tea

As the winter weather grows colder, a warming cup of tea can seem like just the thing to hit the spot. But don’t think that the only thing that’s soothing your runny nose and cold fingers is the steam and delicious flavor. Tea can have a variety of health benefits as well, depending on what’s in the bag steeping in your warm cuppa’.

Black Tea

Black tea’s health benefits have long been ignored, ever since white, green and red tea joined the party. But the truth is, you can keep drinking your Earl Grey and English Breakfast. Black tea has been shown to have anticarcinogenic properties in certain studies. It has also been shown to have equal antioxidant properties to green tea, which is excellent in winter for staving off illness. Beware, however: some studies have shown that adding milk to black tea can dilute these benefits.

Lemongrass Infusion

If you’ve never tried a lemongrass infusion, now is the time. Lemongrass tea has antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties, and it also works as a digestive aid… perfect for drinking after heavy, wintertime meals.

Try combining lemongrass with ginger, which adds an energy boost, perfect for the cold, dark days of winter. Ginger also has other health benefits, including staving off winter sore throats.

Honey and Lemon

Honey and lemon can be used together, either in a simple cup of hot water or alongside your favorite tea or infusion. Together, they are the perfect team for warding off wintertime colds and sniffles. The honey has throat-coating properties that can help soothe sore throats, while lemon adds a vitamin C boost to your beverage.

Chai

Chai has a great deal of health benefits that are often minimized due to the sugar and fat that come with the Westernized chai latte. Instead, make a traditional chai, which contains one volume of milk to one and a half volumes of water. The tea is made up of several spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn and cloves, each of which brings its own wintertime healing properties… not to mention making the house smell like Christmas!

Image: LaurelFan