With the cold and flu season upon us, the chill of the winter freeze still lingers, and we’re all too ready to curl up on the couch with a good book and a mug of hot tea. Not only does tea help warm us up and feel cozy, but its natural antioxidants also help support our immune system to keep us healthy (along with a slew of other health benefits). That’s why now is the perfect time to grow your tea collection! Keep reading to discover some of our favorite teas and tea accessories for the coldest season of the year.
Why Tea is Good for You
The antioxidants known as flavonoids that are found in tea are beneficial to our health by acting like immunity superheroes, helping to fight off damage from free radicals. These antioxidants preserve our beautiful skin, so premature aging doesn’t sneak up on us. They also protect us from illnesses.
The type and amount of these powerful antioxidants present all depend on the type of tea leaves being used and their preparation method.
The most popular tea varieties for healthful purposes are green and black teas, because they contain up to 10 times the number of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. When it comes to preparation, green tea leaves are withered and steamed; whereas black tea leaves are crushed and fermented.
Studies have found that regular tea drinkers who have more than two cups a day experience lower LDL cholesterol levels and recover from heart-related complications faster. Studies have also found that tea reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. In addition, tea is believed to impact metabolism to detoxify harmful chemicals.
And if you’re watching your caffeine intake, keep in mind that tea contains less caffeine than coffee, so you get a nice energy boost without the huge crash. (Many popular teas are even caffeine-free if you need the flavor without all the kick!)
However, when it comes to tea, green and black varieties aren’t the only healthy options on the market. In fact, jasmine tea is said to reduce the impact of stress; rooibos tea may help protect the liver from oxidative damage and relax the muscles; hibiscus tea has been linked to heart health; and lemon verbena tea is considered helpful when it comes to weight management.
So now that you know some of the health benefits of tea, here are a few of our favorite tea brands and must-have tea accessories.
Try These 6 Antioxidant-Rich Teas
Green Tea: When it comes to green tea, there is nothing that beats the antioxidant power of matcha, a finely-milled green tea powder made from the entire tea leaf. Made popular in Japan, matcha has less caffeine than black tea and has a mildly sweet and earthy flavor. You’ll love Organic Matcha Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Black Tea: For robust Chinese black tea, try TeaSource Gold Black Tea from TeaSource. The uniquely flavored tea contains sweet notes of orange blossom petals, elderberry blossom, safflower petals, and flower pollen.
Jasmine Tea: If you’re looking for a gentle floral tea that will deliver a general feeling of wellness, try Jasmine Green Tea from TeaSource. The caffeine-free tea is made from an herbal blend of green tea and white jasmine flowers.
Rooibos Tea: Better Off Red Rooibos Tea from NOW Foods offers a refreshing, caffeine-free blend of organic rooibos leaves and stevia leaf extract for a citrus and vanilla flavor. The tea also naturally contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
Hibiscus Tea: Hibiscus flower and mandarin orange peel essential oil blend nicely for a sweet and tangy flavor in Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea from Gaia Herbs. This fragrant tea is caffeine-free and can be brewed and ingested daily as needed.
Lemon Verbena Tea: For a triple punch of citrusy goodness, try Certified Organic Triple Lemon Tea from Four Elements. The tea blends lemon verbena, lemon balm, and lemongrass with oat straw for a truly unique flavor profile that’s nourishing as well as delicious.
Must-Have Tea Accessories
Whether you like hot tea or iced tea, it is essential for the avid tea drinker to have a reliable insulated travel mug with an infuser basket. The TeaSource Takeya Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker is a convenient pitcher made of BPA-free glass that lets you make, serve, and store your cold-brewed tea.
For hot tea, try the Highwave TEAmo Vacuum Travel Mug from TeaSource. This 14 oz stainless steel vacuum travel mug has an infuser basket that snaps in place, so you can steep your tea and then use the top as a stand for the basket as you drink your beverage. The leakproof container will keep liquid hot or cold for hours – whether you use it for tea, coffee, or your favorite smoothie.
In addition, the OmniWare Teaz Café Infuser Mug Red from TeaSource is an 11 oz, lead-free mug that comes with an infuser basket and has a lid that doubles as a coaster. It can easily be washed in the dishwasher, and it is also microwave safe.
But don’t forget! The mug is not the only useful accessory for the tea enthusiast. When preparing matcha tea, for instance, the proper whisk is a lifesaver in getting the delicate mixture just right. We recommend My Matcha Life‘s Bamboo Whisk for Matcha Tea.
Which tea flavors and tea accessories will you add to your collection this winter?