At the close of last year I decided, once and for all, to start eating for fuel and not so much for pleasure. I looked into everything about cleaner eating and Mediterranean diets.
I also remembered that, a few years ago, I had heard about Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s diet. He’s the famous dermatologist/nutritionist, who has written many books on maintaining the appearance of youth and the effects of food on skin and overall health. He also has a luxury skincare line revered by many people, especially famous ones who can afford it. I searched for the Perricone diet and landed on his book “The Perricone Prescription”, which I bought on Amazon. Unsurprisingly, guess what he drinks every morning? Green tea.
Until recently, I wasn’t familiar with drinking tea. I admit I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a child; my grandmother thought it would help me learn to socialize with adults. LOL. Luckily, it also has many health benefits. But with the demands of law school and real life thereafter, it got to the point where I was drinking close to 5 cups a day! Way too much…So, my experience with tea, at that point in my life, was pretty much none. Like this guy:
But I was missing out! Per the New York Times, recent studies suggest that tea seems to have many potential benefits and no harms.
So I’ve begun having tea – lots of it. Thus far, I believe that 3-4 cups a day (especially of green tea) has made a difference. I feel it has bettered my overall well-being, has made me more mindful, and has improved my skin dryness.
Green Tea Health Benefits, According to the Perricone Diet
The Perricone Diet recommends green tea over morning coffee, because coffee raises the body’s cortisol level (a.k.a. the stress hormone that is essential for fight or flight mode, but is really bad when it stays in the body for long periods of time). It’s so bad it’s also known as “the death hormone”, breaking tissue down and guess what? Contributing to that excess fat in your mid-section. 🙁
According to Dr. Perricone, green tea contains polyphenols, which are strong natural antioxidants. It fights disease and inflammation, which can be seen in something as simple as wrinkles and sagging skin, as well as more serious stuff like inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. So, green tea fights inflammation at a cellular level, while also boosting the immune system. I read this and said: “okay, I’m in”.
Still not convinced? As I learned from Dr. Perricone, another health benefit of green tea is that it boosts weight loss by decreasing absorption of fats and increasing calorie-burning!
Having had severely dry skin, I decided to give the diet and green tea a try. My past experiences with trying to cut back on coffee had only resulted in massive headaches, but I was determined to give it a run since it sounded so promising. I noticed that green tea also comes with and without caffeine; I, of course, prefer it with caffeine and find that it wakes me up in the mornings – it’s just a matter of getting used to it.
Truth be told, though, there’s something psychologically compelling about the smell of coffee that has no comparison. I did not eliminate coffee altogether from my life, since I still indulge in a delicious cup of coffee at least once a week. But honestly, in more than 10 years of having a lot of coffee and only 2.5 months of drinking tea, I see a dramatic difference in my skin and stress levels. So, I’m a convert!
Ginger Tea Benefits
Another tea I really like is ginger tea. The best way to make it is to buy the ginger root and peel it or grate it and boil it in water, though you can also boil it in skim milk. It’s anti-inflammatory and relaxing on the muscles, which makes it great to take right before bed, or in bed :-). It’s so relaxing I’ve even had trouble getting out of bed the next morning because the tea was too strong. LOL.
You can also get ginger tea from the store or online, which is usually cheaper provided that you can wait a few days until delivery. Trader Joe’s also has a nice Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea, which I recommend.
According to Healthline, ginger has many benefits including reducing muscle soreness, alleviating inflammation, and even controlling cholesterol and blood sugar. Now you know what to drink next time you leave the gym all sore! 😉
Chamomile Tea Benefits
My other go-to evening tea is chamomile tea. It’s very relaxing at night and has a soothing smell. I think this is the most common use: to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. According to Healthline, chamomile is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. So, raise your hand if you’re down to get these benefits!
Also, per WebMD, chamomile, in general, can be used as a relief aid in cancer treatments, insomnia, and, surprisingly, when used on the skin it may be as effective as hydrocortisone cream for eczema. WebMD does caution that people with heart disease might want to avoid chamomile as it contains a small amount of coumarin, which may have very mild blood thinning effects.
One Last Thing…
Although this may sound silly, I think holding a warm cup of tea with both hands creates a sense of mindfulness. Think about it – if you use both hands to grab your drink and smell your tea, that means you don’t have your phone in your hand or are at least multitasking less. Haha. It’s like the French drinking coffee in bowls instead of a handled mug. The bowl is usually large enough to require both hands to drink and practically covers your entire face, preventing you from seeing much around the sides. The result: mindful coffee/tea drinking by accident.
So, if you’re ready to start enjoying the health benefits of tea, I suggest that once you know what you like, you buy your tea online for some serious savings. Here are 3 cheap and awesome sites you can turn to.
So, whether green tea, ginger tea, or chamomile tea does it for you, make sure you grab your favorite kind and don’t miss out on the great health benefits of tea. Your skin and your body will show the results, and you’ll get the added bonus of an extra glow. I’m in!
That’s my take!
Do you enjoy drinking tea? What is your favorite kind? Do you believe in the health benefits of tea?
I’m Lily, a lawyer and aspiring Miami fashion entrepreneur sharing life hacks and my favorite tidbits on lifestyle, shopping, fashion, and beauty.
