Last Updated June 13th, 2021
Understanding Rooibos tea
Rooibos is a red legume and a shrub. Rooibos tea is prepared from fermented leaves of the Aspalathuslinearis. Aspalathuslinearis is widely grown in South Africa. This tea is also known as the red bush tea or as red tea. It tastes earthy and mildly sweet. This shrub also contains trace levels of minerals such as potassium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, and zinc. It contains more antioxidants than green tea.
Benefits of rooibos tea
No caffeine, low tannins, and no oxalic acid
Excess of caffeine impedes the sleep. There are reports of caffeine causing anxiety. Caffeine can cause increased heart rate and nervousness. Children, pregnant women or those who are very sensitive to caffeine can consume rooibos tea instead.
Oxalic acid causes kidney stones as it combines with calcium and results in the formation of mineral deposits (calcium oxalate). Tannins intervene with the iron absorption in the body. Rooibos tea is free of all these three entities and this makes it a suitable choice than other teas.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Rooibos tea contains flavonoids such as aschrysoeriol, isoorientin, quercetin, orientin, rutin, luteolin, etc. It also contains phenolic acids such as syringic acid, protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, and p-hydroxybenzoic acid.
These flavonoids and phenolic acids are antioxidant in nature. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are unstable substances that are released during stress. Antioxidants are compounds that combat the effect of ROS. Quercetin is known to inhibit the genes causing inflammation that leads to colon cancer.
Manages your diabetes
Aspalathin is a flavonoid present in rooibos tea. It has anti-diabetic properties. This compound stimulates glucose uptake from the cells by activating the biochemical pathways associated with it.
- This helps in maintaining a controlled blood glucose levels.
- Rooibos tea minimizes the risk of complications such as vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
Improves your heart health
Components in rooibos tea lower the cholesterol as well. The polyphenols of this tea act as bile acid sequestrants. These polyphenols bind to bile acids and promote the excretion. Scientists report the reduction in blood pressure under the influence of rooibos tea. This is because of the inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. This enzyme causes a contraction of the blood vessels.
A study was done on people who were given rooibos tea, green tea, and black tea. The ones who had rooibos tea showed a great level of inhibition of the ACE activity at about 30 to 60 minutes post consumption. This effect was less pronounced in green tea followed by black tea.
Manages your weight
Weight gain or obesity is caused by fat accumulation. Globally, about 1.9 billion adults are overweight of which 650 million are obese. Leptin is a hormone that is secreted by the fat cells. This hormone signals the brain upon consumption of sufficient food. It helps regulate the energy balance by terminating hunger. Rooibos tea helps in enhancing the leptin levels. A study was done on the influence of rooibos tea on fat cells. It was found that the compounds of rooibos tea abolished the build-up of lipids.
If a person applies rooibos tea topically, it may improve the appearance of the skin by reducing wrinkles. The antioxidant properties of rooibos tea also offer protection to the hair follicles and thus prevents hair damage.
Heals your digestive tract
The burden on the digestive system becomes more on consuming processed foods. The anti-inflammatory properties of this tea are useful in reducing pain and diarrhea; as seen in Crohn’s disease (inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract).
Rooibos tea: Benefits galore
- Allergies –Rooibos tea helps in preventing the release of such pro-allergy proteins. This is major because of the compound quercetin in rooibos tea.
- Colic – This is a discomfort in the abdomen resulting in pain and is common in infants. Studies show that the use of Rooibos tea along with formula milk is very soothing to the baby.
- Insomnia– Rooibos tea is very useful in promoting sleep as it contains magnesium and calcium. This tea regulates an optimum level of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that induces sleep.
- Mental health issues – The magnesium content in rooibos tea also helps in attenuating the release of stress-related hormones,
- Maintenance of good bone health – The calcium content in rooibos tea aids in the production of bone cells.
How to consume rooibos tea?
You can avail rooibos tea in any supermarket or even purchase this tea online. Brew the tea bags in boiling water or brew a teaspoon of dried tea leaves in boiling water. You can also add milk (dairy or plant-based), sugar or honey to taste. Allow it to brew for nearly 10 minutes.
Rooibos tea used for food preservation
This tea is also applicable for meat preservation. The antimicrobial and antioxidant property of rooibos tea prevents the food from getting infected and prevents cell decay. This tea is applicable to wine preservation as well.
Is it safe to consume?
It is advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to avoid this as there are no sufficient pieces of evidence available to confirm their safety.
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