Par- tea

teatimeRemember a time when drinking tea was something we only associated with British people and grandparents? A time when basic green tea was considered exotic and the most excitement a tea could offer was whether or not we dared to add a tea spoon of sugar. Now tea has become so much more than just the beverage the elderly sip with crumpets. There are a plethora of delectable flavors to entice the spicy, sweet, fruity or even floral tea-loving pallet.

There are many tea shops and franchised retailers whose sole specialty is the selling of loose leaf teas. Different variations of tea are so coveted that this is a viable business model! Even Starbucks, the international coffee house leader has acquired a thirst for re-branding this ancient ritual. This year they acquired over 300 of the Teavana locations for $620 million, 59 of which are found in Canada.  According to Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, teas are the second most popular drink in the world after water. Sorry coffee, you lose.

Loose leaf teas are also becoming a staple of the average household.  In addition to just purchasing a nice bottle of wine when hosting, we have begun to alternate in artisan teas to present to our guests. Before it was as simple as “are you a red or white wine gal?”.  Now my inquiries go something like, “are you a black, white, green, herbal, oolong or rooibus tea gal?”.  It’s a tough tea life. Besides the obvious tea perks (less caffeine than coffee, no post-caffeine crash, hydration therefore curbed appetite, stifling sugar cravings), there are even more specific benefits provided for both weight loss and overall health. Its just a bonus that these now come in a multitude of different flavors and herbal concoctions.

Here are the 6 teas you must try:

Weight Loss

White teas: One of the least processed teas, therefore rich in antioxidants. Research reveals that these antioxidants fight aging, assisting in wrinkle prevention and helps prevent new fat cell formation. These antioxidants may also help prevent certain types of cancers.

Oolong tea: Assists in burning fat by cuing our body to use our stored fat cells as a primary energy source. It has also been shown to boost the metabolism for up to two hours after use. Oolong tea contains polyphenols that help block the absorption of fat building enzymes.

Yerba Mate tea: Known for inhibiting cravings by preventing the urge to consume additional empty calories. It’s been found to slow down the rate of gastric emptying leaving you feeling satiated for longer periods of time. It contains the fat-fighting compound mateine, which gives you a metabolism and energy boost.

Healing Properties

Sleep

Valerian root tea: The natural properties of Valerian root  are often used as a mild sedative. Try this tea an hour or two before bed if you have difficulty sleeping and before you know it… lights out! For those who suffer from regular insomnia, Valerian root tea is known to take 1-3 weeks of regular dosing to take effect.

Anti-anxiety

Passionflower tea: Compounds such a chrysin in this tea work by helping calm the nervous system. When the nervous system is overstimulated, it may result in symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain.  Scientists believe Passionflower tea also helps relieve anxiety by increasing levels of a chemical (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain. This acid reduces the activity of some brain cells which in turn makes you feel more relaxed.

Constipation

Peppermint tea: Sip on this potent tea to relieve digestive disorders. This tea helps reduce the symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and gallstone problems by improving motility in the digestive tract. Use this tea to help get “things” moving during the next uncomfortable stint of constipation.

  • Marianne

    Pass me the peppermint tea. Errrr….