If you are like me and most of my readers, you enjoy iced tea throughout the spring and summer. It’s refreshing and open to many variations, so we seldom get bored. Best of all, it can be good for us. Most teas contain antioxidants, those wonderful substances that protect your cells from damage, helping to prevent cancer, improve heart health, and fight the effects of aging. Find more information here.
Black, green, white and oolong teas all come from the camellia senesis plant and contain varying amounts of antioxidants. Some have caffeine while some do not, so check labels to determine which is best for you. Herbal teas, on the other hand, do not typically contain caffeine and are not technically teas, as they come from an array of flowers, leaves and spices. They are also known to contain antioxidants, and often help with anxiety, insomnia, and upset stomach. They have been associated with improved immunity, memory, and arthritis pain but research is limited. Enjoy these teas for their flavors and just be sure to check the safety of each if you have allergies or are pregnant.
Iced tea can be very hydrating, always an important consideration as the outside temperature climbs. If you are accustomed to caffeine intake, the tea will not dehydrate you. If you typically do not take in caffeine, stick to herbal and decaffeinated teas. My favorites are cinnamon tea and mint tea; I brew a cup at night then refrigerate to enjoy the next day over ice.
When is tea not so healthful? When it has added sugar and other sweeteners. Some bottled and restaurant teas have as much sugar as soda! Try brewing your own then mixing in a small amount of sugar or honey to lightly sweeten, or drink it unsweetened. I like my tea unsweetened so I can enjoy the full natural flavor.
Just One Thing to do: Enjoy iced tea unsweetened or with a small amount of sugar or honey.