After getting weight loss surgery, you might feel like the list of things you can’t have gets longer and longer the more you think about it. Sugary beverages like sodas and juices are out of the question as they can fill you up on calories without giving you any nutritional benefit. Instead of concentrating on the drinks you know you shouldn’t have, stay positive by thinking of all the new drinks you might not have tried in the past.
It might not be the norm in Albertville or Guntersville to sit down for tea every day as it is in other cultures, but perhaps tea drinking is a habit that is worth picking up. Green tea in particular is loaded with antioxidants and is recognized as being able to promote heart health, improve digestion and even provide enhanced mental clarity.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Countless studies have looked at the health benefits green tea offers. One longitudinal study of over 40,000 Japanese adults found that those who drank green tea throughout the day (an average of five cups daily) were 31 percent less likely to die of heart disease and 42 percent less likely to experience a fatal stroke. This was in comparison to those who drank just one cup of tea or less every day.
Other research shows that green tea is beneficial for the body inside and out. The antioxidants are recognized as beneficial for hair and skin health, and the drink is also recognized as a natural calming agent that can sooth anxiety and improve attention levels. Though some green teas do have caffeine, the quantity is significantly lower than a cup of coffee, with many types of tea offering one-tenth the caffeine level of a standard cup of coffee. If you would rather avoid caffeine altogether, there are plenty of green tea options available that are naturally decaffeinated.
How to Brew Green Tea at Home
One problem that a lot of people encounter is that bottled versions of green tea are loaded with added sugars. Tea is inexpensive and easy to brew yourself, so you can save yourself a few dollars and calories by making it at home.
To brew a cup of tea all you will need is tea leaves, hot water and a mug. Tea is available for purchase at just about any food or wellness store. While pre-packaged tea bags are the easiest place to start, you can also purchase loose tea leaves and a tea ball for more robust flavors. There are thousands of options of tea to choose from and that can be intimidating for many people. For starters, try sticking with basic green tea like a matcha or zen-inspired variety. If you prefer a sweeter drink, try a berry infused tea like a goji berry green or a blueberry-infused herbal tea blend. Once you find your tea bag you are ready to start brewing.
You can use a coffee pot, kettle or just a plain old saucepan to warm water for tea. Don’t put the tea bag into boiling water. Instead, heat the water to about 180 degrees so that steam comes out of the mug or tea pot but the water is not burning hot. Once you have your hot water, place the tea bag or metal ball of loose tea leaves into the tea and let it steep for four to five minutes. Once the flavors are infused you will notice that the color of the water changes to a light green color. You can then remove the tea bag or let it sit as you sip. The longer you leave the tea bag in the tea, the stronger the flavors will be.
If you want your tea iced, use twice the amount of tea bags as you would for a hot beverage and let it steep in hot water for at least 10 minutes, and then pour the beverage over ice.
Brewing a cup of tea takes only a few minutes and is super simple to do, but the result is a zero-calorie tasty beverage. So, the next time you have a craving for a sugar-laden coffee or soda, try brewing yourself a cup of tea instead and see what you think!