So when I first started this blog a year ago, I was going to strictly focus on tea and books, hence the name Hot Tea, Hot Books. However, you can only write so much about tea until it becomes boring and you find so much more to write about, and then the title of your blog doesn’t even make sense anymore.
But not to worry. I still love tea and still make it a part of my daily routine. And since it’s been a LONG time since I last mentioned it, I thought today would be a good day to remind you all why drinking tea is so awesome and important and something every one of us should do.
First off, the health benefits. Remember these? Yes, tea is VERY healthy for you, one of the healthiest drinks you can consume, whether you’re drinking green, black, or herbal. I’ll just throw a few of them out there for you: increases life expectancy, can prevent certain kinds of cancer, can make your teeth and gums healthier, and provides excellent cardiovascular health. Some people drink green tea because it has been shown to speed up metabolism rates and help them lose weight. That’s all fine, of course, and a lot better than swallowing diet pills. Combined with a healthy food diet and exercise, it’s a great way of shedding pounds.
All that from a simple drink! Just think of all the unhealthy drinks some of us can consume throughout the day: soda (diet and regular), sugary juices, calorie-loaded Frappuccinos. You have one and you think, well, it’s just one. It’s fine. But add up everything you drink during the week, and the numbers can get kind of freaky. I’m not saying you can never have any of these drinks again – I’m totally guilty for drinking a Mountain Dew yesterday because the craving hit me like a hammer and I couldn’t resist (of course halfway through it tasted gross to me and I threw it out) – but at least try to balance it out with some healthy drinks, too. And drinking just one cup in the morning is an easy way to start.
I drink about three cups of green tea in the morning. That’s just always been my routine since I started drinking it ten years ago (except for when I was pregnant). Another great thing about tea is that it has less caffeine than coffee. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to drink something with less caffeine in the morning? I need it to wake up!” Well, chances are you probably don’t need that much caffeine. The amount in tea – green or black – gets the job done for me, and I’m not left feeling all shaky because of too much caffeine.
Sometimes I’ll have a cup after dinner, but my nightly routine tends to be more of the herbal variety due to their lack of caffeine. I love herbal tea. There are so many different kinds of herbal teas out there with so many different flavors and health benefits that sometimes I just can’t make up my mind of which ones I want. I usually go for the herbal teas that are meant for nighttime – not that I have problems sleeping, but they definitely help me calm down to get ready to sleep. And there is nothing like curling up in bed with a good book and a hot cup of nighttime tea. Some of my favorite nighttime teas include Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea (the one with the bear in his pajamas on the box) and Lipton’s Honey Vanilla Chamomile. Delicious. And truly beneficial.
During the day, I tend to drink iced tea (black, not green). It’s a popular drink, especially during these hot Minnesota summers, but people have always figured it didn’t carry as much beneficial weight as hot teas. Well, it turns out that’s wrong! Iced tea is still beneficial, according to studies done by Prevention magazine. In their tests they discovered the following:
1. Homebrewed iced tea (brewing tea bags and then chilling or cold-brew fridge teas) is more healthy than bottled iceds teas.
2. Cold-brew teas (fridge teas) contain more antioxidants than hot-brewed-then-chilled teas due what they call “agitation”.
3. Both green and black iced tea are equally has healthy, though green tends to be more of a cancer fighter and black tends to be more of a cardiovascular disease fighter.
4. While decaf teas had slightly lesser antioxidants than the regular kind, they still contained more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.*
*Note: That doesn’t mean you can skip out of fruits and vegetables. This is just an awesome addition.
I’m going to keep this post short, but I really hope you consider at least trying the stuff if you haven’t already. Someone – who had never drank green tea before – once asked me if I was one of those weird health nut people…you know, the kind who cleanses and juices and eats weird-smelling smelt bread and raw food – all because I drank green tea. Once I got over their ignorance, I explained that I don’t consider drinking green tea to be a “weird health nut person” thing – it’s just a way of life. I’m not the world’s healthiest eater – I’m slightly addicted to cookies and brownies and pizza – so my tea routine is just my small way of trying to find that balance. And if you’re looking for baby steps, a cup in the morning is where to begin.