Java junkies, this blog’s for you: As a coffee lover myself, I would never suggest giving it up entirely, but it’s worth considering trading a cup or two a day for a different brew—tea. As with coffee, the caffeine in some teas is linked with reducing your risk for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and more, and tea contains antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds. But research now suggests that certain teas boast special perks, which means you can select the specific leaves that can help you reach your personal health goals! Customize your cup today with one of these good-for-you sips.
Black Could Be Slimming
And not only in your wardrobe. Black tea may prevent your body from absorbing fat from food, an animal study in the journal Nutrition reports. But skip the cream—and not just because of the calories: Milk may inhibit the fat-fighting effect.
Chamomile Calms Allergies
Think seasonal allergies are an issue only in the spring? Sadly, they don’t take time off in the fall. The biggest offender this time of year is ragweed, and mold and dust mites can get you sniffling and sneezing, too. To the rescue: chamomile. Flavonoids in this popular tea act like antihistamines, an animal study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology notes. You’ll need to down it daily to breathe easier.
Green is Liquid Sunscreen
Studies show time and again that green tea is brimming with health benefits: It’s been linked with reduced risk for heart attack, breast cancer, gum disease and more. And now it can add defending against skin cancer to its list of powers, an animal study in The Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics suggests. The tea’s antioxidant flavonols and polyphenols help protect against damaging free radicals. But it can’t replace sunscreen, so pair your mug with daily sun protection to keep your skin well guarded.
Hibiscus May Lower Blood Pressure
People who drank three 8-ounce cups of the crimson tea per day saw their systolic blood pressure drop by 7.2 points, a study in The Journal of Nutrition shows.
Peppermint Tea Pumps Up Your Workout
Headed to the gym? Sniffing mint helped athletes run faster and perform more push-ups, research from Wheeling Jesuit University reveals. Consider sprinkling fresh mint leaves into your brewed cup for a more potent scent.
Pu-erh Helps Your Heart
Pronounced “poo-air,” Pu-erh tea lowers cholesterol. Its fermentation produces bile salt micelles, molecules that absorb excess LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, Nutrition & Metabolism reports. Rich and pleasantly bitter and earthy, the traditional Chinese tea is readily available in the United States. (The Republic of Tea sells it, for instance.)
Want more beneficial beverages? Check out the winners of SELF’s annual Healthy Food Awards and sip your way healthy this month!
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