We all know how important it is to drink plenty of liquids. Water is essential, but can get a little…bland, to say the least. It’s nice to switch things up in our hydration routine, and tea just so happens to be the perfect proxy.
Tea is amazing for you. Packed full of antioxidants called flavonoids, tea is a great way to stay hydrated and reap tons of amazing health benefits. Drinking a glass or two of tea a day is absolutely beneficial to your health, and there are a number of different ways to be creative when brewing.
Before you start brewing your own healthy iced teas, check out some of the amazing benefits tea (hot or cold) contains. You’ll soon understand why adding a healthy iced tea to your diet is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and fight disease.
Benefits of Drinking Iced (or Hot) Tea
- Helps Fight Free Radicals
- Full of Antioxidants
- Helps with Diabetes Symptoms
- Good for the Brain
- May Lessen the Risk of Lung Cancer in Smokers
- Lowered Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
- Hydrates the Body
Brewing Your Own Healthy Iced Tea
Getting creative with iced tea can be really fun. There are so many different types of teas that the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to mixing up all theose benefits with fun and refreshing flavors.
Hibiscus-Pomegranate Iced Tea
This tropical tea combo is full of benefits and tastes like you’re on an island holiday. Hibiscus flower has been used for centuries by different cultures around the world as a natural remedy for respiratory health, circulation, and a healthy heart. More recent scientific research has shown that hibiscus is good for lowering cholesterol levels and helping people maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Pomegranate has the most powerful antioxidants of all fruits. It reduces the risk and symptoms of cancer, supports heart health, protects against heart attacks and strokes, and is awesomely powerful in supporting immune function.
To make this powerful tea full of antioxidants and healthy benefits, simply brew 5-6 tea bags of hibiscus tea or simmer one cup dried hibiscus flowers in four cups of water for approximately twenty minutes. Let this cool, then add either equal parts pomegranate juice or pomegranate tea. You can also sweeten things up a bit by adding stevia or agave nectar to taste.
Inspired by: Webmd.com
Minty Iced Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most beneficial of all teas and is known for its high dose of antioxidants. It’s been used for thousands of years as a health tonic and is good for quite a few things when it comes to good health. It has been proven to help aid in weight loss, keeps cholesterol levels in check, regulates blood pressure, reduces the signs of aging, and may even be able to reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Combining freshly brewed green tea with fresh mint is a refreshing way to stay hydrated in the hot months of summer. Mint tea is loaded with health and beauty benefits of its own. Peppermint tea has been shown to be great for losing weight, relieving stress and headaches, clearing up skin problems, and settling your stomach.
Inspired by: Health.com
Ginger and Honey Iced Tea
Ginger is one of the oldest natural health remedies known to man. Brewing up a fresh batch of ginger tea and honey is a refreshing way to harness the power of these two powerful natural health boosters. Ginger tea has been shown to relieve stress, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and relieve menstrual cramps.
Honey is ridiculously good for you and has been used for thousands of years as an anti-bacterial, immune strengthening, skin clearing, well-revered antioxidant. Adding honey to fresh brewed ginger tea is a refreshing way to sweeten up the benefits that are plentiful in fresh ginger tea.
Using fresh ginger is really the way to go, and is an easy and affordable way to prepare this tea. Simply take and slice about a three inch piece of ginger root. Simmer this in lightly boiling water for approximately twenty minutes and strain into a pitcher. Add unfiltered, raw honey to taste and squeeze in the juice of one lemon (lemon is optional). It also makes a great alternative to ginger ale or ginger beer when you top your glass with a splash of soda water.
Inspired by: Realsimple.com
Tips to Making the Best Iced Tea Ever
While tea is by no means hard to make, there are some things to keep in mind for ultimate brewing success. To get the most out of your favorite iced tea recipes, be sure to keep the following things in mind:
Use Fresh Tea
Tea loses its power after a while, because the oils that are present in the tea begin to break down over time. Make sure you’re using the freshest tea bags you can find, or better yet, use loose tea leaves.
Use Fresh Spring Water
Okay, while you don’t have to gather your water from a fresh spring to get the most out of your brew, using the freshest and purest water you can find is really going to make a difference in the quality of your tea.
Get Your Water Temperature Right
Different teas brew better at different temperatures. Boiling water should be used to brew black teas, herbal teas, and darker oolong teas. Warm, but not boiling water is the best for brewing more delicate teas such as white teas or lighter oolong varieties.
Steep For Just Enough Time
You want to make sure you steep your tea for just enough time, not too long and not too little. Brewing your tea for too long will make it taste bitter, while not brewing for long enough will keep you from getting the most benefits from your tea. You should brew long enough to just release the flavor of the tea. 3-5 minutes for darker varieties like black or darker oolongs, and only 2-3 minutes for green and white teas.
The Bottom Line
There are so many different kinds of teas that the possibilities for different kinds of healthy iced tea recipes are practically endless.