1. Caffeine + L-theanine– It is well known that Black, Green and White Teas have caffeine for that quick boost that some of us crave in the morning, but it is less well known that tea also provides L-theanine. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, L-theanine crosses the blood brain barrier and increases the amount of alpha waves in the brain. The overall effect of caffeine+L-theanine results in improved cognition. Think of it as a relaxed, but alert state. Sounds pretty ideal, doesn’t it? Switching to tea is great for folks who need to cut back on caffeine intake but don’t want the withdrawal repercussions, such as pregnant women, because some caffeine is still provided, but not at the levels found in coffee.
2. Tea is “GREEN”. With a smaller “water footprint”, Tea uses 1/10th the water as coffee to produce per cup. I’m not talking about the water used just to make the cup in your home or favorite coffee shop, but rather the water used to grow and produce the coffee. The amount of water used to create one 125 mL cup of coffee is actually 1,120 Liters. The amount used for tea? only 120 Liters. Check out this bar graph from the Economist that compares the water used for producing everyday products like coffee, tea….and beer!
3. Healing benefits of herbal teas. Not only are they tasty, they are a nearly zero calorie way to rejuvenate. Pop on by a local tea shop near you and I am sure you will be able to find a tasty blend that serves itself up as a guilt free indulgence. Some of these teas can even have healing benefits depending on what ails you. For example, chamomile has long served as a calming tea that can aid in digestion. I love Mind & Body Tea from our local tea shop here in DC called Teaism.
4. Easy to grow your own. If you tried to grow a coffee tree in your backyard, you would probably not be very successful. Tea on the other hand can be grown quite easily as an attractive potted plant on your patio that you bring in for the winter (if you live in a cold climate). Growing your own tea not only decreases your carbon footprint related to caffeine consumption, it also gives you the benefits of having green plants around your home, and offers air cleaning benefits in your home. We had our tea plant shipped to us from the Camelia Forest Nursery.
5. It’s beautiful -The ritual of tea spans histories. Full ceramics and spice trades have been based on the plant. But I’m not even talking about that. Simply taking the time out of your day, boiling water and pouring the water over your favorite tea to steep, and then seeing, hearing the water hit your cup, as you pick it up to feel the warmth in your palms, and the aromatic steam is inhaled through your nose as you instinctively draw a long soft warm breath. Even if only for a few minutes, you are able to live in mindful splendor and fully embrace the beauty in the moment. In this way, the drinking of tea, before you even ingest it, is healing you and building your resilience in the simplest of ways.
© Regina Zopf MD 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Regina Zopf MD with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Accessing this site means you agree to the disclaimer that can be read here.
Pingback: The Victory Garden Evolved: the new Health Garden and why we all need to grow our own food | Regina Zopf, MD, FACOG, ABIHM