The verdict is clear: drinking large amounts of soda and other related sugar-laden drinks are clinically-proven to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other chronic illnesses as a result of their consumption.
Thing is, it’s hard to avoid the enticing appeal and ubiquity of these beverages, which can be found everywhere. Pair it with the endless TV commercials, the convenience of fast food meals that usually come with a tall soda, and you have an obesity epidemic waiting to happen – oh wait, it already did.
But there are so many alternatives to just soda, energy drinks, and “juice” drinks that are laden with all sorts of sweeteners and preservatives that just cannot be healthy for you – you just need to know which ones to look at.
Not only are these beverages beneficial to your health – they will also help you break from the routine of boring old water without falling off the healthy living wagon.
How ‘Your Cup of Tea’ Can Become a Herbal Potion to Boost Your Inner Forces
If you confess to be a serial coffee drinker, a fan of sugary drinks (and food) or suffering from debilitating conditions—then you should try drinking herbal teas.
Drinking herbal concoctions have been around since ancient times. The East has been reaping its benefits for thousands of years now as they believe it to be one of the keys to maintaining good health. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until recent decades that people in the West start paying attention.
Herbal teas are thought to be one of the healthiest, tasty, and soothing drinks out there. It’s jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and even potent antioxidant, antibiotic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. In traditional Ayurveda and Chinese medication practices, it’s usually prescribed to aid the common colds and flu, muscle pain, and diseases that affect the heart, liver, kidney, and others.
In this article, we’ll give you a primer to start your herbal tea drinking journey. We have listed down the best herbal teas you should try today—so read on!
What is herbal tea?
Before anything else, in case you’re unaware, you should know that herbal tea is not a true tea. As it happens, in some countries you can’t even call herbal infusion as tea. This is because true teas (green tea, black tea, and oolong tea) are the cured leaves of Camellia Sinensis.
On the other hand, herbal teas are beverages usually made by infusing the roots, leaves, and flower parts of a plant (from herbs, spices, fruits, and flowers). While it’s also different from decaffeinated teas. Although it can be blended using true teas, which are known as flavored teas.
These teas lack caffeine. Many drinkers appreciate it since it has a wide availability of flavors, as well as it offers plenty of health and wellness benefits.
However, finding the perfect “cup of tea” for you nowadays may be overwhelming, given that there are too many varieties to choose from. But we are here to help! So without further delay, here is the list as promised.
- Ginger tea
Ginger tea is one of the most popular herbal drinks. Ginger, as well as turmeric, is hailed by many due to its immunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits. The proven benefits of this traditional drink are great for people battling with pain and infections.
Moreover, ginger was shown to also have properties that may help aid weight loss, lessen menstrual discomforts, and may enhance mood and brain function. It helps alleviate heartburn, stomach aches, indigestion, ulcers, nausea, vomiting, and even fights the common cold.
The spicy taste of ginger makes a cooling and soothing drink. To bring ginger tea to new heights, try adding a little bit of honey and a slice of lemon for a new flavor dimension.
- Rooibos tea
Pronounced as ROY-boos, and also known as “redbush tea”, rooibos tea is also popular with herbal tea drinkers. Research suggests that this tea has antioxidant properties which are somewhat similar, or possibly more potent than those of green tea.
Studies show that drinking rooibos tea may help the liver by enhancing its antioxidant capacity, which reduces damage induced by toxins. Some studies even reveal that it can help lower blood pressure levels, and may relax tense muscles.
The tea is made from the leaves of the red bush plant known as rooibos or Aspalathus linearis plant. It is native and cultivated exclusively in the mountainous region of Cederberg, South Africa.
The tea has a smooth profile, with a natural sweetness, a slightly tart finish, and a nutty taste. There are two types of this tea though; the red rooibos and the green rooibos. The traditional one—red rooibos is an oxidized tea, while the green one is not oxidized.
It’s naturally caffeine-free also, making it an ideal based tea.
- Chamomile tea
The daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family, chamomile is a well-known herb. It’s a good alternative to black or green tea, even though it’s naturally caffeine-free, it is still a stimulating drink since it has an earthy yet sweet taste.
