Health Benefits Of Loose Leaf Tea
When it comes to pushing your goals to the next level, the heath benefits of loose leaf tea (and the benefits of turmeric for the record) are worth checking out! If you're checked out My Journey To Health or listened in to Episode 1 of the Podcast, you may have guessed that pounding back green tea wasn't always my thing.
In fact, tea was so far off my radar it's laughable. Fast forward ten years and I can officially be classified as a tea addict. Loose leaf tea, green tea especially, comes with so many astounding health benefits it would be silly for me not to love it!
Loose leaf tea has become a staple in my house and even my toddlers love it! (herbal of course). I drink loose leaf green tea daily and keep a bottle of chilled herbal tea in the fridge for them to sip on when they're bored of water. My girls don't drink juice boxes so they call it their "special tea" and it makes my heart melt!
Loose Leaf Tea Benefits
- Lower cholesterol
- High in antioxidants
- Prevent cardiovascular disease
- Manage weight and metabolism
- Mental clarity
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When I first started drinking green tea, like most peopled delved into bagged tea isle at the grocery store for my purchases. To be honest, they sucked. Not only are they miniscule in flavor but I've since learned that bagged tea has very little health benefits in comparison to loose leaf!
Fun Fact: I am not a doctor or a scientist. I'm sharing what I've learned and read personally. Always chat to your doc before implementing anything new especially if you're already on medication! Do your own research friends
The Difference Between Loose Leaf Tea & Bagged
The truth is, the tea in the bagged tea your purchase if often the dust and broken pieces from the actual tea leaves. Because they are broken (and sometimes almost just dust), the tea has lost most of its quality. Often when steeped tastes bitter (the aroma has been released in the breaking of the leaves).
There's also a good chance that the tea at the grocery store has been sitting on it's shelves for a while. Even if it was a loose leaf variety has probably lost some of it's potency.
On top of that, most bagged tea has been so heavily processed that there's little left of the goodness of the actual tea. Thus, if you're looking for health benefits of loose leaf tea bagged isn't really the way to go.
Loose leaf tea on the other hand, is still in its purest form and often much less processed from picking to steeping. Because of this, it not only retains it's delicious aroma and flavor but all of its original loose leaf tea benefits as well.
Once I learned all this, I easily made the switch to loose leaf tea! Though admittedly, there were a few stumbles along the way (read more about those further down). And if you're already a tea lover- check out these gifts for tea lovers! You might find something new to bring your tea time up a notch.
Why I Started Drinking Loose Leaf Tea
It was actually my nutrition mentor that made me do it <-- great excuse right?! He had a cup of tea while we worked every single day and it confused the hell out of me.
He was a pretty famous coach for figure competitions and I eventually started working below/with him. While I was learning the ins and outs of competition, one of the tricks he used with clients was to have at least one large cup of loose leaf green tea each day.
Loose leaf green tea has been shown to help boost the metabolism (more on that below) and fire up weight loss. When the girls were in the dry out/water pulling phase we actually bumped that up to multiple cups per day.
Since I was all about practicing new techniques and at that time I could have stood to lose some of my pouch, I started drinking loose leaf green tea too. And then I never seemed to stop!
Now, loose leaf tea is part of my routine. I love it ans have a cup at least once a day.
That said, I also enjoy coffee. Like really. As a mom, I totally live off coffee. Like I NEED that cup in the morning. And sometimes… I need another. Which is where Four Sigmatics Coffee comes in.
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Loose Leaf Tea Is High In Antioxidants
Perhaps the most well known health benefit of all. Loose leaf tea, even gourmet tea, is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to neutralize damaged cells which help us not only look and feel better but also prevent and improve disease.
Has Been Said Lower Cholesterol
I think it's white tea especially has been said to help lower cholesterol because it is the least processed out of the teas. This makes it the amount of antioxidants in the tea higher than the others and thus is a special perk of white tea. That said, green tea has been shown to lower levels (source) so having a balance of teas might be a great perk.
It's been said that loose leaf green tea has been shows to prevent atherosclerosis and lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol. That said, much of this area of tea is still being studied (source)
From my understanding, green tea helps improve circulation which is why we initially used it with figure competitors. Improved circulation combined with healthier overall habits would most likely lead to a reduction in risk of CVD.
