South Africans have been enjoying the health benefits of rooibos tea for centuries, but in the last decade or so, the red tea has been making waves in other parts of the world. Not actually a tea but rather an infusion, red rooibos tea is made from a shrub, Aspalathus linearis, found only in the mountainous region near Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Though rooibos is known for its beautiful red color, there is also a green rooibos on the market now. The difference between them is that the green version is less oxidized, which allows it to keep its raw color much like green tea has, plus there are added health benefits when kept in this state.
Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Rooibos is a delicious hot drink, but beyond tasting good it has outstanding health benefits, including 50% more antioxidants than green tea. Preventing heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes are only some of the benefits associated with the red tea. Many women in Japan drink rooibos tea for its anti-aging effects; it contributes to better hair and skin. And because it’s caffeine free, there’s no limit on how much can be consumed. Below are seven health rooibos tea benefits.
1. It can lower blood pressure: Hypertension affects one in three adults and is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke, with 1,000 deaths a day attributed to it. Rooibos lowers blood pressure, so it’s an excellent choice for those who are pre-hypertensive or who have already been diagnosed.
2. It’s caffeine-free: Caffeine is the most common addiction globally. Too much caffeine can interrupt sleep patterns and have a negative impact on heart health and mood, specifically anxiety and stress. Rooibos is caffeine-free so can be consumed at night before bed to help provide a more peaceful rest.
3. It provides cardiovascular health benefits: Among the many powerful antioxidants found in red rooibos tea is quercetin, a flavonoid that helps neutralize free radicals that can impair cell membranes. Quercetin offers cancer and heart disease prevention.
4. It can help you lose weight: You can drink rooibos tea for weight loss, too, as it only has two calories for every eight ounces. Swapping out the pop or other sugary drinks for a cup of this tea is a great way to reduce your calorie intake.
5. It helps promote healthy bones and teeth: Rooibos is high in calcium, manganese, and fluoride, all of which are good for your bones. Drinking the red tea could also help against arthritis and osteoporosis.
6. It can help prevent type 2 diabetes: Aspalathin is one of the antioxidants found in rooibos. It helps balance blood sugar and improves insulin resistance for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
7. It can help prevent kidney stones: Regular black tea is high in oxalic acid, so kidney stone sufferers are cautioned against drinking it. But there is no oxalic acid in rooibos tea, so those with kidney stones have the green light to drink the beverage.
Red rooibos tea has amazing health benefits when consumed regularly. To prepare rooibos, simply boil water, then add to the leaves and let steep for 10 minutes, but it can steep for hours and will never turn bitter the way green or black tea does. It can also be consumed cold, much like iced tea. Because rooibos benefits are so numerous, consider adding a cup or two to your daily regimen.
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