Chamomile has been consumed for thousands of years as a natural remedy for several health conditions.
Chamomile tea is a wondrous beverage to calm your senses. Known for its calming effect, this tea can relieve stress and tension in your body. It can also help lessen your anxiety.
Chamomile can also help people with insomnia and those suffering from a restless sleep. It contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which helps bind certain receptors in the brain thereby promoting sleepiness.
This tea has been proven to help manage digestive system-related problems. Anecdotal evidence shows that drinking chamomile tea may help soothe stomach ache, cramps, gas, diarrhea, and other digestive ailments.
Being a rich source of antioxidants, it helps strengthen the immune system and helps fight diseases like those caused by inflammation and bacterial infection. Several studies also show that it may aid in improving heart health, may benefit blood sugar control, and may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
- Peppermint tea
A delightful cooling drink, peppermint tea also has several health benefits aside from freshening your breath! The refreshing minty taste and scent of this tea can be attributed to its essential oils—some of this includes menthone, menthol, and limonene. Peppermint is an aromatic herb that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint.
This tea, just like chamomile, can also help in reducing stress and anxiety. Its menthol content helps as a natural muscle relaxant. This can also lessen the intensity of menstrual cramps for ladies.
Also the same as ginger, peppermint tea can help relieve nausea and digestive tract ailments as it also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Studies reveal that it can effectively fight certain types of bacteria that cause food-borne and contagious illnesses. Since it contains menthol, it can also help in unclogging your sinuses.
Peppermint is a calorie-free tea that can reduce appetite. It lacks caffeine too making it a good beverage to help you relax before going to bed. However, this tea is not recommended for pregnant women as it may increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Rosehip tea
An increasingly becoming popular herbal infusion, rosehip tea is made from the dried pseudo-fruit of the rose plant. With its flowery tastes, a slightly tangy and sweet edge—it’s something you should try!
Drinking rosehip tea is linked to numerous health benefits. It has a high concentration of vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It has anti-aging benefits, may improve immunity, heart health, and even as a pain reliever for arthritis.
If you want to boost your immune system, reduce joint pain, and have healthy-looking skin—then this tea is for you! However, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
- Lemon balm tea
Lemon balm tea is commonly called Melissa (Officinalis), an herb that belongs to the mint family. With its subtle fragrance than lemon verbena, but stronger than lemongrass—lemon balm offers an aromatic mint and citrusy flavor. It’s best served with a dash of honey.
And just like peppermint tea, it can help relax your body and elevate your mood. It can even improve your memory. Just like other herbal infusions, it’s rich in antioxidants—making it able to prevent heart disease and help increase skin elasticity.
- Hibiscus tea
An herbal tea that is heart- and liver-friendly, hibiscus is one delicious tea you should try. According to several studies conducted, drinking this tea may increase your body’s good cholesterol levels thereby decreasing the bad cholesterol in your blood.
It has antiviral properties too which is being considered as possible medicinal use soon. Historically, the herb has been used to treat heart disease, decrease body temperature, soothe a sore throat, and treat high blood pressure.
It has cranberry-like, sweet, and tart flavors that can be served hot or iced. Hibiscus tea is a natural calorie- and caffeine-free drink.
A note to remember though is that consuming too much (especially in concentrated form) of hibiscus or any herbal drink may interfere with certain medications. In particular, hibiscus tea interacts with medications such as hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) or aspirin. If you are taking high blood pressure and diabetes medication, monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar as consuming hibiscus may decrease your levels.
Pregnant and lactating women should not drink this tea as well.
- Licorice root tea
Beloved by the early Egyptians and the Chinese, licorice root tea has been used as a cure-all herbal concoction. Licorice root was widely used as a sweetener in candies, as well as a natural flavoring to cough drops, beverages such as alcohol, and tobacco. Yet, it has been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits.
Licorice root tea has been praised for its ability to fight respiratory problems. It helps reduce phlegm and open airways, thus making it a useful remedy for colds and flu. It also helps reduce the pain caused by a sore throat.
And just like the other herbal concoction, be aware that drinking licorice tea may have a few side effects. It may interact with blood pressure medications. It can also cause numbness and muscle pain if it is consumed in large amounts.
