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The Wonderful Rooibos and its Countless Benefits

What is Rooibos and what are its benefits?

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos (pronounced “ROY-boss”), meaning red bush, tea is made using leaves from a shrub called Aspalathus Linearis, and is usually grown on the western coast of South Africa. Rooibos is a herbal tea.

Traditional rooibos is created by fermenting the leaves, which turns them a red-brown color. Green rooibos is not fermented. It tends to be more expensive and has a more grassy mineral like flavor than the traditional version of the tea. Green rooibos contains higher levels of antioxidants compared to the traditional red type.

Rooibos has a mild, aromatic taste that is sweet and fruity. You can drink it just as you would black or green tea — plain, with lemon and sweetener, as a creamy latte, or with butter as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee.

Rich in antioxidants:

Rooibos has grown in popularity partly due to its high levels of health-promoting antioxidants. These include aspalathin and quercetin. They may help protect cells from damage by free radicals. Boasting 50 percent more antioxidants than green tea, Rooibos tea touts more benefits than green, black, and maybe even matcha tea.

Over the long term, their effects may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Test tube studies found that the antioxidants quercetin and luteolin, which are found in rooibos tea, can kill cancer cells and prevent tumor growth. Studies in humans need to be carried out to provide stronger evidence that drinking rooibos tea can actually prevent cancer growth.

Cardiovascular health:

Antioxidants found in the tea have been linked to a healthier heart. This may happen in different ways.

First, drinking rooibos tea may have beneficial effects on blood pressure by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). ACE indirectly increases blood pressure by causing blood vessels to contract.

Second, there is promising evidence that the tea can improve cholesterol levels. One study examined the effects of rooibos on 40 overweight men and women at higher risk of heart disease. The researchers found that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily for six weeks resulted in a decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as the "bad" cholesterol. It was also associated with a small increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. That's the "good" cholesterol. Healthy cholesterol levels mean added protection against various heart conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.

Anti-Diabetic:

Rooibos tea is one of the few known natural sources of an antioxidant called aspalathin. Studies in animals suggest that aspalathin may have an anti-diabetic effect.

One study in mice with type 2 diabetes found that aspalathin helps to balance blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance. This is promising news for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of developing it. However, more studies in humans are needed to confirm this benefit.

Caffeine free:

Because rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, it's an excellent alternative to black or green tea. This makes it an ideal candidate for nighttime consumption. Its low tannin content makes it safe on the stomach.

Another bonus is that it has low tannin levels compared to regular black or green tea. Tannins are a natural compound found in green and black tea. They often get a bad reputation because they interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, like iron.

Detox:

Research shows that drinking rooibos tea boosts levels of master antioxidant glutathione in the body. More powerful than any other antioxidant, glutathione protects against inflammation, toxins, free radicals, and pathogens. Think of it as your body’s own natural detoxifier.

Weight loss:

Low calorie and naturally sweet, with the help of the antioxidants and balancing blood sugar, rooibos tea can be a great addition to your beverage choices while trying to lose weight.

Research suggests that aspalathin, an active ingredient in rooibos tea, helps reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, which is also linked to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Data from this study showed that rooibos tea has the potential for preventing obesity by affecting the balance of energy and how it’s used as energy or stored as fat.

Digestion:

In a study using rabbits and mice, results showed that rooibos tea benefits the digestive system by reducing diarrhea, calming muscle spasms in the stomach, and decreasing gastric secretions. The presence of flavonoids such as quercetin, luteolin, and others are thought to be the reasons for the beneficial effects on the GI system.

Bone health:

Rooibos is a natural source of Manganese and Fluoride. Manganese is an essential mineral for bone growth and Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. The variety of polyphenols in rooibos tea has been shown to improve osteoblast activity (aka cells that develop bones).

The flavonoids orientin and luteolin were specifically studied on bone cells and showed an increased level of bone growth and mitochondrial activity. These flavonoids enhanced the mineral content of the bone cells used in the study.

If you'd like to give rooibos tea a try, you can find our selection of blends here.

There you have it - The Wonderful Rooibos and its Countless Benefits! Hope it was informative...please share your comments, thoughts or questions below.

Negative side effects:

Although negative side effects are extremely rare, there can be side effects for some people.

If you have liver or kidney disease, hormonal cancers, or are going through chemotherapy treatment, consult your doctor before using rooibos regularly.






REFERENCES:

Erickson, Laurie. Rooibos Tea: Research into Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Properties. HerbalGram. 2003; 59:34-45 American Botanical

Kawano A, Nakamura H, Hata S, Minakawa M, Miura Y, Yagasaki K. Hypoglycemic effect of aspalathin, a rooibos tea component from Aspalathus linearis, in type 2 diabetic model db/db mice. Department of Applied Biological Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

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