I have to admit, I’ve been a tea convert for a while. And by a while, I mean my entire life. Not that I don’t like coffee, but a daily cup of matcha is more my cup of tea. That’s the last tea pun. I promise. Maybe.
Turns out, tea is like a magic potion for your health. Even if you can’t bring yourself to substitute it for your morning latte, it’s a great addition to your regular diet for so many reasons.
There are more varieties of tea than you think!
The most common types of tea are white, green, oolong, black, and pu-erh. The latter might have you saying “What the..?!”, but it really exists, I promise. It’s a fermented tea that’s often used for making Kombucha. You know, that other magical potion that does wonders for your digestive system. The teas are listed above in order of oxidation, from least to most oxidized. You can read more about the differences between each tea, and why you should probably just drink all of them, here.
It contains antioxidants.
So why do you want these antioxidant things again? Well, they protect your cells from all the pollution and chemicals that exist in the world. Think cigarette smoke, smog, and alcohol. They’re basically your body’s little soldiers against getting sick. Tea has a bunch of them, all in one cup. White tea has the highest level, but basically any type of tea you choose has you coming out ahead of the game.
It has less caffeine than coffee.
I know, you may be thinking, “Why would I ever want THAT?”. But hear me out. While you might not be able to make the switch from coffee to tea right after your alarm blasts you awake at 6am, maybe you can substitute it at 2pm when you need that energy jolt. Tea can give you that kick to get you through the rest of the day, but with less of a chance that you’ll be tossing and turning later on. Teas can vary in caffeine level, but all will have less than your regular cup of coffee.
It helps weight loss.
If this sounds too good to be true, I get it. Tea isn’t going to magically melt away those extra pounds. Only healthy nutrition and exercise can do that! But, it does help. Teas contain catechins, which have been shown to boost metabolism. Additionally, we tend to add less cream, milk, sugar, flavoring, or all of the above, to tea, thus making it easier to cut out all those calories from your usual Starbucks order.
It can lower your risk for disease.
Tea has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. More research needs to be done to conclude a true cause and effect relationship, but the early studies are promising! A delicious caffeine boost and a potential safeguard against some pretty nasty illnesses? Sounds good to me.
But don’t ruin it!
Be weary of bottled teas, which tend to have way more sugar than tea should ever have. If you need a quick to go option, Teas’ Tea has some good choices. Avoid falling for “detox teas” which claim to help you drop weight very quickly just by drinking the tea. In fact, avoid all quick fix weight loss plans in general. Nothing good (long term) ever really comes from them. If the flavor of plain tea just isn’t doing it for you, check out some of the naturally flavored blends that might make it easier to swallow. You can find them at places like Starbucks (RIP Teavana, though), Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Argo. There are so many options to choose from that you’re sure to find one that fits your flavor palette to a T(ea).
Okay, now THAT was the last tea pun.
Rachel is a licensed therapist and co-founder of Viva Wellness. She gets most of her inspiration for the blog while on the run, and if you ever need to find her, she’s probably in Central Park. If she’s not running, you’ll find her planning the next time she’s going to eat, exploring all things wellness in NYC, or raising her stress level by watching her sports teams.