Tea-up a Healthy Mind and Body in 2016 With These Easy Recipes
January is typically the time of year when most people make resolutions to give lifestyle a healthy makeover, and to get in the best shape ever — there’s something about the fresh start to the year that makes it easier to give ourselves a clean slate and to really fuel motivation.
If you’re like most moms though who have struggled each year to find the time to really kick-start those positive New Year’s habits, it pays to add as many weapons to your health arsenal as possible. This is where the power of tea can come in handy. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, build muscle, gain focus and clarity, stress less, or have some other mind and body goals, you’ll find that tea can be your best friend when it comes to achieving them.
With health benefits including relaxation, metabolism and brain-function boosting, appetite suppression, and sugar-craving reduction, there is much to love about the humble drink. If you’re keen to try out some new recipes that will help you say goodbye to flab and hello to fab, see how tea can make 2016 a healthy and productive year for you.
Green Tea Smoothie
If you find it difficult to have a big breakfast of a morning but still want to get your metabolism working and your body fuelled with good food, consider making a green tea smoothie (it’s also nice and quick to put together, which is an added bonus on busy days!)
There are plenty of benefits to consuming green tea. This type of tea is made when leaves are dried and steamed, rather than fermented (a process used for black tea.) In fact, because green tea is made without fermentation, it retains the maximum amount of antioxidants and other helpful compounds that will make you feel good and look great.
Studies over the years have found that green tea can have benefits such as weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, lowered blood pressure, and a reduction in the risk of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease. In addition, the tea can potentially decrease tooth decay, help with signs of aging, reduce symptoms of depression, and act as an antibacterial and antiviral agent.
To make a green tea smoothie, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Approximately 8 fluid ounces of cooled, brewed green tea.
- 5 cups of fruit (Try using combinations such as half a banana, half a chopped apple or pear, and half a mango, to add extra sweetness. Frozen fruit is always good too, as it helps to make your drink colder.)
- 1 cup of spinach leaves
- A handful of ice cubes
To make the smoothie, simply blend all the ingredients together in a blender for one minute, or until your preferred consistency has been achieved.
Lavender Mint Iced Tea
If you’re looking for a cool drink to enjoy during a stressful day, after a workout, or before you go to bed, skip the sugar-laden energy drinks and soda and instead try a homemade iced tea. While you can use various types of tea to create this beverage, one made with lavender can have a variety of benefits which will help you unwind and feel better.
Lavender is known throughout the world for its relaxing effects. The soothing aroma of the plant leaves are said to help slow nervous system activity, thus increasing relaxation. Lavender can help with issues such as insomnia, stress, depression and anxiety.
In addition, lavender is also believed to be an aid for digestive issues such as indigestion and nervous stomachs, as well as potentially gastric ulcers. The plant is also sometimes used to help reduce spasms and convulsions, treat migraines, help with loss of appetite, and sooth toothaches.
To make a refreshing lavender mint iced tea, you’ll need these ingredients:
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers (Look for organic lavender tea leaves if possible, for the purest drink.)
- 1/4 cup of mint sprigs, loosely packed
- Honey to sweeten
- Ice for serving, plus some lemon slices
To make the iced tea, pour the boiling water over your lavender leaves and the mint, and let it steep for at least 5 minutes. After this time, strain the blend, and sweeten it with honey (to desired level). When done, refrigerate the liquid until it is chilled, and then serve over ice with some lemon slices as a garnish.