Did you know that tea ranks higher than many fruits and vegetables for anti-oxidant quality?
Red tea is popular in South Africa where it has been used for many years.
It is similar to green tea but has many more benefits as it has more health promoting properties.
The tea is red in colour, due to the fermentation of the leaves.
It is completely pure and does not contain additives, preservatives or colourants.
It is made from an herb called Rooibos which is full of polyphenols and flavonoids.
These are compounds that have strong anti-oxidant qualities.
Anti-oxidants protect the body from free radicals.
For those that do not know, free radicals are waste material produced from necessary functions, such as digestion.
They are also caused by stress, pollutants, alcohol, pesticides and smoking.
They are extremely toxic to our cells.
To put it very simply anti-oxidants purify them.
The free radicals weaken the body’s natural defences and lead to aging and disease.
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Here are some of the many benefits of this healthy drink.
Rooibos tea is considered beneficial for weight loss.
This is because it controls your appetite.
It has no fat content and is also very low in calories.
Red tea contains an anti-oxidant called aspalathin.
This has anti-diabetic effects.
It does this by balancing blood sugar levels which reduces insulin resistance.
Hence it helps prevent diabetes and pre-diabetes alongside a healthy diet.
This effect is boosted by having at least three cups of red tea.
Drink it morning, noon and evening for the best results.
Relieve tired eyes
Rooibos is also very good for relieving tired eyes.
Soak a clean washcloth or muslin cloth in warm tea.
Wipe the eyes gently with the washcloth.
Better still lie down and place the cloth soaked in tea over closed eyes.
Relax for a few minutes and let the anti-inflammatory ingredients in the tea go to work.
Drink a cup half an hour before every meal because red tea helps with the digestion of food.
It has anti-spasmodic properties, due to its potassium content.
This makes it good for the relief of stomach and digestive problems.
These include nausea, vomiting, heartburn and stomach ulcers.
Children can also benefit from this safe natural tea. This is because it can ease infant colic.
Red tea does not contain oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid, or oxalate, is found in black and green tea and can prevent the absorption of some nutrients, especially iron.
This is therefore a reason to drink red tea in preference to regular tea.
The tea also provides the body with calcium, manganese and fluoride.
These nutrients help make your teeth and bones stay strong and healthy.
The calcium is also great for people that are lactose intolerant and do not eat dairy products, like milk.
Flavonoid-rich foods offer cardiovascular benefits which is why Rooibos tea is great for keeping your heart healthy.
Flavonoids are also responsible for helping blood circulation.
Drinking 6 cups of red tea a day can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and increase ‘good’ cholesterol after just a few weeks.
The absorption rate of the mineral iron is 1.7% for regular tea.
After drinking Rooibos tea it is increased to 7.25%.
It, therefore, increases iron levels in your body which can only be good for the blood.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, increases blood pressure by causing the veins and arteries to contract.
Red tea has been found in studies to inhibit ACE 30 -60 minutes after being drunk.
It can, therefore, play a part in controlling blood pressure alongside a healthy, low-salt diet.
If you suffer from acne, eczema and psoriasis, drinking this tea will help.
The tea is good to maintain healthy clear skin.
You can even apply the tea directly to your skin as a tincture to relieve itches, rashes and even sunburn.
This is due to the anti-inflammatory effect of zinc and alpha hydroxyl acid, which are both present in red tea.
You can obviously drink the tea but for additional benefits place a tea bag, that has been steeped in boiling water and allowed to cool, over the affected area.
You can also try this anti-acne face mask:
Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (organic if possible) and 2 teaspoons of oatmeal with half a cup of red tea.
Mix thoroughly and cool. Spread the mixture on your face and leave for 20 minutes.
Wash your face with another cup of cooled red tea.
Dry your face with a dry cloth.
Repeat at least three times a week for best results.
Magnesium is another nutrient in abundance in red tea.
Magnesium is essential for a healthy nervous system.
After an intense workout, your muscles feel tired and sore.
You will also lose minerals, in the form of electrolytes, through your sweat.
Red tea not only replenishes lost fluid, but also some electrolytes.
The electrolytes in red tea are potassium and calcium.
It also helps to ease achy muscles.
It does this by helping the muscles to relax and the cells to replace the oxygen that they lost during the exercise.
Rooibos tea is effective against hay fever, asthma and other breathing difficulties.
This is because it dilates (or enlarges) the pipes that connect the nose with the lungs.
Next time you cannot sleep, do not reach for the sleeping tablets.
Red tea is a relaxing sedative. It is also completely caffeine free so will lull you into a refreshing sleep.
Just drink a cup approximately an hour before bedtime every night.
You will never need to worry about insomnia again.
The sedative benefit means it is also good for stress and mild depression.
The soothing effect can also help to relieve headaches and migraines.
Rooibos tea can also help keep your hair healthy.
This is due to the zinc, copper, potassium and calcium that it contains.
These will help the hair to grow and to be strong.
Copper is helpful in preventing your hair from going grey too soon.
The anti-inflammatory content of red tea helps soothe the scalp and fight dandruff.
Try rinsing the hair in red tea after washing with a mild shampoo.
Leave for 20 minutes then rinse with fresh water.
Overall Rooibos tea is considered safe, however it can stimulate the female sex hormone, oestrogen.
For this reason women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer should avoid this drink.
For most people this drink can only enhance and improve health.
So put the kettle on.
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