Today, we’ll be exploring the many health benefits of iced tea and why this drink should be part of your daily routine.
When it comes to refreshing summer beverages, nothing quite hits the spot like a tall glass of iced tea. Not only is iced tea a delicious drink, but it also has some amazing health benefits.
Keep in mind that the health benefits of tea can be lost, or more like counteracted or overshadowed, if it’s loaded down with sugar.
Sweet tea from a restaurant, for example, may end up doing more harm than good to your overall health when you drink it regularly. Especially if we’re talking about weight loss or gain, sweet tea is not the best for you! Homemade tea consumption with a little added sugar is a different story.
Unsweetened tea will be the healthiest and best way to drink this beverage for all of its benefits!
Health Benefits of Iced Tea
Tea offers a range of health benefits which is why it’s such a popular drink!
It’s been consumed as a medicinal beverage for millennia, with some specific teas having very specific uses and benefits!
Here are some of the benefits you can expect overall.
Iced tea can be a great source of hydration because it’s mostly composed of water.
Decaffeinated and unsweetened tea are your best options, but even the slight diuretic effect of caffeine in tea has not been shown to hinder hydration.
Tea is also lower in calories than other beverages. As long as you don’t load it down with sugar, it’s a great way to stay hydrated without the added calories. A much better alternative than sugary drinks.
Depending on the type of iced tea you choose, it can be a great source of several key vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin C, folate, manganese, and other essential minerals.
Iced tea has a high level of antioxidants, which are powerful compounds that protect our bodies from free radicals and other cellular damage.
These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, protect against various diseases, and even help to slow down the aging process.
In addition to the antioxidant benefits, iced tea also has the potential to reduce your risk of some chronic diseases like cancers, decrease the risk of heart disease, and help with weight loss.
One of the most beneficial aspects of iced tea is its high levels of polyphenols.
Polyphenols are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body and have been linked to a variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that polyphenols can help to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and even help to reduce the risk of stroke.
4. Weight Loss
Iced tea, particularly green tea, may help you lose weight. Unsweetened iced tea is calorie-free and some kinds can help suppress appetite and make you feel more full throughout the day.
Some teas, especially green iced tea, can help boost metabolism, which may lead to more calories being burned throughout the day.
Iced tea may help boost the function of the immune system and ward off colds and other illnesses. This is because of those powerful antioxidants we talked about earlier.
Iced tea can help promote healthy digestion by stimulating digestion. Again, those same antioxidants can be beneficial for the digestive system.
The caffeine in iced tea can also stimulate the digestive system, helping it to break down food more effectively. But be careful with this one because caffeine can have the opposite effect on those with a sensitive stomach.
Polyphenols may also improve gut microbiome.
Certain types of teas are well known for settling the stomach and getting rid of gas, like peppermint, ginger, and chamomile teas.
7. Heart Health
Iced tea may help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Again, this is because of those antioxidants, both of which can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Tea drinkers may seriously benefit in the heart department. The overall reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation of the body from tea’s antioxidant components.
Different Types of Tea
There are a lot of different kinds of tea to choose from! Below are the most common types of tea you’ll find in stores.
Whether you’re enjoying your tea iced or having a nice cup of hot tea, all of these make a refreshing drink that will be a great addition to a healthy diet.
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, using leaves that are fully oxidized and then rolled and dried.
White tea is made from the buds and young leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, using leaves that are minimally processed and then dried.
Green tea is typically made using the same leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, which are steamed or pan-fired before being rolled and dried.
Oolong tea is also made using Camellia Sinensis leaves that are partially oxidized and then rolled and dried.
Herbal teas are made from different plants. Flowers, herbs, and spices make up herbal teas and tea blends, and they can be fresh or dried when brewed.
How Often to Drink Iced Tea for Health Benefits
The frequency of drinking iced tea will depend on a few things.
If you have personal health goals or specific needs that you’re drinking iced tea to meet, you may want to drink more iced tea or even hot tea.
Generally speaking, it is recommended to drink 1-2 cups of unsweetened iced tea per day to get the health benefits.
Remember that unsweetened is key to not outweighing the health benefits of iced tea with too much sugar.
It’s okay to lightly sweeten your tea. Honey or a natural sweetener is recommended over artificial sweeteners for health.
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Iced Tea
Tea, in general, is safe, but certain types of tea may be less tolerable for certain people.
Since tea has been used medicinally for so long, we know it has powerful effects on our bodies, in a good way!
Herbal teas can interact with some prescription medications, and you should consult your doctor before you start drinking them.
If tea lowers your cholesterol levels, for example, and you’re also taking cholesterol medication, you’ll need to make sure your doctor lowers that medication as necessary to reflect the changes.
The same goes for blood pressure and can apply to blood sugar levels as well, depending on the type of tea you’re drinking.
How to Make Iced Tea
On top of the potential health benefits of a refreshing glass of iced tea, it can also be a delicious drink to enjoy regularly!
Follow these instructions to make a big batch of refreshing iced tea.
4-6 of your choice of tea bags
6-8 cups of water
Honey or preferred sweetener (optional)
1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot or tea kettle.
2. Add 4-6 tea bags or 4-6 teaspoons of loose tea to the boiling hot water.
3. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes.
4. Remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea leaves.
5. Add sugar, honey, or another sweetener to taste.
6. Let the tea cool to room temperature.
7. Pour the tea into a pitcher and add ice cubes.
8. Serve and enjoy or refrigerate if not serving right away.
As you can see, there are many amazing health benefits of iced tea.
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing summer drink or a way to stay energized and hydrated, iced tea has something to offer everyone. So, let’s grab a glass and enjoy!
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