Does iced tea have the same health benefits?
The summer time is upon us. That means that majority of us will be soaking up the sun, attending events with family or friends. And attending barbecues. While we all enjoy these activities, there is another summertime staple that goes great will all things related to summer…
The second most consumed beverage in the world is tea, and that is largely in part to its diversity to be enjoyed hot or iced, and also in part to the known health benefits of tea. Despite the pleasure that can arise from drinking a glass of iced tea, the iced variant has proven to be less popular that hot tea in recent years. While the popularity has waned in recent years, there are still a number of reasons to grab for the glass of iced tea and bring its popularity back up to where it should be.
Iced tea = Same Health Benefits as Hot Tea
A very prevalent rumor is that, once tea is iced, it does not offer the same health benefits as tea when it is hot. However, recent studies are showing that iced tea carries the same anti-oxidant count as hot tea, and the phyto-chemicals in tea are not depleted through icing, which means that you still receive the same boost to mental alertness and the known benefits that may help prevent heart conditions.
When people think of summer time, they often think of barbecues, which frequently serves not only wonderful grilled foods, but often sweetened drinks. Whether you are talking about soda, diet soda, lemonade, adult beverages, or other canned and bottled drinks, iced tea is going to be healthier for your body. Most of these beverages listed are loaded with excess sugar, with some brands containing 33 (or even more!) grams of added sugar, which is very close to the 40 gram max that the Nutrition.gov (The USDA) recommends that adults consume. In addition, most of these canned beverages or soft drinks contain added chemicals, dyes, and chemically altered food-based ingredients as well, none of which are good for you or your family. Iced tea that you make yourself is an alternative that will avoid the pitfalls associated with these additives, and often times the taste is going to be better than artificial drinks.
There is also new information on the artificial and calorie free sweeteners; modern studies are showing that these chemical sweeteners may actually trigger increased appetite, meaning that you will consume more calories than you are saving by skipping out on the calories in the soda. In addition, the way these chemicals break down in the human body have been shown to emit toxic chemicals, which are clearly not good for anyone.
Iced tea = Increased Calorie Burn
That’s right! Iced tea may actually help you to lose weight faster than hot tea does! New studies are showing that consumption of green tea can increase metabolic activity by up to 4% alone. It is also known that the body must heat liquids up to body temperature before it can process them. So, if you ice your tea to a cold temperature of 50 degrees, your body has to raise the temperature of that tea by over 40 degrees, which takes energy, and can burn calories. In this way, iced tea is better for weight loss than hot tea.
Iced Tea = Stabilization of Blood Sugar
All tea is good for the overall stabilization of the blood sugar due to the flavonoids and phyto-chemicals that are present. However, new studies are showing that hot tea may not due quite as a good of a job as iced tea at accomplishing this. Those who suffer from diabetes or other blood sugar conditions may find that consuming too much hot food may cause insulin levels in the blood to break down, which could result in the body overcompensating by spiking blood sugar product, increasing blood sugar. While it is not certain as of yet, as more studies are needed, this does give an extra reason to enjoy iced tea during not only the summer months, but all year round.
Enjoying Iced Tea Naturally
Now, one of the key points to think about with iced tea is that you are making a healthy decision by switching off of your favorite sweetened beverage. However, If you choose to pour as much or more sugar into the glass then you will find in soda, then you are not receiving the health benefits of the tea. There are people that think that iced tea is bitter due to the tannic acid build up that may result from icing, which explains why people may choose to add sugar or other sweeteners. However, there are ways to temper this effect to ensure that your healthy selection stays a healthy alternative.
Keep it Fresh
Making the tea and icing it immediately before serving it will allow the flavor of the tea to come out without allowing the tannic acids to make the tea bitter. Not only does this improve the taste, but it maintains the quality of the brewed tea.
If you really cannot acquire a taste for iced tea without an added sweetener, then you should be sure to use something natural and healthy. The best option for this is to use a raw honey; raw honey dissolves well in cold water and does make a very good sweetener for iced teas. Avoid processed sugars and syrups, as these are not much better than the sodas and other sweetened beverages that you are trying to give up!