless, or even good for you, in small amounts, modern life means that many people now have cortisol constantly running through their bodies, leading to everything from premature aging to belly fat.

Want to control how stressed you actually get during a stressful situation?

Try drinking four cups of tea a day, as this will prevent your cortisol levels from spiking quite so much.

Protects the Eyes

Once again, it is the catechins in green tea that really help to protect the eyes, or the delicate tissues within the eyes in particular.

It has long since been understood that catechins are beneficial to eye health, but experts were unsure as to whether the catechins from tea could actually be absorbed by the eyes.

Well, they soon found out that different parts of the eye absorb different amounts of the catechins, with the retina absorbing the most.

closeup of woman's eyes

They also discovered that the antioxidant activity that the catechins are responsible for can last up to 20 hours after the green tea extract had been consumed.

However, do not get too excited just yet…

The study focused on green tea extract, rather than just green tea. This means that the effects may not be quite as effective when drinking just the tea, but will still be there. The study was also carried out on rats, meaning that human trials still need to be done in order to confirm these theories. 

An Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation within the body can lead to a number of different disorders, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Blindness
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Mental illnesses

In fact, inflammation can be linked to just about every modern ailment out there.

Fortunately, there are many natural ways in which a person can lower the inflammation within their body, and, as you may have guessed, drinking tea is one of these ways.

Thanks to certain active compounds within tea, this beverage is able to lower levels of inflammation, as well as inflammatory reactions.

An Anti-Allergen

Do you suffer from hay fever or any other type of pollen allergy?

If so, you may want to try drinking more tea…

Research carried out in Japan has discovered that EGCG, which is the polyphenol found in tea, can actually help to reduce pollen allergies.

Tea also contains quercetin, which acts as a natural histamine.

Want to boost the way in which tea is able to help with your allergies?

Try adding some local honey to your brew.

Why?

Well, this works in a similar way to allergy shots. By consuming local honey, you will therefore be consuming local pollen. Doing this over time can help you to become less sensitive to the pollen around you, therefore reducing your allergies.

Increases Endurance

Tea, especially green tea, contains catechins, which are antioxidants.

These catechins are able to increase the body’s ability to burn fat, which is why tea is so great for weight loss. But another effect of this is greater endurance, especially when it comes to muscular exercises.

Boosts the Immune System

Green tea in particular is able to boost the number of cells in your body that are responsible for maintaining the immune system.

Research in this area is still quite new, so researchers do not yet quite understand how it all works. However, once they do have a deeper understanding of the processes involved, this could mean that tea could be used to treat autoimmune problems, as well as a wide range of other diseases involving the immune system.

Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is not good for you, but neither is being completely dependent on medications, especially if you can avoid it.

Studies have shown that consuming black tea can actually decrease a person’s blood pressure.

However, keep in mind that these effects are not enough to bring a person with hypertension back into a safe zone, so do not rely on tea entirely in times of urgency.

Need Some Tea Inspiration?

Thanks to its incredible versatility, tea is actually the second most widely consumed beverage in the world.

Nevertheless, many people tend to fall into a bit of a tea rut, drinking their tea in exactly the same way every day.

While there is nothing wrong with knowing how you like your tea, it is also worthwhile experimenting with other ways in which to drink it.

Why?

Because as you can see from above, different types of tea have different benefits, so it only makes sense to consume a wide variety of different teas.

Here are some tea ideas to try out:

  • Boston iced tea
  • Iced lemon tea
  • Green tea and avocado smoothie
  • Mint tea punch
  • Cucumber tea spritzer
  • Bubble tea

iced lemon tea

Tea consumption is going through quite the trend at the moment. Around half the population of the USA are tea drinkers, and this is set to continue to increase over the next few years. Even if you do not usually like the taste of tea, there are so many different types and varieties out there, making it well worth finding one that you enjoy drinking.

matcha tea on wooden desk

Is Matcha Better For You Than Coffee?

