Winter can be a lovely time. Building snowmen, skiing, ice-skating, snuggles and more…. It’s also a festive time so there is plenty to feel jolly about. But as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, there are also higher incidences of cold and flu. The dreaded sniffles and runny noses are no one’s idea of a good time.
We’ve all reached for our favorite cup of tea, finding comfort and warmth in while we snuggle up, trying to feel better. It’s like a great big warm hug!
Tea is such a versatile drink but one of its biggest advantages as a great drink to have in winter (or anytime really), is its health benefits. Teas come in all different varieties and it’s all about choosing the best one for every occasion. If you’re looking for the best teas to drink this winter season, here are a few healthy and delicious teas you should try…
This traditional Chinese tea is created by drying out its leaves under a strong sun and has a relatively short fermentation process, which gives it a lovely rich taste. Oolong tea has many health benefits; it helps maintain memory with aging and promotes a positive mood. Oolong tea can also help you burn more of those holiday calories as it activates an enzyme responsible for dissolving triglycerides, a form of dietary fat that’s stored in fat cells and is also great for detoxifying the body.
White tea has a much milder flavor than any other variety and is low in caffeine because of there is no fermentation period, is minimally process and is made from very young leaves.
However, it has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas because of its high concentration of antioxidants. White tea turns a beautiful pale yellow when brewed.
Green tea, this beloved tea in Asia is sometimes best known for its incredible health properties but it great for stress relief and having a calming effect. Packed with antioxidants, it has a high concentration of EGCG that helps prevent all different types of cancer and clogging of the arteries. In addition to green tea’s potent circulatory benefits, it also helps reduce stress, improve intestinal bacterial balance, and increase carbohydrate and fat burning.
One of the most popular teas in the world, black tea is more oxidized than most other teas, and is generally stronger in flavor and contains high proportions of caffeine. This bold tea also serves as the base for many other types of tea, including chai, Earl Grey (which includes oil of bergamot) and some brands of instant tea. Black tea has powerful circulatory benefits, including supporting healthy blood pressure levels and is also been proven to reduce the risk of strokes.
Made by infusing dried fruits, flowers, herbs and spices, herbal teas do not usually contain traditional teas leaves and tend to be free of caffeine.
There are plenty of different selections of herbal teas that have specific health benefits. Antioxidants in chamomile tea help prevent complications from diabetes and limit the growth of cancer cells, hibiscus tea can help lower blood pressure and echinacea tea is known to prevent colds. Then there is lavender tea, rose tea and jasmine tea – herbal tea choices are vast and each one provides some health and wellness benefits.
Ginger tea is made from the ginger root which is similar to the turmeric root. It carries the signature aroma and spiciness, and its main active substances are gingerols and shogaols. In the Ayurveda tradition, ginger is widely revered as a food, spice, and medicine. It helps improve the circulation, is protective for the brain, and is especially sought out for its digestive benefits and its capacity to counter nausea and is great for colds. Who hasn’t had some ginger tea with a dash of honey to soothe a sore throat and runny nose?
All said and done, whether a tea is suitable for the cold weather is relative to the degree of oxidation in its production process. Since green tea and white tea are oxidized to a lesser extent than the other teas, they are considered by some to be on the “cold side.” Black, oolong and Pu-erh teas seem to be more suitable choices for the cold weather and are usually thought to be on the “warm side” because of their oxidation levels. Neither of those classifications matter because a every person’s body is unique, each palate different and every individual preference is a matter of personal taste.
Whether it’s pure tea or experimenting with gorgeous tea blends, the health and wellness benefits are undeniable and cost effective. The tea drinking journey will always be distinctive and is a lifestyle choice for the tea lover. When spoilt for choice, there is no wrong selection of tea, it is more of an experience to be savored and is a constant voyage of discovery.
**Always consult a qualified medical professional before consuming any herbal blends if you are pregnant or suffering from ongoing illnesses or serious medical conditions. These statements or products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.