7 Tips for Making the Healthiest Cup of Tea
I’ve enjoyed drinking tea for a while now. My favorite is white tea. The process alone of making tea can be a stress-releasing time, almost meditative. Wow, I really sound like a hippie describing tea! ☺ In fact, tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes mental acuity. Combining L-theanine with caffeine can create a sense of "mindful awareness.”
After my post on making the healthiest cup of coffee, I received several requests from tea drinkers on ways to optimize the healthy benefits of tea. Here are my recommendations:
1. Avoid Bagged Tea - Some tea bags are made with certain plastic. These bags may leach compounds of unknown health hazards into your tea when steeped in boiling water. If you do use tea bags, avoid bleached bags which can also leach into your tea.
2. Purchase Loose-Leaf Tea – Tea in bags are typically leftover “dust” of loose tea. It’s more likely to be oxidized and contain far less nutrients. Loose tea can be steeped multiple times, sometime up to 20 re-steeps.
3. Pay Attention to Water Temperature and Steeping Time – There's no real perfect temperature or steep time but there are suggestions. Experiment often to discover the "sweet spot" with your teas. If your tea is bitter, reduce the steeping temperature. If your tea is too weak, increase the amount of tea leaves used or increase the steeping time. Use this infographic as a guide:
4. Use Good Quality Filtered Water – Using water containing chlorine or other chemicals are not only bad for your health but can impact the taste of the tea. I prefer using a Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter for my water. You can taste the pureness.
5. Add Fresh Ginger or Mint – Allowing these herbs to steep with the tea will not only infuse there unique flavors to the tea but they’re also a great source of antioxidants. Ginger is especially good for digestion and it works as an anti-inflammatory agent blocking prostagladins – the chemical messengers that cause a slight swelling in the brain.
6. Store Your Tea Properly - Store your tea away from light and hot air and in an air tight container or bag to reduce the possibility of oxidation. Additionally, keep the tea away from any strong scents.
7. Try To Drink One of the Following Teas -
*Tulsi Tea, which is a powerful adaptogenic herb that provides important therapeutic benefits, including the reduction of negative impacts from stress.
*Matcha Green Tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea, 10 times higher in antioxidants than traditional green tea. In addition to providing trace minerals and vitamins, matcha is a potent source of unique catechin polyphenols, compounds with high antioxidant activity. Studies have shown that green tea polyphenol compounds may inhibit cancer, help prevent cardiovascular disease, help boost immunity, and slow the aging process.
*White Tea is less processed than other forms of tea, therefore the polyphenols are extra potent. The antioxidants in white tea prevent new fat cells from forming and fights signs of aging, like wrinkles. Research indicates that these benefits may protect against colon cancer, among other cancers.
If you’re not taking advantage of the antioxidants found in tea, I recommend using a supplement like eOxidant Botanical Extracts.
QUESTION: What's your favorite type of tea?
I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.