Next to water, tea is the closest thing we have to a miracle drink (so to speak). There’s a reason why humans have been drinking tea for centuries: as well as being delicious, the benefits for your soul, as well as your body, are just too awesome to ignore. Iced or hot, tea is wonderful all year long. Packed with antioxidants, tea is linked with lowering cholesterol, reducing your risk for stroke, and warding off cancer. But there is no better time to start drinking tea than in the winter, when our bodies are seriously at risk for viral and bacterial infections. Here are a few reasons why you should start drinking tea now that winter is upon us.
Tea Can Reduce Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers can rejoice! According to the New York Times, tea can lower your risk for depression. “A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 studies with almost 23,000 participants found that for every three cups of tea consumed per day, the relative risk of depression decreased 37 percent,” the Times reported. So if you’re like some people get serious winter blues, keep drinking tea and let it nourish your brain,your mood and your body.
Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
Part of the unfortunate thing about the colder season is that we tend to become less active. With less daylight and terrible weather, being active (which includes getting out from beneath a cozy blanket!) is much more of a struggle in the winter. While you may be tempted to continue hibernating i.e. eating more and moving less, brew yourself a pot of oolong tea. Oolong can help dissolve triglycerides, a type of fat that’s stored in fat cells. Some studies suggest that women who drink oolong tea burn slightly more calories than those who don’t. Plus, lowering your triglycerides can also help prevent heart disease.
Tea Can Soothe a Sore Throat, Stop the Sniffles, and Boost Your Immunity
Tea’s well-known anti-inflammation properties make it an ideal beverage when you’re suffering from a sore throat or feeling under the weather. The flavonoids (an antioxidant) in tea are responsible for easing inflammation, which is ultimately what helps soothe a sore throat.
One of the things I personally love about tea is its ability to enhance your immune system. In order to sustain a healthy immune system, your body needs a wide range of nutrients to fight off sickness. Tea just happens to provide some of the vitamins and minerals needed to give your immunity the strength it needs to fend of invading bacterial and viral forces.
During the winter time, these forces spread like wildfire. Drinking tea can give your body the protection it needs to defend itself as well as help it fight whatever sicknesses might ail you.
What Tea Should You Drink?
So what teas should you be drinking? It all depends. I highly recommend drinking the following teas in the winter to reap the maximum benefits:
- If you feel the onset of a cold, start drinking green tea immediately. Researchers have found that green tea stops the adenovirus from replicating because of its high levels of EGCG, a chemical compound.
- Delicious and spicy ginger tea, meanwhile, can help relieve chest and nasal congestion. Plus its spiciness is refreshing and will give you the perk you need if you’re feeling gross.
- Turmeric tea is another great way to boost your immune system. Turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family, is known to boost your immunity and reduce inflammation.
- Fermented Kombucha is a great source of probiotics that can help digestion and well as boost your immune system. If you’re feeling a little sluggish from heavy winter foods or want to prevent a cold, give Kombucha a try!
My favorite tea is Turmeric Tea Amber Sun by Numi Organic Teas. It is delicious, good for you and decaffeinated so I can drink it in the evening without it affecting my sleep. I also recommend green tea with peppermint and anti-angiogenic Earl Grey. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get brewing and feel great this winter!