According to the UK Tea & Infusions Association us Brits drink 100 million cups of tea a day, or 36 billion a year. In 2010 during the ad break for a dramatic Coronation Street episode the National Grid measured a power surge of 800 megawatts or 300,000 kettles turning on at once. So, suffice to say, we love our tea!
Whilst a good ‘builder’s brew’ is the life blood of the country, our choice of other teas including herbal and fruit is enormous, and can actually help you with you day-to-day if you just pick and choose your teas wisely.
Read on to find out what tea you should drink and why to help you wake-up, digest or get your body ready for bed.
Teas for energy
Starting with our favourite, black tea comes in many forms including Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and if you’re getting fancy, Oolong and Lapsang Souchong too. Each have their own flavour, some robust and some delicate, most of our everyday black tea is a blend of Assam and Ceylon.
Typically, black tea contains more caffeine than other tea which is why it’s perfect to drink in the morning or afternoon as a ‘pick-me-up’. Black tea is also a natural prebiotic which could aid weight loss and contains flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants.
Matcha tea is made from young tea leaves which are then ground into a fine powder. It’s partly due to the grinding of the leaves which make this tea such a powerhouse of antioxidants. Whilst we usually only drink the water the leaves are steeped in, with Matcha you consume everything and so can get more benefit from its antioxidant properties.
Matcha tea has also been shown to contain as much caffeine as an espresso yet it is said that the caffeine gets released more slowly than in coffee which avoids a energy spike and inevitable crash. Matcha also contains L-Theanine which is a natural calming agent resulting in a focused happy energy.
Teas for digestion
What can’t ginger do? Ginger is incredibly versatile and works in sweet and savoury food as well as in drinks including ginger beer, but also in tea!
Ginger drinks have long been used to settle an upset tummy or to make you feel better when you are unwell with a cold, but why? Ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
The compounds in peppermint tea have been shown to be antispasmodic which reduces spasms in the digestive system relieving bloating. It’s often used by those who suffer from IBS over pharmaceuticals.
Teas for sleep
Whilst we’re pretty well versed in drinking and eating to keep our energy levels up during the day, what about getting our bodies ready for bed? You might be surprised to learn about the link between what we eat and our overall wellness and how this affects our quality of sleep. Find all our blog posts about sleep here.
For many years we have been reaching for chamomile tea to enjoy a delicate herbal hot drink when we are sick, anxious or struggling to sleep. The particular antioxidant found in chamomile tea is shown to decrease the feeling of anxiety and initiate sleep.
Valerian root has been used for centuries to help relax the body and help induce sleep and is found in many herbal sleep remedies. Some studies have even found that when participants took a regular dosage of dried valerian root it had the same effects of prescribed insomnia medication but without the adverse side effects of drowsiness the morning after.
Whilst we have curated a short list of teas for you to try there are many more out there! Venture down to your local supermarket or health food shop and start picking and mixing some options and find your favourites. Many brands even offer blends of different teas, so you get the benefit from multiple ingredients to make choosing the right tea even easier!