Need your daily cuppa? Whether you are looking for something to help you relax or give your digestion a boost, Azizan Rauf suggests looking to the alternatives to caffeine drinks.
Most of us like to have a cuppa on a daily basis. A nice hot cup of tea of coffee is a quick energy fix. While tea and coffee contain antioxidants which are good for us, too much caffeine is bad news for our bodies. Studies have shown that too much caffeine can disturb sleep and have a negative impact on our immune systems which can affect mood and therefore cause tension.
If you're looking for an alternative to caffeine drinks then herbal teas or fruit teas are a great substitute. Not only do these teas contain zero caffeine but they also provide great health benefits.
You may be more used to seeing peppermint as flavouring for chewing gum but there is so much more to this herb than meets the eye. Peppermint is an amazing herb which can help with a variety of health problems. The menthol in peppermint increases the flow of digestive juices and its cooling properties can soothe stomach pain. Peppermint tea is great for the digestive system especially if you need to soothe bloated feeling. It relaxes the muscles around the stomach area and works well for both constipation and diarrhoea. For premenstrual symptoms such as muscle spasms or cramps, try a hot cup of peppermint tea. You can add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten if desired.
Whether you suffer from insomnia or just need a relaxing cuppa before bedtime, camomile is ideal. Camomile is soothing and well-known for its natural sleep promoting properties. To aid restful sleep try drinking a cup of camomile tea before bedtime. Some studies have shown that camomile tea may also help women with menstrual cramps.
Lemon tea is cleansing for the body as it helps clear toxins out of the liver. It also helps to boost your metabolism if drunk first thing in the morning. Lemon and lime juice is a great source of vitamin C and can be combined with water for a refreshing tea. Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants to include in your diet as it helps to neutralise free radicals in the body which can cause inflammation, damage blood vessels and build-up cholesterol in the artery walls. Vitamin C is also vital for strengthening your immune system, so a little extra vitamin C may help to relieve conditions like colds and flu.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants so it's good for cold and flu symptoms and is great for your skin. It boosts metabolism so it's good for weight loss and it can help lower cholesterol and keep your blood pressure healthy.
If that's not a good enough reason, then it's worth knowing that green tea can reduce your risk of various cancers including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Green tea does contain some caffeine so it's best to avoid drinking it late in the evening as it can cause insomnia. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and if drunk during the day it is unlikely to affect sleep patterns.
Green tea does have a slightly bitter taste and is drunk without milk but you can sweeten it with honey. There are many different flavours to try ranging from apple and pear to lemon so give it a shot.
Cinnamon tea has anti-bacterial properties and is good for cold and flu symptoms and good for digestion. It's also quite warming for body so it's ideal for winter. Its relaxing properties make it a good choice when you feel stressed or just want to chill out. Studies have shown that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
Ginger is great for fighting infections so if you suffer from a sore throat, cold or flu then try this if all else fails. The great thing about ginger is that it is antiseptic, antiviral and an antioxidant. It also stimulates your circulation and is good for treating morning sickness.
This article was first published in SISTERS, the magazine for fabulous Muslim women. Visit the SISTERS website at www.sisters-magazine.com to read more articles - and download a complimentary issue!