It’s a well-known fact that tea, one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, has many health benefits. It has been used in Western medicine for thousands of years for anything from soothing an upset stomach to reducing your risk of heart attack or stroke. The health benefits of tea are undeniable, so let’s look at one benefit in particular…it’s ability to reduce stress.
Here at Brain Breather, we are all about reducing stress and keeping you sane, so let’s add tea to our stress relief tool belt.
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What Makes Tea Healthy?
Tea contains what are known as polyphenols. Polyphenols, found in plant-based foods, help combat cell damage and promote healthy cell behavior. One review noted that a diet rich in plant polyphenols can help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and some neurodegenerative diseases. Another small study found that simply smelling green tea lowered subjective feelings of stress as well as stress levels in the brain.
Polyphenols, and by proxy tea, promote antioxidant production, cell apoptosis (when bad cells die), and reduce oxidative stress within the body. What all of this means is…start drinking more tea!
The Best of Tea
As I’ve mentioned, tea has a myriad of health benefits, so let’s take a look at which ones work best for what issue and how it will reduce your stress.
Stress no more! Grab some peppermint tea and get sippin’. Studies have shown that peppermint tea and peppermint extract are great for soothing an upset stomach. Peppermint tea can also reduce muscle cramping, which is a less-than-fun digestive issue.
This can also be quite helpful when it is your time of the month and you’re struggling to push through those awful cramps to get done what needs to be done.
Being tired is one of the worst, most frustrating feelings. That haze you feel like your walking through and that singular spot you’ve been staring at seem to taunt you. Getting the thousand and one things you need to get done feels almost impossible, which just adds insult to injury. So, to break free from the haze, grab a cup of your favorite black tea.
Black tea is created by fully fermenting the tea leaves before heating or drying. By allowing the leaves to fully ferment, tea curators are allowing the caffeine content to reach it’s full potential.
One 8-ounce cup of black tea provides anywhere from 60 to 90 milligrams of caffeine. While this is only about half the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, tea is still the better option because it has the added health benefits that coffee lacks.
Not Sleepy Enough
Laying wide awake at night is just a recipe for disaster. You start to stress about the fact that you have to be up in x amount of hours, how tired you’re going to be, all the things you’re going to be too tired to do, and so much more.
To fix this problem, just add a cup of chamomile tea to your nighttime routine. It is thought that chamomile tea acts like a benzodiazapine, medication that reduces anxiety and induces sleep.
If this is true (studies are not conclusive), then chamomile tea is an excellent way to help you fall asleep faster and avoid laying awake all night worrying.
Related article: 10 Tips to Help You Sleep Better
Need Energy? Can’t Have Caffeine?
If you’re like me, you’re tired all the time, but you can’t have caffeine to help ease the exhaustion. Fear not! There is a tea for you too.
Rooibos tea, also known as red tea, is brewed from a South African herb and is naturally caffeine-free. Little to no negative effects have been found from drinking rooibos tea.
The energy boost comes from its digestive benefits. Fixing digestive issues will always improve energy! Digestive burden puts a major burden on the rest of your body and mind.
By realigning your digestive system and boosting your energy, you’ll kill two stressors with one stone.
Stressed to the Max
While I am pointing out the stress relief abilities of all the teas listed, there is one that is best for specifically reducing stress. That type is lemon balm tea.
This tea is a part of the mint tea, which gives it a minty and slightly lemony taste to it. This herb has the ability to reduce cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, so too much of it in the blood stream causes high levels of stress.
Anxious Beyond Belief
Because of its sleep inducing properties, it should not be taken with sedatives, as it could interact unfavorably. Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid this tea.
Fighting a Cold
The common cold may not seem like a big deal and you can push through it, but it certainly makes life more difficult. It slows you down and wrecks your concentration. To combat this, pick up some echinacia tea.
Drink Your Tea!
If you’re lucky enough to be a superhuman that does not go through any of these issues, you should still drink tea. Like I said before, it has tons of health benefits that have all withstood the test of time.
If you’re not a superhuman, go out today and grab the tea that’s going to benefit you the most!