Not long ago I was looking through my mum’s November 2011 issue of Canadian Living magazine because she pointed out to me: Blends with Benefits.
The article discusses the different benefits that different types of tea can have for people with different health concerns, though oddly enough the article doesn’t really say what I would expect to read. For instance, they recommend ginger tea for people who are having respiratory ailments – where I would normally expect to see ginger recommended for upset stomach. For digestive problems they instead recommend rooibos tea.
So, here are the recommendations from the article. Obviously the November issue isn’t on stands anymore, but the library might have a copy if you’re interested in reading more.
For anxiety: Chamomile tea
Calm down without zoning out with sedatives. Cover the pot or cup while steeping to retain anti-inflammatory oils responsible for the calming effect; then can escape with the tea’s steam.
For weight control: White tea
The least processed tea may help prevent the growth of new fat cells while stimulating the break down of existing fat cells.
For those at risk for cardiovascular disease: Green tea
With lots of disease-fighting antioxidants, green tea is linked to heart-health benefits. The article quotes a study that indicates that one of the antioxidants acts as an anti-inflammatory which protects the interior lining of blood vessels.
For digestive problems: Rooibos tea
The article suggests 2-3 cups of tea per day of this naturally non-caffeinated tea because of anti-inflammatory properties which can relax stomach muscles and intestinal tissues.
For those concerned about cancer: Green tea
The article suggests 2-3 cups per day of green tea, to take advantage of the anti-carcinogenic effects; catechins that interfere with cell growth related to cancer development.
For hypertension: Hibiscus tea
I rarely see hibiscus tea available in shops by itself; only included in blends, however the article recommends it for those with high blood pressure. The article mentions a study where subjects drank 3 cups of this tea per day and saw a reduction in blood pressure, perhaps due to an antioxidant responsible for widening blood vessels.
For respiratory ailments: Ginger tea
This is another that I rarely see by itself, but the article suggests that ginger tea dilates the bronchial tree and soothes airways. This can also help those with asthma, and can suppress coughing.
- Loose leaf teas tend to have more antioxidants, and flavour, than bagged teas.
- Steeping teas for at least 5 minutes increases the polyphenol content (though I personally wouldn’t agree with this, since a lot of teas get bitter if they are over-steeped).
- Dunking teas releases more flavonoids (antioxidants) into the water.
- Decaffeinated teas may have lower levels of beneficial flavenoids
- Tea can interfere with iron absorption, but the vitamin C in lemon added to the tea can counteract this. (I presume that this iron absorption issue is with caffeinated teas?)