Food For Thought

Tea: The Hottest Beverage

Tea: The Hottest Beverage

Kayla Sheely , 02/02/2016

If you aren’t careful, your beverages can easily hijack your weight loss plan or healthy diet. We all know that sodas are notorious for adding extra sugar and calories to our diet that we don’t need. But it doesn’t stop there.

A bottle of soda or can of energy drink oftens contains more than one serving. So when your energy drink claims to only have “100 calories,” you’ll often be doubling that if you drink the whole can. And just because a drink may seem “healthy,” that doesn’t mean it actually is (and can often add up to more than a serving of Coke or Pepsi). For example, Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea only offers 90 calories per 8 oz, but one can contains almost 3 servings (for almost 270 calories).

So what’s a health-conscious dieter to do? One option is to stick with water. It’s healthy, free, and won’t add calories to your diet. But unless you are a water fiend, you may get a little bored with your trusty companion H2O.

Tea is a great way to add some variety to what you are drinking and still keep a healthy diet. The tea options are endless!

There are four types of “pure” tea: white, green, black, and oolong. The main difference between these teas is how they are processed since these teas all come from the same plant, Camellia sinesis. White tea is the least processed tea and has very little caffeine. Green tea leaves are heated before being dried to bring out more flavor. Oolong, a traditional Chinese tea, has a fuller taste than the lighter teas like white and green teas. Finally, black tea is the darkest, richest tea that has had the most processing and usually contains the most caffeine. If you aren’t a fan of black tea, try a light white or green tea!

There are also herbal teas. Herbal teas are essentially any drink brewed with some sort of herbs or spices. Common herbal teas are chamomile, mint, lavender, and peppermint, but there are countless different blends. Herbal teas don’t pack as many nutrients as tea that comes from Camellia sinesis, but still may offer health benefits from antioxidants. When reading studies about the health benefits of tea, be sure to note what kind of tea each study examines!

According to Harvard Health Publications, tea contains “substances that have been linked to a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.” While tea isn’t a replacement for a healthy lifestyle, it can be a great compliment to a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods.


What’s your favorite kind of tea? Share with us in the comments below. Cheers!

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