We’re always looking for ways to add functionality to the beverages we love. Here are 9 teas and botanicals that rev up your metabolism and promote healthy blood sugar levels — all while providing antioxidant rich health benefits, and loads of sugar free flavor. It’s iced tea season — so follow our instructions for cold-brewing a pitcher, and WFH while sipping the good stuff!
This beautiful flower is a natural diuretic. It helps the body shed excess water, and protects against bloating. We love hibiscus as a healthy swap for fruit juice. It’s vibrant color and punchy flavor are a guilt-free way to get your vitamin-c!
This South African bush is antioxidant rich, and in particular contains the antioxidant aspalathin. This can reduce your stress hormones, and with it hunger triggering. Rooibos can help balance blood sugar and improve insulin resistance. Roobios tea is one of our favorite swaps for beverages with lots of sugar as it has natural sweetness — and so many functional benefits!
7. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion is a natural diuretic, and is a great way to kick-start a detox program. A digestive aid, it enhances fat metabolism and helps reduce cholesterol.
6. Cayenne Pepper
This spice can be added to golden milk, or to food. It is a thermogenic herb that boosts your body’s internal temperature, kick-starting your metabolism.
An adaptogen (see last week’s post for more on these amazing plants), Schisandra can reduce stress and promote a healthy metabolism. This berry is a powerhouse—research shows that it can do everything from increase exercise endurance to improve concentration.
This adaptogen is known for its nourishing properties, and aids with long-term stress, and even heart health. This herb also supports energy levels and overall immune function. Ashwagandha has been shown to lower lower cortisol levels. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that aids in muscle development, so it’s great when paired with a fitness routine.
3. Black Tea
Black tea (all teas are from the same plant, but have various levels of oxidation), is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids (polyphenols) which are associated with a host of heath benefits. Flavanoids improve gut health, and in particular its production of short-chain fatty acids, which is associated with an increase in metabolism. Black tea also lowers blood sugar levels. For instance, studies have shown that consuming at least three cups of black tea a day can reduce the risk of type II diabetes by 42%. Some of our favorite black teas include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and French Breakfast.
Oolong comes from the same plant as green tea, but is slightly more oxidized. Oolong is also packed with catechins, which boost weight loss efforts by improving the body's ability to metabolize fat. One Chinese study found that participants who had several cups a day lost a pound a week. A Japanese study found that for two hours after drinking oolong, resting energy expenditure increased 10%.
1. Green Tea
Our #1 metabolism booster is Green Tea! Green tea is rich in antioxidants called catechins, including a substance called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is believed to increase metabolism and help burn fat. Green tea has been linked to weight loss in many studies. A meta-analysis of 11 studies found that green tea catechins helped participants lose an average of 3 pounds more than control groups within the study. In one 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea with a 25-minute workout lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than the non tea-drinking exercisers. There are so many kinds of green tea! Sencha, Genmaicha, Pan-fired Green, Matcha —find your fave (hot or cold!) and start sipping.