by Michelle, the “Tea Nutritionist”
I love being a Nutritionist who studies tea. In nutrition school my eyes were opened to the amazing healing powers of a plant-based diet and the value of whole foods, whose concert of nutrients work synergistically to nourish and promote the body’s ability to heal naturally. As a tea professional, I instantly became aware that everything I have learned about foods and healthy eating, is completely transferable to quality loose teas and tisanes – because they too, are whole foods. It’s never about just one nutrient – it’s about what the plant as a whole, offers to the body as a complete package of nutrients. Understanding this, helps to understand why tea as a beverage, offers so many potential health benefits.
I get questions all the time about health benefits of teas. I invite your questions/topics you’d like me to write about, to michelle@beTeas.com and I would love to share information with you. So to start off, here is a post on workout recovery! I thought this may be an appropriate topic to begin with as nice weather is finally here and people are out and about resuming fitness routines and outdoor activities after a long stagnant winter.
Last week a customer wrote to ask me about which teas would help support recovery from post work-out muscle aches and tenderness or even post therapeutic massage? Most of us have come know this post work-out pain as lactic acid build up, though researchers indicate there are misconceptions about lactic acid relative to muscle soreness. Stephen Roth, a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland wrote a useful article about this a few years ago in Scientific American which you may find helpful: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-lactic-acid-buil/.
However, back to the original question: through some chain of events in our bodies we often experience muscle soreness after intense physical labour or a strenuous work out – is there tea that can help? In nutritional health it is well known that magnesium is the go-to mineral for any achy condition as it helps to promote replenishment of oxygen in the cells and is nature’s relaxing mineral – good for sore muscles, aches and joints, headaches, and can even help promote restful sleep – so in that, I would recommend Honeybush or Rooibos because these naturally caffeine-free South African herbs are rich in vitamins but especially minerals; including lots of magnesium, calcium and other minerals (and to support our whole food argument, minerals are most effective when they work together and are thus found together in plants). Potassium is another mineral abundant in both of these plants. Potassium is an important electrolyte that supports the health of nerves and muscles as well as the ph balance of the body as a whole which is incredibly important to healing in this modern world of the acidic Western-diet. Combined with powerful antioxidants, Rooibos and Honeybush offer a host of protective and restorative benefits to the body’s cells.
Honeybush is lesser known than Rooibos but both of these plants hail from the South African Cape and are to South Africa what tea is to China – indigenous people have drank these healthful tonics for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years as a staple, nutritional beverage (South African folklore boasts Roobios as beneficial for calming colicky babies!). Rooibos is commonly found nowadays as a base to herbal blends because it is a relatively inexpensive ingredient with a pleasant, mild, earthy tone that takes very well to blending and flavouring. So if you are looking for a mineral-rich alternative to traditional teas, or a healthy beverage that supports relaxing restoration of achy, crampy muscles, a cup or two of Roobios or Honeybush after your workout or before bed is a tasty Rx! Shop www.beteas.com for your favourite Roobios blended tisane or try our Roobios or Honeybush, as we like to say, “Naked” (just plain – the way God made them!).
Love your cup.