Tea or coffee? It’s the age old question, but if the lines at Starbucks are anything to go by, coffee would be the resounding winner. In fact, even England, the land of tea, has been making the switch, with more with more of the English trading in their beloved herbal oolongs and pekoes for the caffeinated boost of java. However, there is one tea on the market that may give the ol’ cup of Joe a run for its money. Matcha green tea is the latest beverage to come up against coffee as the energizing superfood drink of a new generation. Is coffee a match for matcha? Here are some of the facts about matcha green tea.

What Makes Matcha So Special?
Usually, when you brew your tea, you leave the best of it in the bag. Water can only extract a fraction of the benefits of the leaves, and the majority of antioxidants and minerals often remain unused. Matcha is made unheated stone ground tea leaves, which are far less processed than regular tea leaves so nutrients are preserved. Thus, by drinking match, you are getting all the superfood benefits of the leaves.

Packed with Antioxidants
When it comes to antioxidants, you really can’t get much more free radical defense than you’ll find in matcha. Even goji berries and pomegranates pale in comparison to the uber powerful beverage. One cup of matcha has a ten times as many antioxidants than the usual brewed green teas, and way more than coffee. Coffee doesn’t contain the catechins found in matcha, which are linked with cancer and aging defense.

Clean Caffeine
While matcha does have an equal amount of caffeine a a cup of brewed coffee (34mg) and half the amount of an espresso, the buzz lasts longer and is more energizing. The amino acid L-Theanine in matcha slows down the release of caffeine and also has its own calming effect.

cold matche drinks and matcha powder

Fights Bad Breath
Skip the mouthwash! The catechins in matcha also act as a sterilizer. A cup of the tea after a meal can slow down the growth of disease and halitosis causing germs.

Boosts Metabolism and Burns Fat
Claims to boost metabolism and burn fat are attractive features in almost any product. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming match tea increases the body’s rate of calorie burn from a normal 8-10% of expenditure per day to between 35 and 43%. Another study showed that exercising immediately after bolting down a cup of matcha led to an increase of 25% more fat burned during exercise.

Where Can You Get This Stuff?
Not just for tea time, you can get your matcha in your snacks and meals. Blend the green powder into frozen yoghurts and smoothies, add to porridge, and even cakes. It can even be used as a topical beauty treatment. Matcha supports the reduction of bodily toxins and encourages glowing skin, which makes it great in face masks.

Have you enjoyed the benefits of matcha? How did you get your dose? Does it give coffee a run for the money? Let us know what you thought of the latest beverage to hit the market.

Woman drinking tea

There's a Tea For That

You decide to do the afternoon date. You’re really not that sure about this guy, or gal, so you want to meet at a neutral place.  You decide that no alcohol should be involved and that this not to be an expensive place.  A costly dinner may leave you feeling beholden to him/her and you want to be prepared to split the check if necessary.  He/she suggests a trendy tea house in your neighborhood. You will meet there.

You arrive at the place.  He/she asks you what you would like. You look up at the menu and are horrified.  There are at least 50  different brands of tea and you haven’t heard of half of them.  What do you do?  If you order the plain tea, will you appear too boring, not enough of a risk taker, or should you order something you never heard of? Will he/she think you want to dive into bed with him/her If you order something too exotic? What will your tea say about you? What if you order something you hate  and have to “accidentally” spill it when he/she goes to the restroom?  Well, have no fear.  Here is a small guide to the different types of tea and their benefits.

Black Tea
Making up about 75 % of all tea consumption, black tea is made from the leaves of the”camellia sinensis” plant, which are rolled and fermented.  It has a slightly bitter flavor and contains the most caffeine, about 40 mgs a cup. (May not want to have too much on the first date.)  It is packed with antioxidants called theaflavins and thearubigans which can lower cholesterol.  Research shows that drinking three of more cups of black tea will reduce the risk of a stroke by 21%.

