If you know me, you know that I am a beverage guy. I love smoothies, juices, and coffee. But tea is my ultimate favorite. When I am consulting patients at my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I am almost always sipping on some sort of tea—hot or iced.
I consider myself somewhat of an amateur expert because of how much tea I drink and what I have learned over the years about its health benefits. The world of tea is vast, and chances are there is a tea out there for you regardless of your taste, mood, and health goals.
While there are more types of tea and tea blends than you can count, there are a few that are staples in my everyday life. I love these specifically since their particular benefits target mechanisms in the body that play a larger role in overall health:
1. Green tea
One of the most popular and classic varieties, green tea has some of the highest levels of beneficial antioxidants including the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This catechin has been shown to benefit your health by:
- Improving skin quality and appearance
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Reducing heart disease risk
- Decreasing pro-inflammatory Nfk-B activity
- Boosting pro-antioxidant Nrf-2 pathways
- Improving brain function
- Slowing down aging
2. Earl grey
This black tea is made with bergamot oil. Bergamot—most commonly found in Italy—produces an orange/lemon-like citrus fruit, known as the bergamot orange.
Earl grey tea with bergamot is one of my favorites for drinking in the morning while I am fasting. That’s because it promotes autophagy—a process in which the body clears out any old or damaged cells, in order to generate healthy cells—and these mechanisms are thought to be enhanced in times of fasting.
Autophagy protects the body against vulnerability by removing old, damaged cells that are more susceptible to invasion. This clears the way for younger, healthier, more vigorous cells and a more robust immune system. Boosting cell regeneration can also keep muscles, joints, and bones healthy and strong.
3. Ginger tea
This is one of my go-to herbal tea choices when I need to take a break on the caffeine. Ginger has a number of benefits, but I particularly love it for its ability to soothe and support the digestive system and help to reduce inflammation.
A few of my other favorite teas:
- Slippery elm: This type of elm tree may help soothe gut inflammation to help alleviate digestive distress.
- Hibiscus: Can help lower blood pressure and may keep blood sugar levels in check.
- Chamomile: Chamomile is great to sip on before bed as it has been shown to promote relaxation.
- Burdock root: A natural diuretic, this tea may help remove toxins from the blood. It is also shown to contain a number of antioxidants, including quercetin and luteolin.
Regardless of what tea you choose, you will likely reap some positive health benefits. And if you didn’t already consider yourself a tea drinker, hopefully you’re considering giving the beverage another shot. After all, who can say no to better health?