Honey can be used to substitute sugar. It has a healthy Glycemic Index, boosts digestion and is anti-bacterial in nature. Squeeze in half a lemon or add a stick of cinnamon in your tea to boost antioxidants. Mint and ginger are anti-inflammatory and can keep away cough and cold. Add a few leaves of mint or a peeled slice of ginger and let it soak.
Black or green, tea leaves are acquired by the same industrial process with a slight variation. Tea leaves are dried in the sun until they lose 60% of their moisture and rolled to squeeze out any extra moisture. They are then left to oxidize, where they lose their color. The difference is that black tea is allotted a longer oxidation time as compared to green tea. This extra time is what gives it its black coloration and strong aroma.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
Black tea is rich in polyphenols, plant compounds that include catechins, theaflavins, tannins and flavonoids. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants and have shown to improve the antioxidant capacity of plasma in cells and prevent chain cellular oxidation. Polyphenolic compounds also prevent oxidative DNA damage and alteration, both of which can trigger the development of carcinogens and further lead to cancer. Consuming black tea on a regular basis has also shown to reduce heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease risk. Black tea contains more caffeine than other teas and theophylline, both of which can make you feel alert and improve blood circulation.1
How To Enhance The Health Benefits Of Black Tea
It has a great Glycemic Index (55) which allows the body to absorb it gradually and digest better. It is also a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent. Most of all it is the best substitute to sugar, as its composition consists mostly of glucose and fructose.2
Lemon contains ascorbic acid which is a strong free radical fighting antioxidant found in Vitamin C. Lemon also contains folate, potassium, magnesium and thiamine which are responsible for regulating over 300 enzymes in the body. Squeeze half a lemon or add a few rinds to your cup of tea.
Mint has anti-inflammatory properties, eases digestion and works great to ward off cough and cold. It also contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that helps the body prevent harsh allergic reactions. Add a few leaves and let them soak in your tea.3
Another food with strong anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can also help prevent cold and cough, soothe motion and morning sickness. Add some ginger powder or juice to your tea, you could also let a thumb size piece of peeled ginger soak in your cup.4
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It also improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces heart disease risk. It helps detoxification of the colon, thereby reducing colon cancer risk. Soak a stick in boiling water for 5 mins and use this water to make tea.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Rababah, Taha M., Navam S. Hettiarachchy, and Ronny Horax. “Total phenolics and antioxidant activities of fenugreek, green tea, black tea, grape seed, ginger, rosemary, gotu kola, and ginkgo extracts, vitamin E, and tert-butylhydroquinone.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52.16 (2004): 5183-5186.|
|2.||↑||Kumar, K. P. S., Debjit Bhowmik, and M. R. Chandira. “Medicinal uses and health benefits of honey: an overview.” Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research 2.1 (2010): 385-395.|
|3.||↑||Tapsell, Linda C., et al. “Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future.” (2006).|
|4.||↑||Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center.|