If you happened to have caught this Tuesday’s post, you know life has been a bit frantic for me recently. And when life tries to speed me up, I do my best to slow things down by taking a few mindful breaks in the day. Whether its savoring dinner with Roark, a calming walk to the mailbox, or doing a few yoga poses in my living room, I have found these little breaks tend to help me relax and refocus.
Another tried and true calming method for me is drinking tea. Silly as it may seem, sitting over a piping hot cup helps me to breathe and slow down. Roark, who is in tune to this fact, got me an amazing cast iron tea set for Christmas two years ago that I love. It has a pot for the tea to steep in and these little mugs that cup perfectly in your hands for sipping. I can’t be rushed when I drink tea this way. I can only slow down.
And it’s not just me, tea rituals all around the world are set up as a way to relax and transcend. Whether it’s burning incense and washing your hands in rosewater in Morocco before enjoying mint tea or participating in a tea ceremony in Japan, there seems to be a naturally understood facet of tea and respite all over the world.
The great thing about tea is that it offers so many health benefits. If the act of drinking it helps to calm you down like me, you are surely seeing a decrease in your Cortisol, or the stress hormone, which can wreak havoc on your body. But also tea is full of polyphenols, a potent type of antioxidant that can help protect against cancer, encourage weight loss and lower your cholesterol. We’re all familiar with the common praise of Green Tea for these benefits, but I wanted to share some of my other favorite tea varieties, all caffeine-free, that you might be interested in trying. There are so many varieties out there that work in different ways with the body, both herbal and true teas, which can be incorporated for a healthier and more relaxed life.
In times of stress, I turn to Tulsi. Known as Holy Basil in its native India, Tulsi is a powerful adaptogen. If you’re not familiar with the term, adaptogens decreases cellular sensitivity to stress and helps to balance out your body’s functions. Adaptogens support adrenal function, working against the adverse effects of stress. They do this by helping your cells access more energy, remove toxins, and consume oxygen more efficiently. Tulsi also fights inflammation in the body, as well as boosts your immune system.
I have tasted plenty of Tulsi Teas in my day, but Pukka Tea’s Three Tulsi is hands down the best. They use a blend of three different Holy Basil plants- Green Tulsi, Purple Tulsi, and Lemon Tulsi. The flavor is fresh, yet sweet. Tulsi steeps longer than traditional teas, around 8 minutes, and I like to add a bit of honey into mine.
White Tea is not as well known as its counterpart, Green Tea, but it has just as much to offer. The only true tea on this list, it’s made from the plant called Camellia sinensis, which also produces Green, Oolong and Black teas. It’s made from the tea buds and youngest tea leaves of the plant. White Tea, which is grown in China, is the least processed of all the different teas since the leaves are just steamed, then dried.
White Tea has been shown to slow viruses and bacterial growth, reducing instances of staph and strep. It also helps skin cells to boost immune systems when exposed to harmful UV radiation. Plus, it an anti-inflammatory and can reduce the risk of developing arthritis, some cancers, and heart disease.
My favorite White Tea is made by Teavana. Their Silver Yin Zhen Pearls White Tea is hand rolled into pearl shaped spheres that unfold as they’re steeping. While it’s a bit expensive, you can steep it at least 3 times and it has a balanced flavor that I like to add to herbal teas for all the health benefits it offers. You steep White Tea for 5 minutes.
If you follow all the buzz worthy foods out there, I’m sure you’ve heard of Turmeric. Besides Kale, it’s one of the most talked about. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, shown to have the same effect as hydrocortisone or even Motrin; yet, without the potential side effects such as ulcer formation and intestinal bleeding. Studies have also shown that Turmeric can lower rates of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer, preventing it from forming or even spreading once cancer is present.
While I like to add the spice to dishes in my cooking (it goes well in anything you might add mustard to), I also like Alvita Turmeric Root Herbal Supplement tea. It has that wonderful, rich saffron color that I love and tastes almost like a warmed broth, perfect for when you need something savory. Besides drinking it alone after steeping it for 10 minutes, I’ve taken to tossing a bag into my pot of rice or quinoa while it’s cooking to add flavor and nutrients.
I hope you found this post informative and try stepping out of your routine to try something different. I know your taste buds and body will be glad you did. And to help, Pukka Tea has kindly offered to provide some tea to a lucky reader. Get your kettle going and enter below!
“I’m putting my kettle on and entering the @healthyhelping @Pukkaherbs #Tea #Giveaway! http://bit.ly/18ok81s”
Feel free to copy and paste. Since you’re tagging me in the post, I will see it as your entry over Twitter!
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
Follow The Healthy Helping on Instagram. Leave a comment below saying you did so for one additional entry. If you already follow The Healthy Helping, let me know in a comment too!
Contest will start September 6th and will end October 3rd at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn at random and contacted via email. Winner will have 3 days to respond before another winner is chosen at random. Winner needs to reside in the continental US and must be 18 years old.
Finally, I want to announce the winner of the Golden Blossom Honey Giveaway! Meredith, I’m so excited to share this spectacular honey with you! Your honey bear is on its way.
*I was sent both the Pukka and Alvita teas to complementary sample. My review reflects my true option on the products as I only share items that I truly love myself.