Tea and Health 101

During the Toronto Tea Festival last month I sat in on a 45-minute tea talk about the wonders of tea and its health benefits.  I thought it would be a good time to share what I have learned and let you guys know that the health benefits of tea should not be the only reason why you drink tea.  People are so concerned with what tea does what and how beneficial it is to your body when ALL tea is good for you.  That’s the main thing I want you to take away from this is that every tea is good for your body, so don’t worry about the next weight loss tea because you’re already doing a good job if you drink any tea.

As someone who works at Davids Tea I get a lot of questions about the health benefits of tea.  “Which one will make me loose weight?”…”How much caffeine is in this one?” and one of my personal favourites, “What does this tea DO?”  What does it do?  Well it… ummm tastes good?  That is not a sufficient enough answer for some.  Instead, people want to hear that tea is a magical remedy for everything health related from loosing weight to having clear skin.  And sometimes I believe that tea is a magical drink because I feel great drinking it.  That should be enough shouldn’t it?
Michelle Pierce Hamilton was the speaker that led the tea and health discussion at the Toronto Tea Festival this past February.  She was excellent!  I love that she didn’t make any concrete claims such as “this particular tea will make you loose 20 pounds!” but instead educated us about how all tea is beneficial to your body.  One of the first things she explained was how tea works together with your body.  Synergy is the word she used to explain how tea works within your body.  Tea should not be consumed as a supplement or an extract, but as a beverage.  It should be a part of your healthy lifestyle, not the only part of it.

On the other hand, tea does have a lot of health benefits.  Michelle talked about tea supporting your central nervous system allowing you to concentrate better, meditate and how it does not increase stress levels much like other caffeinated drinks.  Tea is also a good digestive aid, especially pu’erh because it is fermented and fermented foods contain probiotics which can improve your digestive system.

Now let’s talk about weight loss.  Is tea the new weight loss cure?  Maybe.  If you are replacing coca-cola with green tea than it can contribute to weight loss.  Consuming green tea can also increase energy expenditure, which means you burn energy faster and prevent the accumulation of fat in your cells.  But if you do not like the taste of green tea then why drink it?  Experiment with different green teas and find one that you actually enjoy drinking as a beverage and you will enjoy your healthy lifestyle a lot more.  If you are still eating McDonalds everyday but drinking your green instead of your coca-cola, I’m not sure you will be seeing the results you hope for.

I really enjoyed Michelle’s concept of tea working together with the rest of your body and well being.  She said something that really stood out to me at the end of her speech. If you drink tea, eat a plant based diet, exercise and have love in your life than everything will work together in your body to make you a happier and healthier person.  I am paraphrasing here but I appreciated that she included love as a part of a healthy diet because it shouldn’t be just about one aspect of healthy living but everything working in sync together.

meditation

Check out Michelle’s website and read more about the benefits of tea in my upcoming blog posts!

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