- Green tea
Green tea has always been revered in Asian and other tea-drinking cultures for thousands of years, and for good reason: green tea is rich in herbs and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and prevent and fight free radicals that contribute to cancer and cardiovascular ailments.
Additionally, green tea is thought to improve brain function thanks to its caffeine content. The best part? Green tea’s caffeine content is less than coffee, and its effect isn’t as abrupt as coffee is – it’s a gentle, lilting kind of stimulation that is rich in trace minerals and amino acids.
We’re not talking about your calorie- and sugar-saturated Starbucks coffee-blended frappe – we’re talking about the real deal: your usual cup of joe. While its cousin, tea, has received the lion’s share of the plaudits as far as health benefits go, coffee has just as much health benefits as tea does.
Central to coffee’s health benefits is its caffeine jolt that keeps us awake, in addition to its rich antioxidant content. Similar to tea, its antioxidant content is thought to lower the risk of heart disease, thanks to its vasodilatory properties that help improve blood flow and metabolism.
Fun fact: did you know that the average Finn drinks 91 gallons of coffee every year? That’s over 70 gallons more than the average consumption of coffee per each American (18.5 gallons). They must be on to something.
3. GOLDEN MILK
The use of turmeric is exponentially rising all over the world – not least to the hype it has received among the health nuts. But it has always been used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines, respectively, for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its antioxidant content.
There are as many ways you can incorporate turmeric in your beverages as there are benefits, but the most popular way is by boiling it into a tea. Turmeric tea is known to help arthritis sufferers, prevent cancers, boost your immune system, and lower cholesterol altogether. If that’s not reason enough to start replacing your soda for turmeric tea, we don’t know what will.
4. COCONUT WATER
Coconut water, like turmeric, has made the rounds based on the strength of the hype it receives – it’s in fashion. But trust us when we say that there is nothing more refreshing and tastier than fresh coconut water straight from the source – and not just because of how refreshing and hydrating it is.
Coconut water is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and calcium, and can help prevent diabetes and kidney stones, as well as promote a healthy cardiovascular system. That’s not mentioning its electrolyte content, which keeps you properly hydrated.
5. POMEGRANATE JUICE
Pomegranate juice – the all-natural kind – is one of the most nutritious beverages you can find on shelves anywhere, not to mention delicious. It packs quite a punch when it comes to antioxidants, which help prevent the usual slew of ailments such as cancer, inflammation, and heart disease.
Note: make sure that you are getting 100% pure pomegranate juice, as there are some “juice drinks” that might contain refined sugars or corn syrups, which you will want to avoid. Settle for nothing.
6. APPLE CIDER
If juice is your thing, you can’t go wrong with apple cider, especially if it is in season. Apple cider is unprocessed, unsweetened (containing only the natural sugars from the apples from whence it came), and unfiltered, making it an ideal candidate for the perfect drink given the fact that no preservatives and sweeteners are added.
Furthermore, apple cider contains flavonoids that prevent free radicals from causing damage, and aid against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Lastly, it is also rich in fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive system as well as keeps you full.
If you’re not a wellness junkie, then kombucha may sound new to you. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is brewed from bacteria and yeast, and is a delicious drink to boot. Its adherents are mad about it, and for good reason: it is rich in probiotics as fermented foods do, and these probiotics promote good digestive health.
Additionally, kombucha is thought to improve your mental health, promote better lung health, as well as keep your heart and liver healthy. Plus, there are usually 25-30 calories in a bottle of kombucha, so you can drink to your heart’s content – just make sure that you read the ingredients to ensure that there are no other sweeteners or preservatives added.
Providing your body with the nutrition it needs can be very pricey and time-consuming. If you have a busy lifestyle, you know it’s way easier to grab an unhealthy snack than to meticulously prepare a well-balanced meal and take the time to sit and chew it slowly.
Sacrificing your long-term health to “save time” today is not a very good idea. People who “save time and money” by not eating properly often pay double later on to recover their health. Remember – food influences our overall wellbeing, mood, appearance, and brain performance.
But what can you do if you really are too busy to eat well on daily basis? What if you simply don’t like to spend your time preparing food and eating?
