By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
The Health Benefits of Tea
Therapeutic Benefits of Antioxidant-Rich Tea Celebrated by People Worldwide
By: Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat
August 13, 2009 – My husband who is of Irish decent, and I just returned from a wonderful trip to the Emerald Isle! The Irish affection for tea is on par with Americans’ love of coffee. The Irish as a nation drink more tea per capita than anyone in Europe.
As I try to get my patients to avoid sodas because of the high sugar content and diet sodas because of the neurotoxins in the sweetener agents, I often recommend a hot or iced tea to ease the transition.
During Lent many people give up sugar in their tea and never go back to it as they lose the taste for it. This is fantastic as that teaspoon of sugar can really multiply if you’re having several cups a day like we currently are. Tea for breakfast, tea for mid-morning snack, tea for lunch, tea for afternoon snack, tea for supper, and tea while sitting around the fire at night. If you go to someone’s home for a visit, they immediately put the kettle on and offer you a cup of tea. It’s a great social beverage and much healthier than soda’s or alcohol.
Of course there’s more to choose from than just traditional Irish breakfast tea. We usually bring Barry’s Tea or Lyon’s Tea back with us and enjoy it in between our visits to Ireland. Green and white teas are now documented as having great health benefits. Full of antioxidants, tea helps keep us youthful while protecting our hearts. Furthermore, tea has been documented to offer an array of weight loss benefits in addition to being rich in antioxidants.
Green tea has gained worldwide popularity. Exceptionally rich in antioxidants, this tea is great for digestive health and detoxification.
Tea can be made from any leaf or blossom to extract the flavour and active components. Herbs like nettle, yarrow and dandelion are best consumed in tea form as a cleansing infusion. There are many flavours of teas to choose from that range from sleep formulas, energizers, to weight loss agents.
Colm and Mico from Kingfisher Teas, who import the most glorious selection of teas, can be found at many of the farmer’s markets in Dublin as well as on the internet. Two of my favourite blends are Rooibos Chai and Orange Eucalyptus Rooibos. I can’t wait to get home to see if my local health food stores carry these fabulous teas.
Try infusing your tea with sweet aromatic spices like cinnamon and cardamom for a perfect comforting drink, especially in the afternoons. Combine spices, such as fennel seeds, cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, fresh mint leaves in a tea pot. Bring combined milk and water to the boil and pour over spice mixture. Leave to stand for 10 minutes then strain.
It’s been such a therapeutic respite here in Ireland, that I thought I’d share a new idea for a healthy beverage with you.
Wellness & Anti-Aging Clinic
1116 W. 21’st Ave.
Covington, Louisiana 70433
Phone: (985) 892-3031
Fax: (985) 892-9504
Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator, and has completed a Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. She can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.
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