5 Steps For Better Tea
Boil, steep, drink. How complicated could be make a perfect cup of tea? Not terribly, but details can mean the difference between a hot soothing indulgence and a powerhouse of healthy food.
It seems that not a day goes by without a new study touting the benefits of tea. Want to fight breast cancer? Green tea can do that. Trying to prevent type 2 diabetes? The black tea is its beer. Indeed, tea has super-healing properties. But doing things right is not intuitive; in fact, we regularly commit crimes against our cups that block the benefits of tea. Find out what to add (and what to omit) to get your perfect cup of tea.
1. Watch your water.
Your perfect cup deserves better than tap water. Filtering tap water reduces its exposure to carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Ask the Experts: President’s Cancer Panel suggests that tap water filtered at home is a safer bet than including bottled water, may even be the same or worse than water from municipal sources, according to an investigation conducted by the Environmental Working Group.
2. Choose the right herb.
Got a complaint? There is a tea for that just need to know what is best for what.
For a cough: Make it “tea thyme.” Thyme helps relax the bronchial spasms that cause you to cough. Use 2 teaspoons of dried thyme per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, and drink three times a day.
For glowing skin: Choose green or white. Both have double the antioxidants of black tea and contains EGCG, a type of antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage and pollutants.
For all-around health: Grab green. From fighting breast cancer to helping you lose weight, it’s all-powerful. For a tummy ache: It’s chamomile and peppermint all the way. Chamomile herbal tea contains oils that relax and smooth muscles in the stomach. Use 1 tablespoon of flowers per cup of boiling water, and drink three cups a day to ease indigestion, irritable bowel problems, and colitis.
For stress: Go black. A study from University College London showed that adults who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks had lower levels of cortisol after stressful situations than their non-tea-drinking peers.
3. Brew it yourself.
The tea is tea, right? To find out, Prevention iced tea samples sent to a laboratory: the things we had prepared in our own, and bottled teas in-store pickup. The results? Homemade tea has more antioxidants than bottled tea convenience.
4. Skip the milk.
Tea is full of antioxidants but a simple splash of milk may also deny benefits, studies find. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dietary proteins such as those found in milk, reduce the availability of the antioxidants in tea. A 2007 study in the European Heart Journal found that heart protective antioxidants in tea were completely inhibited by avoiding milk and milk to get the most out of your tea.
5. Add the unexpected.
A spoonful of sugar could be your first instinct, but the tide turns against the sweet stuff. It is the basis for the most addictive foods and can be detrimental to your health in all its many forms. The addition of spices, however, may as nice-no negative side effects. Stir with a cinnamon stick, which can help control blood sugar and reduce cholesterol. Or try twisting a vitamin C-laden lemon.