What is Rooibos?
Rooibos tea, also known as Aspalathus linearis, is a common drink in South Africa and has been consumed there for years. It’s a unique type of tea, and isn’t quite as common just yet in the Western world. It is a mild flavored, fruity type of tea and is already growing in popularity with the rest of the world due not only to its delectable flavor but to its many health benefits. It is grown in the mountains of the Western Cape Province of South Africa and is sometimes called the African rooibos tea. It can be brewed and consumed hot, or made into a delicious iced tea. It has numerous health benefits and can truly add to a healthy lifestyle.
What does Rooibos Mean?
Rooibos means, “red bush.” It is an African word for the flowering shrub that grows in the Western Cape, north of Capetown, in the mountain region. It grows to five feet or so in height, with a red brown stem and needle like, vibrant green leaves. It is a legume shrub which has roots that are able to withstand the poor soils of the mountain region. Its roots can tolerate the acidic soils due to the abundance they have in nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Antioxidants and Nutrients
The tea that is produced from this plant is delicious and it also has been recently discovered to have high antioxidant contents, like many other teas. Its vitamins and nutrients have led to its increase in popularity in the Western world. It has many health benefits, as do other teas, and is deliciously fruity flavored. It is sometimes blended in with herbal teas that are available today.
The Health Benefits
This tea is sweet on its own. It doesn’t have all the artifice and preservatives and additives of other teas, which makes it a much healthier choice. This tea is incredibly healthy with many benefits.
Research shows that rooibos tea can help with health problems such as headaches and that it may help to lower blood pressure as well. It can even help to prevent anxiety attacks, and helps to alleviate insomnia, and irritability. The tea has already been being used in South Africa to treat asthma, eczema, and hay fever. It is, like most teas, almost like a magical panacea in some ways. It has many other benefits as well. Rooibos can also help maintain healthy teeth, act as an anti-inflammatory, and help to fight off viruses. It has been shown to help with alleviating abdominal pains as well. And it contains elements which are beneficial to healthy skin. This type of tea also contains properties which help maintain healthy circulation of the blood and also helps to fight aging. It of course helps the body’s immunes system as well, like other teas, with all of its antioxidants. Here’s another benefit: Rooibos is free of caffeine! In this way, it is effective at helping alleviate stress, insomnia, and tension and can help relax a person.
It’s fruity and delicious, and healthy too!
Tea is delicious and healthful, but there are so many different kinds it can be difficult to navigate through them to choose the right tea for you. Teas have thousands of different varieties and flavors, and the health benefits vary also among the types of teas.
Most teas today are blends, because pure tea is rarely ever the same. Oolong tea, for example, will vary from being very close to a black tea, to being very similar to green tea, depending on how long the leaves are left to oxidize. Teas will also vary depending on the weather, climate, where they were grown, altitudes, and so on. There are many factors that can change the flavor of a tea.
Most teas that are widely available in grocery stores and online stores today are tea blends. A common reason to blend tea is to blend higher with lower quality to price the tea at the higher quality level. But the other main reason to blend teas is to create a new, consistent flavor.
Where Tea Comes From
All teas come from the Camellia sinesis plant, which may be surprising considering that there are thousands of varieties of teas. But depending on where the plant is growing, the altitude, weather, climate, and so on, the plant is affected differently. The processing of the tea leaves also affects the variety and flavor of the tea. The tea plants today are grown to about three feet and then harvested; though in the distant past tea plants would grow to be much, much taller. After the tea leaves are processed they are kept protected from air and sunlight so that they maintain their flavor and aroma.
Tea is produced by over twenty-five different countries in the world today, which of course include the main producers: India, China, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Nepal. There are four main types, or varieties, of tea, and they are: white, black, green, and oolong. But among these there are thousands of varieties. These teas all come from the same plant, surprisingly enough, but they vary based on the different climates and altitudes of where they were grown.
The Different Types
But among the four main types the differences depend also on the processing. Black tea is oxidized more than the other types and has a much higher level of caffeine. White tea is the least fermented of all the types. Green tea is sweet with an almost plant-like taste. Oolong varies between being more like black tea or more like green tea, depending on the process.
Green tea has many health benefits. It’s almost like magic. It helps with reducing inflammation, even with keeping teeth healthy. It can improve heart health and has been shown to help lower cholesterol. It can even help prevent or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It can help fight off diseases and help prevent cancer, and it can also help boost your energy and metabolism. Teas are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s delicious and healthy. Drink up!
As you probably know, tea has numerous health benefits. Green tea especially is loaded with a plethora of health benefits. It’s a powerhouse for your body and your immune system. And one doesn’t have to drink hot tea. You can have it iced, and it’s just as delicious, with many health benefits. Nothing is more satisfying on a hot summer day than a delicious, tall glass of iced tea. And iced tea is still one of the healthiest drinks you can enjoy. It’s healthier by far than sugary, processed soda pop or fruit drinks, and it’s quite tasty.
Adds To a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to maintain a strong immune system, a healthy weight, and to help boost your metabolism as well. Exercising regularly and eating healthy are all a part of it. But tea can add to a healthy lifestyle. Adding some brewed tea, hot or iced, to your daily experience is a very easy way to add a glass of health to your life. It can have a huge impact on improving your health in many ways, as tea is packed with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s a delicious drink that’s just loaded with health benefits such as boosting your immune system, giving you energy, and helping to fight off illnesses and even cancer.
Buy and brew some loose leaf tea. Loose leaf is by far superior to flavorless tea bags. Loose leaf tea has been maintained in its natural state, and in the brewing the water is able to circulate around the leaves. This brings out the flavor of the tea. Loose leaf tea has also been processed naturally most of the time, which means that it has retained the naturally occurring antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s healthier by far as it is still packed with nutrients. There’s really no competition between loose leaf and tea bags. Loose leaf is the way to go.
