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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 August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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