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9 Tasty Teas to Improve Your Health

9 Tasty Teas to Improve Your Health

Tea has been steeped and sipped for centuries, dating back well over 4,000 years ago when it is believed that the Chinese started drinking it. Since then, it has become an intrinsic part of cultures around the world. The British are known for their afternoon tea time, and in the US, even little girls love to get dressed up and hold tea parties for their friends and their stuffed animals.

Many people have found amazing health benefits from these little dried leaves. Recent research has connected tea to everything from improved alertness and bone health, to cancer prevention and weight loss. If you aren’t already a tea drinker, it’s time to get into the habit, as these nine tasty teas are sure to improve your health, happiness and productivity.

Green Tea

There might not be any such thing as a magic potion, but if you’re serious about wanting to take your health to the next level, green tea comes pretty darn close. It relaxes the lining of blood vessels so that they are more equipped to endure blood pressure changes, and in doing so it can effectively prevent heart disease. Green tea also boosts metabolism, prevents diabetes and protects brain cells, aiding in the prevention of brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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Black Tea

Black tea has a significant amount of caffeine, which makes it a great choice when you need to power through a long workday. The antioxidants in black tea can lower your risk of clogged arteries and prevent heart attacks. In addition, drinking black tea regularly also lowers risks for the following health conditions: Parkinson’s, high cholesterol, diabetes and kidney stones. Some studies even suggest that black tea can prevent the development of osteoporosis and lung cancer, although this has yet to be confirmed.

White Tea

If cancer prevention is important to you, you might want to start sipping white tea more often. A recent study revealed that white tea has the most powerful cancer-fighting properties when compared to other teas that were more processed. Thanks to its blood thinning properties, which improve overall artery function, drinking white tea is also an effective way to lower high blood pressure. It also improves bone density, which is good news for people at risk for osteoporosis.

Rooibos Tea

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    One great thing about rooibos tea is the fact that it’s caffeine-free, making it a perfect beverage choice for pregnant women, children or anyone sensitive to caffeine. It’s also great at the end of the day when you want to unwind with a soothing cup of tea without the jitters that will keep you tossing and turning all night.

    Rooibos tea contains antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer, and it also contains several valuable minerals such as magnesium (important for nervous system function), calcium (for strong teeth and bones), iron (crucial for oxygen distribution throughout blood and muscles) and zinc (essential for a healthy metabolism). Also, it contains a flavonoid called quercitin that’s helpful for curing stomach cramps and indigestion issues.

    Peppermint Tea

    If you’ve had a very stressful day, peppermint tea is just the thing you need. The menthol that’s naturally found in peppermint tea is a muscle relaxer, making this tea an effective way to ease stress and anxiety. In addition, peppermint tea serves as a great nasal decongestant, which is welcome news for those chronic allergy and sinus sufferers out there.

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    Also, because it suppresses your appetite, peppermint tea can aid in your weight loss efforts. And it might interest you to know that it’s not just for drinking: you can soothe nasty burns and rashes by adding this tea to the water in your bathtub when you bathe.

    Nettle Tea

    Never heard of nettle tea? It’s time you did: this tea is a health superstar providing a wide variety of benefits. It boosts your immunity through stimulation of the lymphatic system, restores kidneys and breaks down kidney stones, erases skin problems and lowers hypertension. It can even be helpful in curing that nasty cold you can’t seem to shake.

    Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

    The red raspberry leaf is known for its healing properties when it comes to digestive issues, disorders related to the respiratory system and vitamin deficiencies. This tea is even thought to ease discomfort from painful or heavy menstrual periods, so you can kick your Midol to the curb.

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    Kama Matcha Green Tea

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      Matcha green tea and ceremony-grade kama matcha green tea contain an amino acid called L-theanine, known for its ability to relax the mind. Also, you might be interested to discover that Buddhist monks reached for matcha tea to help them with meditation. The tea’s amino acids (in combination with its caffeine) make it an excellent choice when you need to maintain a state of alert calmness over an extended period of time.

      Oolong Tea

      This is another great tea when it comes to mental sharpness that allows you to stay on top of your game. Oolong tea also helps with the prevention of tooth decay, and it’s used to treat diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and even skin conditions such as eczema.

      Clearly, there is an abundance of health benefits to be gained from drinking tea. So what are you waiting for? Brew a pot today and raise a cup to improved well-being, because that’s something we can all drink to.

      Featured photo credit: jstn via unsplash.com

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      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

      1. Gratitude

      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

        write down goals

          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

          6. Rise Earlier

          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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