Tea is a healthy drink choice as part of a plant-based diet. Some of the benefits of tea are that it’s hydrating and tastes great! There are many choices for teas ranging from black tea to herbal teas. When following a plant-based diet we often focus on food, but what about drinks? This article will highlight some teas and their benefits to your health.
The Benefits of Tea as Part of Your Plant-Based Diet
Green Tea Helps to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Blood Pressure
Green tea is a source of antioxidants derived from the flavonoids that this tea contains. Flavonoids are an important factor in supporting heart health. Research has shown that regular intake of green tea is associated with improving blood pressure and lowering Lower Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (LDL-C), the type of cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease. Relative to black tea, green tea is much higher in its antioxidant content.
Rooibos Tea is a Source of Antioxidants and Can Aid in Reducing Stress
Rooibos tea also known as red bush tea comes from the Calicotome villosa plant of South Africa. Like green tea, rooibos tea is high in antioxidants which benefit your heart health.
Rooibos tea may also aid in reducing stress levels. A study showed that rooibos tea reduces the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands therefore promoting less stress, and increased relaxation.
Two flavonoids found in rooibos tea, aspalathin and nathofagin, have also been found to contribute to this anti-stress effect. Rooibos tea is also caffeine-free which is a great benefit to those wanting to reduce or eliminate caffeine from their diet.
Ginger Tea to Reduce Nausea
Ginger tea has been known for its impact on calming the stomach and combating nausea. Ginger and ginger tea are often recommended to reduce morning sickness for pregnant women.
The components in ginger responsible for alleviating nausea and vomiting are gingerols, present in fresh ginger, and shogaols, present in dried ginger.
Gingerols and shogaols work on the gastrointestinal tract to increase motility, the tone of the gut, as well as increase gastric emptying. This in turn relieves indigestion, stomach pain, and nausea. For these reasons, ginger is also recommended as a complementary therapy for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
If you want to improve your digestion and relieve GI distress, ginger tea is a great choice. Ginger tea is also caffeine-free.
Peppermint Tea to Support Digestive Health
Apart from keeping your breath fresh, peppermint tea is commonly utilized for digestive health. Although studies regarding the benefits of tea, like peppermint, are limited, several studies have looked at the effects of peppermint oil.
This study shows peppermint oil may alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Unfortunately, the benefits of peppermint oil cannot be directly correlated with peppermint tea since peppermint tea has not been studied enough to be certain of its benefits.
At the very least, peppermint tea is a great comfort choice on a cool or rainy day! Like rooibos and ginger tea – peppermint tea is caffeine-free.
A Note About Caffeine
Keep in mind that when you consume less than 400 mg of caffeine daily (or 3-4 cups), caffeinated tea has been shown to be as hydrating as water. Thus, you can count tea as part of meeting your daily fluid needs while keeping you hydrated.
How Much Tea Should I Drink?
Although there is no real consensus, generally recommended to limit caffeinated teas (black, oolong, and green) to 3-4 cups per day. There is no cap for herbal teas based on their caffeine content, since most are caffeine-free. Please check with your doctor to get specific advice for you.
The benefits of tea in your well-balanced plant-based diet are numerous. In addition to keeping hydrated and providing more beverage options, teas contain ingredients that have been shown to be beneficial to your heart health, stress levels, and digestive system. Other benefits of teas are their antioxidants and pick-me-up hydration and caffeine. By all means, drink up and choose a variety of teas to suit your flavor preferences and mood!
Have you ever experienced the health benefits of tea? Do you ever use teas as a health remedy? Tell us your experience in the comments below!
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