As you muscle through winter, the cold can throw a few curve balls at your health.
To begin with, you tend to get hungrier in cold weather – much hungrier. This is because your body needs more energy to keep warm. But when you eat during the winter months, you lean towards those heavier, creamier, cheesier comfort foods – because, let’s face it, nobody wants a cold, crisp salad when it’s frigid outside.
But heavier meals can place greater stress on your digestive system. The result? You can end up feeling tired and sluggish. You may even gain weight.
So before you run out and sign up for some strange new juice cleansing fad, there’s actually a much simpler way to detox, lose weight, and cleanse your system on a daily basis…
On a cool day, there’s really nothing nicer than sipping a hot drink. And it’s even better when you know that drink is providing you with wonderful health benefits. The great thing about herbal teas is you really can sip on them all day long – without the anxiety that would most certainly come with the same amount of coffee.
So, just how is herbal tea different from normal tea?
Well, herbal tea isn’t actually “tea” at all. Tea comes from the tea leaf – the leaf of a specific “tea” plant. Herbal tea instead uses the leaves, seeds, roots or bark of other plants and herbs. This is especially important if you’re trying to avoid caffeine. Caffeine is found in real tea but not in herbal tea.
Here are the 5 best teas for detoxing. The best part? You can grow them all in your own backyard!
1. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is always a popular choice. The distinct taste instantly conjures up the flavors of peppermint bark or chocolate-mint ice cream, which can be a great diversion if you’re watching your weight and looking to cleanse your system.
Peppermint tea has long been considered an herbal antidote for upset stomachs and it’s often recommended for digestive issues. But this is now backed by modern science, with studies showing that peppermint is able to soothe the muscles of the stomach and improve the flow of bile. The body needs bile in order to digest fat.1
Other recent studies, specifically on peppermint tea and irritable bowel issues, have shown promising results with such symptoms as bloating and gas.2
Peppermint tea is a great after-dinner cleansing drink if you’re looking to better digest fat and rid your system of uncomfortable gas and bloating.
2. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion isn’t so much an herb as it is a garden weed. But don’t underestimate it just yet.
Dandelion tea is made from the flowers of the dandelion, and dandelion root is used for dandelion “coffee.” Traditionally, dandelion was used by Native Americans to conquer kidney problems, heartburn, and digestive issues. Today, dandelion is often used as a remedy for liver and gallbladder issues or as a diuretic.3
Dandelion tea may therefore be a great remedy for cleansing out excess toxins and fluids when you’re feeling bloated.
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger is a centuries-old remedy for upset stomach – it can help fight certain illnesses, reduce motion sickness, and even give a little comfort to pregnant women. But modern researchers have also become fascinated with ginger and stomach distress. One study gave expecting mothers 125 mg of ginger extract four times a day for four days and found that the women experienced significantly less nausea.4
So ginger may be effective for cleansing and calming your stomach after overeating.
Now, if your need for a good cleanse is due to a nasty winter cold, there’s more good news. Sipping ginger tea may help to reduce congestion, runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chills, and fatigue.5
Finally, if you need to detox or cleanse after the past weekend’s sugar binge, ginger is here to help. Researchers have found that ginger may be able to assist in lowering blood sugar levels. Clinical studies found that 2 grams of ginger per day lowered fasting blood sugar by up to 12%.6
4. Rose Hip Tea
If you’re not acquainted with the rose hip, it’s actually the fruit of the rose – proving that roses aren’t just beautiful to smell. Rose hips are ultra-high in vitamin C – they have 9 times more vitamin C than the equivalent amount of oranges.7,8
When you’re feeling as if your skin is clogged, and your appearance is dull and lackluster, vitamin C can be a real detox hero. This is because vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that’s essential for fighting free radical damage from your environment while also repairing tissue.
In addition to its antioxidant power, vitamin C assists the body in making collagen, which our skin needs to retain elasticity and that plump, healthy-looking texture. Vitamin C has also been linked to a decreased risk of dull, dry skin.9
5. Milk Thistle Tea
Last but not least, milk thistle is a member of the sunflower family, with a 2,000-year-old history as a remedy for liver, kidney, and gallbladder issues. But milk thistle has a little secret: an active compound known as “silymarin,” and that’s where its detoxifying, liver-cleansing magic lies.
Silymarin is made up of a group of flavonoids, which are thought to not only help repair liver cells damaged by harmful toxins but protect new liver cells from the same toxins.10
In Germany, where the government regulates herbal medicines, milk thistle is officially listed as a treatment for indigestion and toxin-induced liver damage. Here in the US, studies have found it to be the most commonly used liver protectant used by patients in US gastrointestinal clinics.11
It really is so easy, and safe, to cleanse your system on a daily basis with herbal teas. The wonderful thing is that not only do they taste good, they’re also calorie-free, making them the perfect weight-loss tea if you’re trying to halt unhealthy cravings. And again, their antioxidant power can help keep you healthy through the winter.
And, for the record, herbal tea is far less expensive than any other detox supplement or smoothie you’ll find.
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