March 20, 2013

Health Kick 02: Teas and Thank You

In conjunction with trying to get in better shape, I'm being more conscious of the things I'm putting in my body. I used to be a big pop drinker until I found out all the crazy bad stuff that's in it. The most easy change for me has been to keep a solid supply of tea around + a little sugar here and there. Honestly, you can find some pretty delish little teas out there. My favorites are peppermint, lemon, and chamomile. 
They not only have a ton of health benefits, but they're also pretty affordable. I think of it as a smarter way to spend my money because as compared to getting ZERO benefits from pop and sugary drinks, tea is on your side + helps you out.
Just to prove my point...
Here's what WebMD had to say about the potential health benefits of tea:
  • Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
  • White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
  • Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
  • Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

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