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A Cup of Health

By Fredrica Syren

I’m a huge tea drinker and always have been. Black, green, white, herbal or African Red — it does not matter.  I like them all. So it was not a surprise to me when my kids turned into as much of tea fans as I am. Of course the only tea they drink, as they are young, are herbal and South African Red Bush “Rooibos” since these are decaffeinated.

0603-tea-time-0550Introduced to the West over 400 years ago from China, tea has been used by the Eastern world for more than 4500 years. It’s said that the Chinese Emperor, Shan Nong, discovered tea in 2737 B.C. As legend goes, the emperor used to drink hot water, but one day while in a garden, tea leaves fell into the water and created a rich, alluring aroma. Voila! Tea was discovered.

Although tea has been used as medicine for centuries in East, here in the West we’re just figuring out that tea is good for us. Different teas have different benefits, and studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They also are credited with encouraging weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and bringing about mental alertness.

The most popular teas on the market today are as follows:

White tea — White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels. It’s loaded with catechins, a group of antioxidants found to reduce cholesterol. Studies suggest that white tea may protect against cancer causing cells and against many different types of cancer, such as colon, prostate and stomach cancers.

Green Tea — It contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. ResearchBlack iron asian teapot with sprigs of mint for tea shows that green tea might slow/stop growth of breast and ovarian cancer cells. Green tea traditionally has been used to control blood sugar levels also.

South African Red Bush “Rooibos”— This tea contains no caffeine and is good for headaches, irritability, insomnia, nervous tension, hypertension & mild depression. It also has anti-spasmodic properties that can relieve cramps & colic. On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than iced rooibos tea in my opinion.

Black tea — The leaves of black tea are steeped so that they can give a dark color when used as a beverage. Fluoride is another component of black tea and thus allows oral and bone health. Black tea contains flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory qualities.

Herbal tea — This comes in so many different flavors. For example, chamomile is calming and helps with cramps. Mint is used for digestive aid. And stinging nettle is high in iron, making it excellent for combating anemia and fatigue. It supports the liver and the female hormonal system. It also supports healthy breastfeeding, among other things. Ginger both stimulates and soothes the digestive system. Rosehip tea, which is the best plant sources of vitamin C, is important for the immune system, skin and tissue health and adrenal function.

Black-Tea-Health-Benefits leftOolong tea-– Oolong tea is partially oxidized and falls between green and black teas with regard to color, flavor, and antioxidant and polyphenol levels. Oolong is known to have an earthy flavor. Its health benefits include obesity and skin treatments, and cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

Of course there are so many more different teas on the market, but these are the most popular and easiest to get a hold of. So boil some water and make tea time part of your day for your health.

To read more about the health benefits of tea go here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/tea-health-benefits-cancer-heart-disease_n_1826138.html

http://www.revolutiontea.com/health-benefits.html

http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/types-of-tea-00100000068566/index.html

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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