This generation is considered to be a coffee-inclined generation. Studies show that over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day across the world. In the U.S. alone, about 150 million Americans drink not one, not two, but three cups of coffee or any of its variants (latte, espresso, cappuccino, and iced/cold coffees) each day.
In Australia, the Bureau of Statistics revealed about two years ago that 46 percent of the nation’s population drinks coffee on a daily basis. Surveys also show that it is among the top five things that an individual thinks about doing after he wakes up.
For the longest time, coffee has been considered to be a man’s drink, mainly because it keeps men alert and focused to help them go through their workday. But today, women, and most teenagers have also become fond of this dark, beany drink.
Good thing there is nothing wrong about drinking too much coffee. Right?
Harmful Effects of Coffee
Most people are not aware of them, but coffee poses certain risks as well. Even if you are not interested in instant coffee and prefer brewed or premium drinks, there are still a few things you still need to know.
Coffee contains a natural stimulant called caffeine, which is found in plant sources such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao, nuts, and other seeds.The main function of this substance is to ‘wake up’ the central nervous system, keep the body energetic, and promote focus and concentration. People who drink coffee are more alert and have better brain function than those who don’t.
However, while there are a number of benefits for caffeine intake, this substance can also be addictive, which results in caffeine-dependence. When a person suffers from dependence to caffeine, he would not be able to do certain tasks normally without satisfying the need for this substance. If you love drinking coffee everyday, here are some signs that you are becoming dependent to its caffeine content:
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Cannot retain focus and concentration without drinking coffee or eating chocolate
- Irritability when craving for caffeine
- Restlessness unless you take a sip of coffee
There are also various risks of too much caffeine intake in your body. For adults, too much coffee may result in involuntary muscle tremors, nausea, faster heartbeat, and an upset stomach. One common problem among heavy coffee drinkers is heartburn, which takes place because caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) of the stomach, allowing acids to go up the esophagus.
In addition, caffeine addiction is also attributed to psychological issues like feeling of being energetic and alert, being more effective, and more sociable. A person who is suffering from ‘caffeine use disorder’ could have these subjective feelings whenever he drinks a cup of coffee.
Pregnant women who drink coffee in high amounts could also lead to low birth weight among babies, and studies show that drinking more than three cups of coffee a day can increase risk of early death.
If coffee is not anymore a viable option every time you get thirsty or crave for a tasteful drink, what can be a good alternative? Fortunately, there is another drink that is not only tasty like coffee, but provides more health benefits as well.
What is Organic Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea, or commonly referred to as red bush tea, comes from a plant that only grows in South Africa. For centuries, it has been a favorite drink in the country, although in the last few years it has gained worldwide popularity among tea and even coffee drinkers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and other countries.
It is one of the most recommended alternatives to coffee because in spite of it being tea, it has a flavorful and fruity taste to it that is definitely refreshing. Coming from the mountainous region of Western Cape in South Africa, the needle-like rooibos leaves are handpicked by expert tea makers. The leaves are then oxidised (also known as fermentation) in order to get the trademark red color.
Meanwhile, for tea drinkers who prefer the more traditional and herbal taste of green tea, unoxidised rooibos green leaves are also available in the market today.
What is So Special about It?
While the popularity of rooibos is just beginning, it has actually been studied and found to contain a wide range of vitamins particularly ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, polyphenols, which help strengthen the immune system of the body, and various minerals. It also contains antioxidants to help prevent certain diseases and health conditions.
In addition, rooibos tea does not contain any caffeine, and it has considerably lower tannin levels compared to other teas in the market today. Moreover, for something that tastes this good, this African tea provides a lot of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
In case you are wondering how this simple herbal plant from Africa can help you, here are some of the proven health benefits of this red tea.
- It is effective in providing an energy boost for the body. The antioxidants present in rooibos aids in keeping the body energetic and productive throughout the day. You would not need caffeine in your system just to increase your focus if you can get a healthier alternative.
- It can help reduce risks of heart diseases and certain cancers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rooibos tea can take out the body’s toxic wastes, which could lead to serious diseases if not checked.
- It helps in keeping blood pressure in check. Hypertension takes place when the heart exerts too much effort in pumping blood through the arteries, which are often blocked by plaque or fat among high-risk individuals. Red tea can help maintain a low blood pressure, paired with a proper diet.
- It helps maintain a healthy respiratory system. Studies show that rooibos is a natural bronchodilator, which simply means it expands the bronchi and bronchioles, parts of the lungs that facilitate in breathing. A wider respiratory tract will result in better and deeper breathing, helping people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
- It fights free radicals and prevents illnesses like flu, common colds, and other viruses. As mentioned earlier, rooibos leaves contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help reduce the number of free radicals in the body. At the same time, these polyphenols, particularly aspalathin and nothofagin, have antiviral properties to help fight common viruses.
- It helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Aside from the ones mentioned, rooibos also promotes proper digestion and a healthy bowel movement. It has agents that inhibit spasms in the digestive tract, and smoothens muscles in the gut. People who believe they would suffer from digestive problems should drink a cup of rooibos tea at least 30 minutes before eating.
- It makes bones and teeth stronger. Rooibos also has high concentrations of magnesium, calcium and fluoride, making it an ideal drink for people who want to regain bone density. It is also an effective drink to prevent osteoporosis, especially among the elderly.
- It helps in improving the look of your skin.Substances like alpha hydroxyl acid, as well as zinc, both help in alleviating some skin problems like acne, sunburns and even uneven skin tone.
- It helps prevent and fight Type II Diabetes. Aside from being an antioxidant, aspalathinis also an agent in balancing sugar levels in the body. In addition, it also helps in improving insulin resistance in the body, which is critical in people with risks of diabetes.
Rooibos tea has many other health benefits that can provide holistic well being to anyone who drinks it. These benefits are already proven by extensive research conducted on the plant for many years. So whenever you are drinking a cup of rooibos tea, you are not only enjoying its smooth flavor and unique aroma, you are also giving your body a favor and keeping it healthy.
As you can see, rooibos tea is a drink that you can enjoy no matter how much you drink it. Of course, you cannot do the same with coffee. If you just found out that you are becoming caffeine-dependent, and you want to change things for the better, then it is best to buy rooibos tea and drink a cup at least once a day.
Where to Buy Rooibos Tea
If you are not living in South Africa, the question now is how you can buy rooibos tea. Fortunately, there are online and even local stores that offer rooibos tea in Australia to make sure that even non-South Africans can enjoy the many benefits of rooibos tea.
Compared to coffee purchased at some popular coffee stores and shops in the country, rooibos is much cheaper, which is healthy for your pocket as well. Currently, this refreshing tea provides all the essential health benefits that no other flavorful drink can provide. If you prefer other flavors in your tea, there are also options for milk, vanilla, or even espresso rooibos tea.