Lose weight. Work out smarter. Cut back on the booze. Drink more water. Whatever your health-minded resolution is for 2019, sipping tea may be the secret weapon to sticking to it (especially if you’re trying to cut back after eating your way through the holidays).
While the Kardashians (and other reality stars you might have to Google) have been known to peddle detox teas like Fit Tea that claim to help you lose weight just by drinking the stuff, they’re not exactly substantiated by, you know, science. But various studies have shown that properties in teas (especially green and black) do possess a myriad of health benefits and when swapped out for your nightly glass of wine or your morning Frappuccino, won’t add up in the total calories column on your MyFitnessPal app as quickly. Here, just in time for National Tea Month (because what better ritual to adopt in the middle of winter than curling up with a cup of steaming goodness at some point in the day) some new ways you may not have considered to enjoy the ancient brew.
What It Does: Available in office kitchens everywhere and packing a milder caffeine punch than your afternoon triple espresso, black tea was recently found to help promote weight loss according to a study from UCLA. The study, conducted on mice, found that the polyphenols in black tea may stimulate the formation of short-chain fatty acids and the growth of gut bacterium, both of which may change the way energy is metabolised. Researchers postulated that the same effect would hold true for humans and, similar to green tea, may promote weight loss.
Try: Ajiri Kenyan Black Tea with Lemon. Scoring first place at the the North American Tea Championships, this simple black tea and lemon combination won’t have you jonesing for milk or cream.
Rishi Tea Simple Brew Loose Leaf Teapot, $20.62 on Amazon
For all your tea making needs.
What It Does: In addition to promoting weight loss and speeding up your metabolism, green tea breaks up potentially dangerous protein plaques found in blood vessels, helping to prevent heart attacks, according to new research by the British Heart Foundation. This is in addition to previously proven benefits of green tea, including potentially reducing the risk of lung cancers.
Try: MeiMei Fine Tea Chinese Loose Leaf Tea. This loose leaf tea won second place at the 2018 Global Tea Championship and was a tribute tea during the Qing dynasty. Brewing straight from the leaves brings out the grassy flavor of the brew but know that you’ll need a loose leaf tea pot like this one.
What It Does: Don’t let the “latte” in the name fool you. Known as “haldi doodh” in Southeast Asia, this blend of turmeric, non-dairy milk (almond milk or coconut milk), and sometimes a blend of green tea as well, depending on the recipe, is an indulgent morning sipper you can feel good about. “Even one dose of turmeric can boost your attention and retention levels,” says Kelly Brogan, M.D., author of “A Mind of Your Own” and a holistic psychiatrist in Manhattan.
Try: This winter, Peet’s Coffee is hopping on the turmeric trend for the second year in a row, offering three turmeric lattes. For those who want to sip the brew at home, it’s easy to find recipes based on your personal taste for turmeric, or you can jumpstart the process with a turmeric latte mix.
What It Does: This caffeinated tea from the southwestern region of China is fermented, then stored. Fermented tea may make you think of kombucha, but this tea is usually served hot. While the taste is a bit…well, musty, the pros, which include potential cholesterol reduction and increased mental alertness, may make learning to appreciate its quirky flavor worth it.
Try: Organic Pu erh Tea is a brewed tea option that can be served iced or hot, and can be a good intro to this super tea. Taste not your cup of, um, tea? A butter pecan version—complete with butter pecan pieces in the brew—adds some sweetness and might help you with leftover sugar cravings from December.
What It Does: In Japanese, wakoucha is translated to “red tea.” However, this caffeinated type of tea is actually a type of black tea, with similar benefits. If you’ve always been tepid on traditional black tea, you may appreciate the depth of flavor of wakoucha, which has quite a different taste than black teas from China or Japan. The flavor may have notes of chocolate and cinnamon, and the color has red overtones.
Try: Nippon Cha Satsuma Koucha. A loose leaf tea manufactured in Japan for the past 400 years, this certified organic blend has notes of peach, pear, chocolate, and cinnamon.
Related Video: Find Serenity in the Oldest Japanese Tea Garden in America
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