Green Tea
Because the leaves used in green tea are heat treated and dried right after they are picked, the fermentation process is halted.  This gives it a more delicate flavor than black tea.  Green tea contains about 25 mgs of caffeine per cup.  Perhaps most commonly associated with health benefits, green tea contains catechins known to ward off everything from cancer to heart disease.  A daily cup can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.

oolong tea

Oolong Tea
Fermented for a shorter time than black tea, oolong tea has a richer taste.  It has about 30 mgs of caffeine per cup and may aid in weight loss and contains an enzyme that dissolves dietary fat.  One study showed that women who drank oolong tea burned slightly more calories over a 2 hr period than those who drank water.  (Got your new workout routine?)

White Tea
White tea has a mild flavor and less caffeine than other varieties, about 15 mgs. It does wonders for the cardiovascular  system, fights cancer and may help people with diabetes, improving glucose tolerance and reducing bad cholesterol.  FYI:  Loose tea may contain more antioxidants than tea in bags.

Flavored Tea
Yum! Flavored tea generally has the health flavors of the others, but if flavored with superfruits, like blueberries (Blueberry tea?  Anyone had this?) may have even more antioxidants.  But, a word to the wise, skip the bottled varieties.  They notoriously contain extra sugar and are watered down, reducing the health benefits.

So, now that you know the skinny, what will you choose?  Which type of tea are you?  Let us know!

green tea

Drinking Tea for Weight Loss

People have been drinking tea for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is no secret that different kinds of teas have different benefits- there really is a tea for every situation! Tea can wake you up, help you sleep, jumpstart your metabolism, stave off hunger, help your body process fats, and much more!

Green Tea: Start Your Day Off Right!
Most people are familiar with some of the benefits of green tea. It is used in many different kinds of energy drinks because it is a natural source of caffeine. Because of this, it is a good alternative to coffee, and people often drink it in the morning to jumpstart their day. In addition to waking you up, green tea is the perfect start to your morning because it also helps boost metabolism! Many people already know that green tea can help with weight loss, and this is because it kickstarts your metabolism, and can increase your caloric burn throughout the day.

Mint Tea: The Afternoon Pick Me Up
It’s been a few hours since lunch, but you still have some work to do before it’s time to go home and have dinner. That 3.00 pm slump affects us all in varying degrees, but it can be difficult to resist reaching for a bag of chips or a cookie when the hunger and fatigue sets in. Mint tea is the perfect choice for this time of day because it helps to avoid hunger pangs, plus it can perk out up enough to make it to the end of the day!

Detox Teas
We’re sure you have seen the posts and videos about detox teas that are all over social media right now. There are tons of different kinds of detox teas ranging from single boxes of tea you can buy at a grocery store, to whole detox tea packages that you can order online. These teas are meant to be balancing, detoxifying, and to help you lose weight. Some weight loss cleanses involve replacing meals with juices and smoothies to detoxify your organs and drastically decrease the number of calories you are consuming. Cleansing with tea is a little easier to fit into your life, and simply requires adding a few cups of tea to a healthy diet. Detox teas can help you slim down because they regulate your appetite and help with digestion! Herbal detox teas are also great because they often contain different types of antioxidants that can prevent cell damage, act as anti-inflammatories, and relieve indigestion.

The simplest way that drinking tea daily can help you lose weight it the very fact that you are drinking tea, and not a sugary juice or soda. People consume a lot of empty calories in the form of a soda with lunch, or a morning Frappuccino, without even realizing it. Adding tea to your diet will cause you to consciously choose more natural beverages, and make it easier to stick to a healthy diet. Flavored herbal teas can satisfy your sweet tooth without relying on sugary drinks! Drink up!

Woman getting a spa treatment

Destress for Healthy Skin

There are so many factors that contribute, whether positively or negatively, to the health of your skin and stress is one of them. Stress levels continue to rise with a seemingly endless to-do list, commitments and responsibilities. In fact, stress and its impact on your skin has given rise to a new field of skincare known as “psychodermatology.” Karen Mallin, PsyD and an instructor in the departments of psychiatry, behavioral science and dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, predicts that psychodermatology is going to become increasingly popular over the next few years.

