Day 20: Tea #GIG2017

Never did I think I’d be making this post. But here I am, eating (or sipping) my words.

Tea is like many other things that I have come across and for one reason or another immediately discounted and wrote off as something I flat-out didn’t like and would never like. Until I try it at some later point and realize that perhaps I do enjoy it. Bear in mind I’m overly critical and opinionated.

But since over the past few weeks and especially during Thanksgiving break, I had really come to enjoy a mug of tea every evening. It’s a new part of my nightly routine to look forward to, just as I’ve made coffee a guarantee (and a necessity) each morning.

Obviously if I’m drinking tea at night, I’m into the decaffeinated and herbal varieties. I have yet to try the traditional English Breakfast and Earl Grey, and I still don’t know how I feel about those. Green tea is supposed to be very good for your health, but again, have yet to jump aboard that train or start making matcha lattes, or whatever the hip kids are doing these days.

However, I have another tradition when I’m at home as well involving tea, but the fermented variety: kombucha, or affectionately, booch. Especially since prioritizing my digestive health to make IBS symptoms at least somewhat manageable, I have gotten into kombucha as a great way to get in probiotics in tasty and vegan way. Seriously, GT’s should sponsor me for as often as I drink and buy their products.

Now let’s dive into all the health benefits and awesome reasons why to be grateful for tea beyond the flavor and toasty feeling of wrapping your hands around a mug on a chilly evening. But before that, let’s make sure to discredit a certain variety of tea that has become popular thanks to social media: detox teas. The one’s designed to “remove toxins” from your body and help you lose weight. Simply put, they’re diuretics that will indeed flush out water weight and get rid of anything in your body, good or bad, but once you start eating and drinking again, it’s like you did nothing to begin with. Please research more into these trendy products before purchasing because although they market themselves as healthy, they most certainly aren’t and don’t deserve your support.

Back to the good stuff. There’s much more research backing up black and green teas rather than herbal teas, but that just means we have much more to learn and discover. When consumed on a daily basis, herbal teas are known to help you achieve a more calm, relaxed state of mind, support heart health, aid with stomach and digestive problems, provide cleansing properties for the body, and promote energy and wellness.

Different types of herbs are known to contain different properties. Chamomile is known for its calming attributes and helps promote restful sleep. The botanical is also used as a natural aid to reduce inflammation and is purported to help ward off a variety of other maladies. Ginger is a centuries old herbal remedy used to treat a wide range of health concerns from nausea and colds to indigestion and migraine headaches. Raspberry Leaf helps with colds, sore throats, canker sores and diarrhea along with keeping nails, bones, teeth and skin healthy. The list goes on.

Now what’s up with kombucha? Known as the “immortal health elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the region around two millennia ago, kombucha is fermented with black tea and sugar. Once fermented, the beverage becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic). This composition thus benefits the body by reducing inflammation, improving the immune system, supporting a healthy gut, and even acting as an antibacterial.

I mean, the list goes on here. I’m just dabbling into the basics, but again, search out information yourself from reputable sources and see what’s out there. While I won’t guarantee all your problems will dissipate when drinking tea, I can say that there’s no true reason not to drink it.

I’m grateful for sources of health and nutrition that protect my body. I’m grateful for the information available and the researchers out there providing insight into how certain foods and beverages interact with my natural composition. I’m grateful to have these gifts so easily accessible so I can enjoy them on a regular basis. And I’m grateful for the taste of these drinks and how they make me feel, knowing I’m making good choices for my personal well-being.

So hey, grab a booch or a mug and take a sip of that tea. The good kind.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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