C.S. Lewis said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." If you're an e-reader-carrying woman who favors tea over coffee, you understand. Although tea has been enjoyed since its invention, by scholar, herbalist, and Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 B.C., there always seems to be some new way to enjoy tea. Bubble tea and bottled green tea trends have given way to a tea that's considered by some to be a new health drink: Kombucha Tea.
Move over green iced tea, the fermented tea, Kombucha Tea, needs some room. Americans are embracing Kombucha tea for its perceived health benefits. Like yogurt, the tea contains high concentration of probiotics, or "microorganisms that contribute positively to the body's health." The base of Kombucha Tea is usually a black or green tea, and they both provide rich antioxidant properties. It's also credited as having detoxifying properties, and as a remedy against arthritis, kidney stones, and cancer in its early stages, according to Acupuncture.
While some people enjoy fermenting their own Kombucha Tea at home, experts are concerned about unhealthy bacteria entering home-brewed tea, as well as the potential health risks of drinking unpasteurized Kombucha Tea, according to WebMD.
While it's not exactly a replacement for your mandatory morning cup of coffee, green tea should be part of your daily diet. It may be effective for preventing bladder and ovarian cancer, decreasing high levels of fat, and for reducing abnormal development and growth of cells of the cervix (cervical dysplasia) caused by HPV according to Medline.
Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea, the Camellia sinensis plant, but unlike black tea, it's not fermented. Enjoy it hot or cold, with a natural sweetener like honey, and without milk or cream.
The hot Masala Chai tea served in Indian restaurants is preferable to most commercially-available pre-sweetened Chai tea mixes, which contain too much sugar. Chai can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it popular year-round. There are Chai tea blends available which contain a mix of antioxidant-rich black tea and "sattvic" spices.
In Ayurveda philosophy, Sattvic foods and spices are considered "pure, wholesome, and life enhancing" and are easy to digest according to Anne McIntyre, member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners' Association. Sattvic spices, sometimes called "warming" spices boast health benefits according to World's Healthiest Foods:
* Cinnamon is both an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial food that can help stabilize blood sugar levels. It's aroma boosts brain activity.
* Clove is a non-animal source of omega 3 fatty acids. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in manganese, which promotes thyroid health.
* A little cardamom packs a lot of flavor. It can also elevate your mood and is beneficial for the heart, kidneys and lungs. Chai tea blends may also contain fennel, ginger (stimulates the circulatory and immune systems) and black peppercorns (support circulation and metabolism).