Perhaps drinking your meals will be a good solution for you.
8. DRINKABLE SUPERMEALS
Recently in the editorial team of Wingman, we had a pleasure to receive and test a new drinkable meal supplement called Ambronite. Our whole team is really interested in healthy nutrition, so we were all curious to see how this product works. Ambronite is a quick-to-prepare drinkable shake which contains one full nutritionally-balanced meal (500 kcal). It’s the fastest way to deliver all of the necessary nutrients busy people need. You simply measure out one serving of powder from the Ambronite bag, mix it with water, shake it, and drink!.
This product promises to stave off hunger for 4-5 hours. This is due to its balanced mix of organic nutrients. Even one shake can make your mind and body perform better, boost your productivity, and make you stay in “flow” due to the super foods inside this product.
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are packed with many more nutrients than other foods. They contain extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals to help you maintain your health and achieve high performance.
Here is the list of the Superfoods you’ll find one serving of Ambronite:
- Organic Oats
A great source of blood sugar stabilizing complex carbohydrates and sustained-release energy; rich in minerals (manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium) B-group vitamins, soluble fibers, and omega fatty acids.
A great source of vitamin E (to keep you looking young), proteins, and micronutrients (magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and biotin).
- Brown Rice
A good source of protein, with eight of the nine essential amino acids; a great source of iron and vitamin E.
Rich minerals containing magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, and B vitamins. Rich in fiber and low glycemic index to provide stable energy without a “sugar crash”.
Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be important for human brain function.
Rich in B vitamins as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, β-Carotene. A good source of stable energy from carbohydrates – with a low glycemic index.
- Stinging Nettle
A great source of calcium (richer in calcium than regular milk) as well as many other micronutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K.
A good source of vitamin C and high in fiber.
- Rice Bran
Rich in protein, Vitamin E, B-group vitamins, and selenium; contains beneficial substances like flavonoids, coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, and glutathione peroxidase.
This freshwater superfood algae is full of essential vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, D, and B12, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, iodine, and fatty acids. Chlorella is richer in beneficial chlorophyll than any other plant.
- Nutritional Yeast
Contains seven of the eight essential B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. A good source of glutamic acid, which is a “non-essential” amino acid important for learning and memory.
- Mineral Salt
Good source of potassium and iodine, electrolytes that maintain the fluid balance in the body and are important for heart and brain function.
- Brazil Nut
Rich in selenium, niacin (B3), vitamin E and magnesium and multiple amino acids and fatty acids.
These exceptionally nutritious superberries are rich in vitamins A and C, contain traces of several B-complex vitamins and flavonoids, and have twice the antioxidants of blueberries.
A good source of vitamins A and K, folate, iron, calcium, and antioxidants.
- Black Currant
Contains up to four times more vitamin C than oranges.
A great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus as well as vitamin K, beneficial omega-7 fatty acids (palmitoleic acid), and carotenoids.
That’s a lot of ingredients!
If you tried to create a meal with such a wide range of nutritional foods on your own, you would definitely spend a lot of time at the grocery store and in the kitchen! So, does this little bag—packed with all of these ingredients—actually deliver?
The shake mostly tastes of oats and fresh nuts. If you are familiar with superfoods, you will probably think it tastes good (most superfoods are barely drinkable due to their weird tastes). Amborinite has a neutral taste. It’s easy to improve its taste (and greyish colour) by mixing it with honey and your favourite fruits.
This product really staves off hunger for 4-5 hours. You’ll feel like you just ate a big meal. Also, I felt a kick of energy immediately after drinking this shake.
The product is rather pricey. One meal costs $10 US ($99 US for 10 packages). You pay for the time you save. Getting these quality ingredients and preparing them on your own would take a lot of time, money, and effort.
I like the idea of preparing my own colourful foods, so this concept is not exactly tailored to me. However, as a person obsessed with travelling, I would definitely like to take a pack of Ambronite with me to avoid snacking on the “plastic” foods you often find in airports and trains stations.
I consider it a huge plus that this high protein source is also “keeping it vegan”. This is a great solution for people who are too busy to eat healthily or simply don’t know how to provide themselves with the necessary nutrients they need from food.