Student Health: Tea Time

March 2, 2009  

By Marissa Adamany
madamany@smu.edu

Get your crumpets and mini cucumber sandwiches ready, because it’s time for some tea! Black, green, white, rioobos–which one should you choose? All have great health benefits and will get you in the right state of mind for Spring Break.

  • Green tea- Studies all over the world show that green tea has the highest amount of polyphenols, which fight off free radicals and help to prevent cancer. This tea also aids in weight loss, as it speeds up the bodies metabolism for lasting calorie burn. Also, this super tea is used to help stop Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce the risk of heart attacks, reduce cholesterol, help prevent tooth decay and improves immune function. Lastly, when this tea is ingested, it acts as a natural sunscreen for your body!
  • Black tea- Black tea is very high in tannins, supporting the digestive tract. This tea helps lower cholesterol levels, improves circulation, sharpens focus and concentration and promotes blood flow to the heart. But don’t drink too much of this tea before bed, as it has one of the highest caffeine contents of any other tea.
  • White tea- White tea has 10 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E. It can also help fight the signs of aging, as well as lower cholesterol, inhibit growth of cancer cells, help increase bone density, aid the immune system and lower blood pressure.
  • Rooibos tea- Rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans. It helps to relieve stomach ulcers, nausea, and heartburn. Also, this tea has been noted as the “bedtime tea,” for its ability to help those with insomnia, disturbed sleeping patterns and headaches. Have a cup of this tea before hopping into bed, since it contains no caffeine and has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. Additionally, rooibos increases iron absorption in the body and contains potassium and copper that is necessary for metabolic functions.
  • So where can you get these fabulous drinks? Many stores now carry a variety of teas you can make at home such as Whole Foods, Central Market and Tom Thumb.

    Too lazy to make it yourself? All the teas mentioned are sold at Starbucks and Teavana.

    For an added bonus, take the green or rooibos tea bags and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. Once they are chilled, put them on tired or red eyes to soothe and relax, just in time for Spring Break.

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