“Psychodermatology is a field that addresses the impact of an individual’s emotion as it relates to the skin. The mind and skin are connected on many levels. A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin just as stress can be expressed through gastrointestinal symptoms, increased anxiety or hypertension,” explains Mallin. Below, find a few ways to destress so both your brain and your skin can remain calm.

Woman exercising

Exercise
A quick way to relieve stress and boost your mood is to take a quick exercise break. Even a 10 minute walk around the block or spending a few minutes going up and down stairs will help you clear your head and minimize stress. Exercise also boosts your circulation, which increases blood flow to the skin. Try to take a walk each day during your lunch hour to fight stress and improve your skin.

Green tea

Drink Some Tea
Some people find tea to be not only a relaxing drink, but also an entirely relaxing experience. Green tea is an excellent drink for fighting stress and for keeping your skin healthy. The antioxidants in green tea provide protection from free radicals, which can cause additional harm to your skin.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy
Essential oils are another way that you can reduce stress levels while also providing benefits to your skin. Lavender essential oil promotes relaxation, but it can also stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and can fade the appearance of signs of aging like sun spots or scarring. Lemon essential oil is a stimulating scent that brings feelings of peace and positivity. Additionally, it is a natural astringent and antibacterial, meaning that it can be especially helpful if you struggle with breakouts or acne.

There are other ways that you can reduce stress such as meditation or engaging in a hobby or activity that you find particularly enjoyable. Taking some time out of every day to focus on eliminating stress not only has a positive impact on your mood, but it also significantly impacts the health of your skin.

Woman holding a glass og iced tea

Resveralife Eat Well: Recipes to Celebrate National Iced Tea Day

National Iced Tea day is June 10th, and to get into the spirit we’ve rounded up a list of iced tea recipes from traditional sweet tea to a lemonade/iced tea hybrid. Kick back and relax as you sip your freshly brewed iced tea.

Iced tea with lemon on a wooden table.

Sun Tea
One of the easiest ways to make iced tea is to use this recipe for sun tea. Sun tea is great to make because you can prepare it in the morning before you leave for work and have a glass of iced tea when you get home from work. All you need to make sun tea is a one gallon jug or other container with a top that twists on and off, four family sized black tea bags and one cup of sugar (or sweeten to your liking). In the morning fill your gallon container and add the four tea bags. Twist the top on and set outside in an area that the sun hits continually during the day. Sun tea takes anywhere from four to six hours to make and the longer you leave your container in the sun, the stronger your tea will be. When you’re ready, bring the tea inside and add sugar. If it’s been a hot day the tea should be warm enough to easily dissolve the sugar but if it is not you can remove one cup of tea, boil it and then add the boiled tea and sugar to the container. Let the sun tea cool and place in the refrigerator then pour into glasses and garnish with a lemon.

Iced tea and lemons on a table.

Sweet Tea
Southern sweet tea is one of the greatest treats of summertime, and it’s far easier to make than you’d think. Grab a two-quart container, six regular tea bags, two cups or boiling water, six cups if cold water, one to two cups of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. Use a large glass measuring cup to place both the tea bags and baking soda in then pour in the boiling water. Steep for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Pour tea into your two-quart container and add sugar. Stir until the sugar is well dissolved and add the cold water. Allow the tea to cool then place in the refrigerator until it is ready to serve.

Lemonate Sweet Tea on a wooden table.

Lemonade Sweet Tea
For a fun twist on two summer classics, try this recipe for lemonade sweet tea. For this recipe you will need a three-quart container, two family sized tea bags, three cups of boiling water, four cups of cold water, six ounces of thawed lemonade concentrate and ½ cup sugar. Steep tea bags with three cups of boiling water then stir in the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the tea into your three-quart container and add four cups of cold water and the lemonade concentrate. Stir well and refrigerate before serving. For a fun, fancy touch garnish with freshly sliced lemon or fresh mint sprigs.

Enjoy your iced tea by yourself as a relaxing break in the afternoon or gather some friends for some fun outdoors.