Whether it’s sipped standing at the kitchen counter, savored under a blanket at night or passed around to share with friends, there’s nothing quite like a steaming hot cup of tea. But tea isn’t just soothing and heartwarming—it’s also loaded with health benefits. Read on for the best teas to help you improve your health and boost vitality.
Boost Brainpower with Green Tea
This delicate tea is chock full of nourishing nutrients. Among them is an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to stimulate the activity of brain waves that improve focus. In fact, researchers from the Netherlands found that L-theanine can enhance focus by 133% for nearly two hours after consumption. Also smart: Enjoying a latte made with matcha, or green tea powder. The powder is a more concentrated source of green tea’s revitalizing nutrients.
Rev Metabolism with Oolong Tea
Sipped daily in Japan, oolong tea contains a unique blend of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that improve cells’ ability to burn calories efficiently, plus block the release of enzymes that signal to the body to store fat. The payoff: Japanese researchers found that just one cup of oolong tea revs metabolism by 20% for two hours, while another study discovered that oolong drinkers lost twice as much belly fat as those in the study who didn’t enjoy the brew. To get the maximum perks, brew the tea for just 2 minutes, then save the leaves to re-brew up to 5 times (adding 10 seconds of steeping time for each cycle).
Speed Detox with Hibiscus Tea
This pleasantly sweet, fruity brew supports the liver to help it flush toxins and speed detoxification. Polyphenols in hibiscus have been found to reduce inflammation in the liver and help clear fatty deposits in the organ, improving its ability to filter toxins and waste. Another boon: Hibiscus tea has also been shown to balance blood sugar levels, making it a great option for curbing mid-afternoon cravings.
Curb Inflammation with Mushroom Tea
It may sound a little funky, but the list of study-proven perks of tea made from mushrooms is growing longer by the day. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps and maitake have been shown to strengthen the body’s immune response, fight fatigue and inhibit the growth of fat cells, which it does by lowering inflammation and helping the body’s natural processes run more efficiently. If you’re wary of the earthy taste of mushrooms in your brew, try a tea that also contains cocoa, or even a coffee or hot chocolate brewed with health-promoting mushrooms.
Improve Immunity with Echinacea Tea
There is a reason people have been praising the perks of echinacea tea for fighting colds—it works! Echinacea has been found to reduce the duration of colds, limit the severity of symptoms like a sore throat or a stuffy nose and increase the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and infections. In one study, subjects who drank echinacea tea regularly lowered their odds of developing a cold by 58%—and if they did get one, the duration was reduced by one to four days.
Do you have a favorite tea? We would love to hear about it! Find us on Instagram @powerforlifefitness and comment on our most recent post with your go-to brew.