Drinking tea and how it can affect pregnancy is a subject that has recently become very near and dear to our hearts, given that my wife and I are expecting in the next few months. Naturally, as a regular loose tea drinker, my wife is wondering if a cup of tea a day is considered safe to drink without adding significant risk to the pregnancy. Most doctors will tell you, including ours, that everything in moderation is basically safe. While there have been studies that show large amounts of caffeine can have adverse effects on the fetus, there are no conclusive studies that rule out caffeine completely. If you are pregnant, the bottom line is listen to your doctor and also to your body. The following is a well written article on what is considered safe in terms of caffeine intake during pregnancy…read more.
Just when you think you’ve seen every benefit to drinking green tea, another one comes along. In one particular study, Japanese researchers discovered that men and women aged 70 and older who drank more than four cups of green tea a day were 44 percent less likely to exhibit symptoms of depression. Read more…
Did you know that loose tea typically contains more antioxidants than your average tea bag? The reason for this is that loose tea is less processed than the dust and lower quality tea often used in tea bags.
Most of us are familiar with the typical benefits offered by consuming loose tea, such as reducing risk to heart disease, aiding in the lowering of cholesterol, etc.. Recently, a research study discovered that those who drank 2 cups of green tea per day were practically 50% less likely to develop impairment issues with cognitive abilities than those who drank less than 3 cups of tea per week. There is still much research to be done with tea, but everyday, we learn something new about the benefits of drinking tea.
Bottled iced tea consumption may be on the rise, but what many consumers don’t know is that the bottled iced tea isn’t as healthy as it is often portrayed. In addition, many of them contain lots of added sugar, and many of the bottled products are not even made from brewing loose tea leaves but from tea extract.
For these reasons, bottled tea, also known as ready-to-drink tea (RTD), can contain much lower levels of flavonoids than freshly brewed loose tea. Flavonoids, as you know, are the primary form of antioxidants found in black, green and white tea. Of course, one of the primary reasons consumers opt for the bottled tea as opposed to loose tea is out of convenience.
With all the inexpensive gadgets available in the market, loose tea is so easy to brew and takes no more time than a tea bag. In fact, even iced tea is easy to make with many of the tea makers available today. So why cheat yourself out of better flavor and more antioxidants just for the sake of convenience?
Whether you drink plain green tea, black tea or flavored teas, there is no question that many studies have shown a link between drinking tea on a daily basis and reduced risk for some cancers. Researchers are claiming that green tea may actually help slow the advance of prostate cancer. Click here to read more…
Is it safe to drink rooibos during pregnancy? The short answer is yes. First, as we have stated in previous posts, rooibos is technically not a tea, and not derived from the tea plant, camellia sinensis. Rooibos is in fact a legume from the aspalathus family. Thus, rooibos is naturally caffeine free and very low in tannins, delivering many health related benefits to those who consume it.
The naturally sweet and aromatic flavor makes rooibos a natural substitute for coffee or tea especially in the time of pregnancy when caffeine intake should be limited or avoided completely. The tannins present in large amounts in teas can cause a lower iron absorption in the blood stream. As anemia is quite frequent in pregnancy or breastfeeding, the low tannins in rooibos can be quite beneficial in this case. Some studies have shown that adding vitamin C to Rooibos can greatly increase the body’s capacity to absorb iron and antioxidants.
Rooibos has been known to ease many symptoms that come with pregnancy. Rooibos can be beneficial in states of constipation, nausea or stomach cramps. Further, it can improve liver function and help in states of anxiety and depression.
As long as you are drinking plain rooibos or flavored rooibos without the addition of other types of herbs, you should not be concerned about your pregnancy. While rooibos itself is fine, just keep in mind that there are certain herbs which have been known to cause early uterine contractions, so always consult your doctor first.
There has been so much media hype surrounding green tea that black tea has been left in the dust. Black tea has just as many health benefits as green tea. The following article does a great job of explaining some of the benefits of black tea: http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa021103a.htm.
It is very important to understand the difference between a naturally caffeine-free beverage vs. a decaffeinated beverage.
When it comes to tea, there is no such thing as being naturally caffeine-free. The only way to produce a caffeine free tea is to remove it using common decaffeination processes such as the Direct method or Carbon Dioxide method, both described in the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decaffeination. The carbon dioxide method is basically chemical free, while the Direct method uses a synthetic version of methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine.
The concept of naturally caffeine-free only applies to plants not related to the tea plant (camilla sinensis). Examples of naturally caffeine-free plants are Rooibos, Hibiscus or Chamomile, which are used to create tea-like beverages, also known as herbal infusions.
Keep all this in mind next time you think about purchasing or drinking a “decaf” tea. Generally speaking, you really don’t know which method a manufacturer uses to remove the caffeine. If caffeine-free is important to you, and you are really into all natural products, your best bet is to avoid decaffeinated tea and stick with naturally caffeine-free herbals, such as Rooibos.
There is a tremendous amount of buzz on the web and in the media in general these days about the benefits of drinking tea, more specifically, if drinking tea significantly aids in weight loss. While there are no conclusive studies that show a direct correlation between drinking tea and losing weight, it is important to understand why tea can be an important part of a weight loss program and a healthy lifestyle.
All teas contain polyphenols, which attack triglycerides, the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and in the body. Triglycerides are most commonly found in vegetable oils and animal fats. Green tea contains catechins, a type of polyphenol, which can trigger weight loss by basically increasing the body’s metabolism, which of course helps to burn fat and calories. Research has also indicated that catechins can lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one).
If you are drinking tea on a regular basis, then you are probably not drinking as much of sugary juices or soft drinks, and thus taking in less sugar and calories. Remember that tea has virtually no calories. While tea itself may not cause immediate weight loss, there is no question that it can help burn fat and calories in addition to being part of your overall healthy lifestyle.