Kicking the caffeine habit with herbal tea!
In a country with a climate like Ireland, it’s difficult for most of us to drink the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- Herbal Teas
Do you reach for the kettle out of sheer habit? The kids are home, fed and occupied…time for a cuppa and 5 minutes. Emails are popping up and you need a screen break at the office…time for a cuppa and a stretch of the legs.
Home from a trip away, in the door…stick the kettle on. We’re a nation of tea and coffee drinkers, no bad thing, but perhaps we’re missing out on some of the wonderful health benefits we could be gaining by sticking a herbal tea bag in that cup instead.
The benefits of coffee are numerous, as are the benefits of drinking black tea, however, when our consumption of these beverages starts to become a dependency, maybe it’s time to change something.
If the thoughts of getting through a day without a coffee or cup of tea make you shake your head in disbelief, maybe you’re addicted. Caffeine itself is not addictive, though its effects are.
Dr Peter Rogers, from Bristol University has found that “after that sacred morning cup of coffee, coffee drinkers don’t feel any better than people who never drink coffee.” Coffee and caffeine don’t actually improve concentration, alertness or energy; they merely relieve the symptoms of withdrawal!
Consuming too much caffeine inhibits your body’s own natural stimulants, including insulin (the little switch we don’t want to annoy too much as elevated insulin levels are indirectly responsible for a reduction in fat loss).
Your body then tries very hard to keep up and produce these extra stimulants to give you this much needed energy but can never match the almighty caffeine; this leads to exhaustion, depression and an inability to cope, i.e. caffeine dependency!!
Try swapping one or two cups of java to a herbal tea every day and slowly but surely improve your health, and break the addiction cycle.
The winner in my eyes, benefits include:
- Treatment of IBS
- Dissolving of gallstones
- Healing and therapeutic on the digestive system, makes it a great post dinner beverage, coffee acts as a stressor and should be consumed away from meal times
- Reduces muscle pain
- Aids in the reduction of chronic aches and pains
- Clears congestion
Not quite as easy to drink, but worth every sip if you can add some lemon to make it more palatable:
- Fights asthma
- Fantastic for the joints, arthritis, rheumatism and disorders of the muscles and joints
- Super for eczema and hay fever
- Detoxify the body
- Relieves stress, insomnia and depression
- Can help to improve thyroid function
Nature’s stress reliever, many of us could do with a cup of this I bet, try Spiced Apple and Chamomile, benefits include:
- Better sleep
- A soothed stomach, many of us eat on the run and this places stress on our digestive systems
- Menstrual cramps
- Cold fighter
A lovely warming drink especially this time of year, add cinnamon, honey and lemon to make a real health tonic, benefits include:
- Sore throats
- Upset stomach and nausea
- Relief of flatulence
- Super for kids who get motion sickness
- Reduces and relieves stress
- Strengthens immunity
The one herbal tea I mention here with caffeine, though it contains a lot less than coffee or black tea, benefits are endless, some include:
- Drinking 3 cups or more a day can burn calories
- Speeds up the metabolism
- Powerful anti-oxidant
- Associated with weight loss
- Can help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels
One of the more underestimated teas, don’t ignore this little gem with health benefits such as:
- Treatment of headaches
- Support for the liver
- Some studies have even found it can aid with weight loss
- Can help in the treatment of diarrhea
LISA’S TIP: You may think you’re able to drink coffee before bed and sleep soundly, however, your body is not truly resting, you will wake up feeling unrefreshed yet you get used to this and only feel ‘normal’ again once you top up your caffeine levels (sound familiar??).
Break the habit, switch to a herbal tea before bed, you may feel worse for a few days but afterwards I guarantee increased energy thanks a to a great nights sleep!!
Lisa Mc Ardle is currently taking health and weight loss classes at Unislim Newry every Wednesday at 5.30pm at The Mourne Country Hotel Newry, you’re all very welcome to attend!
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