Have Iced Tea All Week
There are also many flavor pairings that can enhance the natural flavor of the tea as well. After brewing some tea leaves, wait for the tea to cool off and you can even refrigerate it for days and have delicious iced tea all week long. Just add some ice and drink up. Iced tea is delicious and is a far better choice than soft drinks or concentrate juice. It’s absolutely delectable, and yet also has nutritional value and health benefits.
Certain types of tea, such as green tea, have a myriad of health benefits. It can help fight off cancer, improve your memory, help with those trying to lose weight, and can even help to prevent cavities. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and increase the “good” cholesterol, which improves heart health. And tea helps fight off infections and illnesses. It reduces inflammation and also gives you energy and boosts your metabolism. Avoid using sugar in your tea. There are alternatives such as stevia or xylitol which are much healthier to add to iced tea.
Is there even an argument of loose leaf over using tea bags? Loose leaf tea has been left in its natural state and the brewing of it brings out the flavor of the tea. It’s not really a contest over flavorless tea bags.
And green tea is delicious; it has a sweet, natural flavor. It can be paired with certain fruits or sometimes spices or nuts to complement its flavor. Beyond being completely delicious, green tea is a healthy choice.
Green tea has just enough caffeine to give you energy, but doesn’t lead to the crash effect that coffee or espresso can give. The way caffeine is released from tea is in such a way that regulates how the caffeine is released, due to a compound that exists in the tea itself.
Green tea also reduces stress. There are compounds that occur naturally in tea leaves that have a calming effect, which decreases the stress response in your body. Try brewing some green tea when you’re worried or stressed.
Research has also shown that tea may help speed up the metabolism. This would help people who are trying to lose weight. Newer studies have found catechins in tea which help reduce fat in the abdomen. Catechins are found in weight loss supplements, but why take those when you can drink brewed, naturally occurring tea leaves?
This tea has also been proven to fight off cavities. It reduces gingivitis and it reduces the bacteria in the mouth. The tea leaf has fluoride which occurs naturally, and is a substance that helps build up strength and health in teeth. Green tea also destroys the bacterium that causes strep throat.
Green tea helps ward off many viruses and sicknesses. It has the most antioxidants among the four types of teas, and also has naturally occurring polyphenols, catechins, and many other naturally occurring compounds which increase immunity in the body.
It also helps reduce inflammation. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which are natural. It’s a better choice than taking even over the counter chemical compounds.
Another benefit of green tea is that it can reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that consuming green tea regularly can reduce levels of the “bad cholesterol” while increasing “good” cholesterol.
Helps Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
And green tea also helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia. Research shows that green tea can help improve memory related learning and have also been shown to help reverse mental deterioration.
Green tea may also protect against cancer, and it possibly kills off existing cancer as well. Research has shown that drinking between four and eight cups of green tea every day can really help when fighting off these diseases.
Beyond all this, remember that green tea is also delicious. The most benefit of course comes from high quality loose leaf tea. These have less caffeine and more antioxidants. It doesn’t even seem like that difficult of a choice. The loose leaves can be brewed again to make three to six cups of tea. It’s affordable, delicious, and helps with everything from maintaining healthy weight and teeth to fighting off infections, preventing cancer, and even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea truly seems like a magical elixir.
The choices of flavors of teas can be overwhelming. There are literally thousands of different types and flavor pairings of teas. There are more types of teas in existence than a person could ever possibly try even in an entire lifetime. So, there are some things you should take into consideration when choosing a tea to taste.
There are four main types of tea: black, oolong, white, and green. Among these there are many varied flavors, but most teas fall under one of these varieties. Another thing to consider is the quality of the tea. Tea that has been processed by hand has the best flavor, much better flavor than teas that have been processed by other means. The quality of the flavor is another thing to take into consideration. Natural flavorings are always the best choice.
Among the different types of teas, it’s important to know the main differences to begin trying out which ones you might like. Black tea is the most consumed worldwide but it has a strong flavor and the highest level of caffeine. It can handle strong flavors such as chocolate and strong fruits.
Green tea tastes sweet but has a very natural almost plant-like flavor. Most fruit flavors work well with green tea, as do herbs and spices. There are some flavors that could overpower the tea, however.
White tea has a sweet flavor and aroma but its flavor can be overpowered by others very easily. Certain flower or fruit flavors do enhance the tea quite well. Melon and jasmine are examples which enhance the white tea flavor. Peaches, pears, and roses are also excellent to be paired with this type of tea.
Oolong tea has complex flavors, and it varies in flavor depending on how it is processed. It can range from being very similar to a black tea, to being very close to green tea. Peaches, apples, or oranges can be paired with this type of tea to enhance its flavor, but almonds or other types of nuts make good parings as well. Some spices and flowers can be paired with oolong tea as well.
The Health Benefits
There are many flavors of tea, but the health benefits of certain types of tea may alter your decision as well. Green tea and white tea have the most natural antioxidants of the other types of teas. When pairing these teas with healthy fruits full of antioxidants, you’ve brewed a drink exploding with health benefits. There are many fruits, spices, and nuts which have health benefits of their own that can be deliciously paired with white or green teas.
So How to Choose?
Learn what flavor teas you enjoy the most. Take some daring risks and try some flavor pairings you might not think would go well together. There are many different combinations of flavors of tea. Try out some different flavors and see which types of tea and which pairings you like the best. And by all means have some tea adventures and risk trying some bold new flavor pairings.