Is detox tea for real?
It’s easy to understand why people believe that tea might detox your body or be a cure for all ailments. More and more tea companies call their teas “detox” teas and make health claims that it’ll melt fat or reduce cancer risk.
And there are herbs and spices used in Ayurvedic traditions they say are traditionally used to soothe certain ailments.
That’s all well and good.
But as a person who’s gone through breast cancer treatment and was attracted to tea for its health benefits (and as a lawyer) I take pause when I hear the words “detox” and “tea” together.
Although tea has been sipped for 4000 years, researchers have only been studying the health benefits of tea for about 30 years. The FDA hasn’t evaluated the few studies that have made health claims.
There are so many potential risk factors for cancer and other ailments (such as diet, lifestyle, heredity, age, gender and environment), so researchers have difficulty isolating tea as the factor reducing their risk.
The good news is, there are ways to increase the benefits you’re getting from tea.
Tea may not be a panacea, but it can add antioxidants to your system and help you lose weight if you factor in these few tips. Here are
7 Ways to Make Your Tea Healthier.
1. Replace an unhealthy beverage or dessert with tea.
Tea hydrates you and doesn’t have calories. You can’t say that about all sodas, and you definitely can’t say that about gooey chocolate chip cookies (my personal favorite treat).
2. Don’t add milk to your tea.
The English will not be happy with me here. Creams and milks add calories (and fat) that you can easily avoid by eliminating them from your diet. It may seem like a small amount, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you must look at all the areas in your diet where you may be adding unneeded discretionary calories.
There’s also a study out there that says that the protein in milk — whether it’s cream, soy or almond milk — bond with some of the antioxidants in tea. That means that the antioxidants will pass through your body rather than be absorbed by it. This isn’t conclusive, but it’s something that may be studied more in the future.
Also, creams and milks have calories (and fat) that you can avoid by eliminating them from your tea.
Overall, ditch the cream.
3. Don’t drink tea dust.
Ever look into a tea bag and see little granules? That’s tea dust.
Tea dust, also known as fannings, contain fewer healthy oils (antioxidants) than whole or partial leaf teas.
Whole and partial leaves have more of the antioxidants you likely want to get from tea as part of a healthier diet. They also contain more of the complex flavors and aromas that you want anyway.
Who wants bland or bitter tea?
If you’re drinking tea for the health benefits, drink tea with whole leaves.
Find your favorite tea by exploring what’s out there. Click here to grab your quickie guide to discover the 6 teas.
4. Create a tea ritual.
Studies show that one factor that increases a person’s health is meditation. Use your tea ritual to create a mindfulness habit akin to mindfulness meditation to get a health boost.
You don’t need to relax/meditate a ton of time to see an improvement though.
A Harvard University (yes, that Harvard) study found that meditation rebuilds grey matter (that’s the stuff your brain is made out of) with just 8 weeks of meditation. This is important because the area with increased grey matter was the area that affects learning and memory.
The Harvard study participants went through 30 minutes of meditations a day, but regular practitioners will tell you that they feel a difference in much less than that.
You don’t have to sit perfectly still, but there are some tips to get the most from your tea ritual/meditation.
- make your tea
- find a quiet place
- sit tall
- hold your tea to your nose and breath in
- note to yourself the aromas
- take a sip
- observe what you’re tasting. You don’t have to have the “right” words.
- set your tea down and breath.
- breath in and out deeply and slowly
- you’ll have thoughts come and go in your brain (to do lists, your grocery list, etc). That’s okay. Return your attention to your thoughts over and over again.
- Sip, breath, repeat.
Ta dah! You’ve just incorporated meditation into your tea ritual.
5. Add lemon.
When you add lemon, the catechins (another type of antioxidant) in tea are more easily absorbed into your body.
Additionally, lemons are alkaline (yeah, it seems like they’d be acidic to our bodies, but they’re not). Most of us eat foods that tend to make our bodies more acidic. Lemon will help bring your body into balance.
Lemons also contain lots of vitamins and flavonoids that are good for you. Yum!
6. Don’t add sugar.
Sugar counteracts all the good you’re doing by replacing an unhealthy treat with tea. There are natural ways to sweeten your tea. Consider adding agave syrup or licorice root.
If you’re doing a detox, you don’t necessarily want this stuff in your body anyway.
Licorice root doesn’t taste like licorice root like you may think by it’s name. In fact, the naturally sweetened blends in Sicilian Tea Co’s Signature Tea Blends use licorice root to add a touch of sweetness. You can check them out here.
Note: if you crave sugar no matter what I’m saying, add cinnamon to your concoction. Cinnamon counteracts the effects of sugar in our bodies.
7. Avoid teas with artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners.
You may not know that some tea brands add artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners to their teas. If you want a healthy tea, look for all natural ingredients in the ingredient list.
Tea supports your healthy lifestyle when you drink it right.
Pounds won’t melt away without doing more, and tea doesn’t cure cancer, but sipping tea with these 7 tips in mind gives you added health benefits.
Want to learn more about the 6 kinds of teas? Detox or not, you can enjoy the health benefits that they do offer. Click below to grab your quickie guide free.
Sending you lots of love,
Founder & Tea Lover
Sicilian Tea Company