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
Hi Lily, My wife’s a big tea drinker. She stocks a lot of different varieties at home. My favorites:
Peppermint-tasty and easy on the stomach
Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals-great for soothing a sore throat
Hi Tom! Your wife is ahead of the game!! My mom actually recommended I buy a throat soothing one, but did not specify a brand, so I bought the first one I saw at Homegoods. It has done wonders for me, especially on those days that I’m with friends and won’t shut up. LOL. I’ll be sure to check out that brand! Thanks! 🙂
I’m not a good tea drinker but in the way you “sell it” is a win-win. That’s remind me your grandpa that always “sell” the vegetables with something good for you so you just eating them. Probably now I’m seeing the benefits… 😉 I’ll try the tea…
Hi Judith!! Oh yes, he would do that!! 🙂 He always found a way to make everyone eat anything, he was such a wonderful cook!!
Yes, try the tea…it’s an acquired taste you now. I personally don’t put sugar or honey. I just take it plain, just like that. I like it warm at night, just before bed. I hope you start seeing the wonderful benefits soon!! 🙂
Mrs. Defined Sight says
Ohhh I do feel bad about my coffee drinking – even worse this past year I started putting creamer into it.
I’m not as bad as I was mid/late 20s (a whole pot or more!) but now do 2-4 cups. I quit cold turkey when I got prego & breastfed. Oddly – I didn’t go through withdrawals.
But as you mentioned, it is the psychological factor! Sometimes I wake up and fly out of bed, “sweet! It’s morning and I can have coffee!” And I’m like a crack addict when I smell it, “is that hazelnut coffee so and so has in the office??”
K. Health benefits wise I feel bad and can try and be better. Can I put creamer in my tea?
Hi Mrs. DS!
Well, I think creamer in your tea may taste funny. LOL. I’m not inspired to try it but let me know if you do! 😛 Funny thing, I also loved hazelnut coffee, but last year I felt it wasn’t waking me up as I needed. So, living in Miami I discovered something fairly common here: Cuban coffee. Not from Cuba actually, but prepared “Cuban Style”, made in a stove top espresso maker and creating a paste with the first 2-3 teaspoons of coffee that come out. You essentially pour these teaspoons over WHITE sugar (like 2 tablespoons), and whisk vigorously creating a golden paste. Once the remaining coffee is ready in the espresso maker, you mix the desired amount with your golden paste and BOOM!! This is like crack! HAHA. Some seriously strong stuff. From mid-last year until December I was drinking 3 of these Cuban coffees a day, and would sleep like a baby…I say this to say, don’t feel bad with your creamer. In Miami if you visit a local place and want to order this bomb you just order a “Colada” (pronounced Koh-la-da). So now you know how to impress your fellow coffee addicts by treating them to a Colada! 🙂
finsavvypanda @ finsavvypanda.com says
What an awesome post about tea!! I LOVE IT!
It’s sooo funny because I literally just walked back from my office kitchen and back with a jasmine green tea in my hands. When I read you’re title, I kinda chuckled, lol.
I agree that green tea is awesome! I’ve been drinking that for a long time, but I have to scale back.
All the doctors I’ve visited told me to cut back on green tea because I have low blood pressure. Green tea is known to lower BP which is why it’s a health benefit. But when you’re on the other end of the spectrum, it could be bad. I’ve had many instances where I actually felt like fainting (and have actually fainted) because of daily consumption of green tea. To add to this oddness, my doctor told me to cut back on dark chocolate as well (something that lowers your BP too), but he said to eat more milk chocolate. I told him: “BUT I love eating dark chocolate with green tea! And I don’t like milk chocolate!” lol
So when I read this post, I felt so unfortunate that I couldn’t consume the things that I feel relieves stress — at least I think they do haha.
P.S. Chamomile is like my second fave tea after green tea! This is my substitute since I’m not supposed to take too much of the green… yet I still sorta do.
P.S.S. Not sure if you’ve tried green tea ice cream but that stuff is awesome!
Oh I didn’t know that green tea could be that bad for people with low BP. 🙁 Then you should definitely cut back on it! You do have carte blanche to eat all the Nutella you want. LOL. You could love it if you try it daily with crepes. I know, this is such bad advice. 🙂 My mom also has low BP and doctors have told her to drink a glass of brandy to get it right back up! They have completely forbidden her from drinking grapefruit and passion fruit, for the same reasons. Funny enough she doesn’t like chocolate! I know: WHAT?!?!
I agree chamomile is awesome. I was thinking perhaps you should look into raspberry leaf tea, I think it increases BP a bit. I take one from Yogi called Raspberry Focus, it gives me a feeling of being wired. 🙂
I’ll give the green tea ice cream a try!! Thanks!!
Mr. Groovy says
I love it, Lily. I’ve recently begun to explore tea as well. I saw this recipe on YouTube and it really helps me make it through the morning without eating.
A dollop of coconut oil
A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
And a dash of pumpkin spice
It takes a couple of weeks to get used to it, though. That apple cider vinegar is nasty. Anyway, great post. I’ll have to give the other teas you mentioned a try. Cheers.
Oh Mr. Groovy you’re brave! I hope it’s worth it cause the apple cider vinegar is challenging; I’ve only used as a hair rinse and it was tough…hum, maybe I’ll test it with Miguel! LOL. Cheers.