Reduce Inflammation & Manage Weight
Again, loose leaf green tea especially has been shown to reduce inflammation, specifically in the bowels. Not only would this improve your immune system but it also helps with weight loss too.
On top of that, it helps boost your metabolism which aids in weight loss. This is the initial reason I started drinking loose leaf tea and it's definitely made a big difference.
Studies are still being done on this one but it`s been rumored that loose leaf green tea, because of its potency, has been shown to help in protecting the body from cancerous cells accumulating and progressing (source). These type of studies are still very new and this, nothing is overly conclusive but I find it insanely intriguing that it's being tested!
Keep in mind that (like everything) quality here would be crucial. Dried out, processed tea bags are not going to be gems. If you want to reap the benefits of loose leaf tea you'll want to focus on quality before anything else.
Loose leaf tea has a calming effect on the body. Matcha especially helps boost mental clarity. Matcha tea is extremely potent and can help boost memory and concentration.
The truth is, loose leaf tea has many more benefits than I could ever list. Herbal teas have been used in tinctures and healing for ages and each flower, herb and tea come with their own health benefits.
But, just in case you missed it: quality matters. If your goal for drinking loose leaf tea are health related, you'll need to ensure the tea is potent, unprocessed and yes, still tasty!
So where do you purchase loose leaf tea?
As I've alluded to above, not all teas are created equal. I've been devastated on learning that many companies add in artificial ingredients, sweeteners and sugars to their teas to create flavor <-- not really what I'm going for.
When the point of loose leaf tea is to boost your health profile, adding in sweeteners only cancels out the benefits.
Instead, my advice is to find a company that focuses on quality and still has really delicious tea. And I finally found one! Adagio Teas are one of the best that I've tried. They're a family owned company based in New Jersey and the reason I love them is because they focus on quality and healing versus additives. Plus, their loose leaf tea tastes amazing!
I recently placed an order with them and here's what I got:
- Turmeric Bliss
- White Fuzzy Navel
- Rooibos Apple Cinnamon
- Green Rooibos Blueberry
- Matcha Apple Cinnamon
- Wild Strawberry
By far my favorite was the Turmeric Bliss- but I expected that! Not only does turmeric come with its own list of benefits but the tea is so light and fruity I absolutely adore it. Note: the bag says to only use ½ a teaspoon per serving but I personally enjoy the flavor with a bit more
All of the teas I order this time around taste amazing. The Apple Cinnamon is perfect on a cold night as it's extremely flavorful. The Blueberry tea was a great pick me up mid morning and the fuzzy naval is uplifting anytime (though I adore peach tea!)
As for the matcha, this was my first experience making a matcha latte but it was amazing. The apple cinnamon flavor is perfect for fall and whipping it up with almond and coconut milk made it ultra creamy and oh so comforting! Normally I add a little bit of matcha to my smoothies for a boost but it was amazing to give it a try warmed.
And of course, my daughters loved (and drank all of!) the wild strawberry. Not only is it fruity and refreshing chilled but the color is a deep pink so it was a pretty big win with them.
A Few More Notes & Tricks
Each kind of loose leaf tea comes with it's own type of health benefits. So, I personally rotate between drinking loose leaf green tea white tea, oolong tea, puree tea and black tea.
Black tea tends to have more caffeine in it than the others and this ease off if you're pregnant. Also, try not to drink any after about 1pm in the day so you can actually sleep!
Don't add sweeteners! I'm all about #youdoyou but this drives me bananas. If you're looking for the health benefits of loose leaf tea, adding in a bunch of sweetener (even if it's "natural") kind of ruins the point.
It takes a while to get used to the potency of straight tea- give it time! It also depends on how long you steep the tea so play around before giving up on loose leaf tea all together.
Truthfully, if you're looking to get started drinking loose leaf tea or need a new variety of teas, check out Adagio. The prices are fair, the tea is insanely delicious, they have a great variety and best of all- they focus on quality and service. It really doesn't get much better than that!
Don't forget to pin these awesome health benefits of loose leaf tea!
Loose leaf tea benefits are wide varied and amazing. From disease prevention, weight control and mental clarity. With so many perks it's a wonderful idea to begin working more tea into your daily routine. And with so many flavorful options- you'll never get bored!