Iced tea is delicious, refreshing, and quintessentially summer, right? As it turns out, June is National Iced Tea Month in the United States, and people are finding all kinds of ways to celebrate with their favorite teas. In fact, according to Bright and Brewtiful, 85% of the tea consumed in the United States is iced!
In addition to being delicious and refreshing, iced tea can carry some impressive health benefits. Tea is a plant, after all, so when you steep it, you’re extracting all of its health properties to consume. Some may not think iced tea is healthy because they, for example, associate it with the overly sugared version from McDonald’s, but different teas carry different health benefits. Let’s jump right into them.
Bright and Brewitful explains that Black tea varieties can really rev up your antioxidant levels, and drinking unsweetened versions can lead to weight loss. Not only are you consuming less sugar and calories this way, but you’re also still gaining all of the good-for-you components that make this brewed beverage so special — and that’s not even accounting for the good, complex taste.
Drinking iced tea can also lower your blood sugar, improve your memory, and increase your bone density. The latter comes from drinking green varieties, while black varieties help with blood sugar and both black and green help with your memory. Naturally, and this is perhaps what this drink is most known for, it can help lower your stress levels. Tea How also adds that it’s great at boosting your metabolism due to its high concentration of manganese.
Moreover, according to Coldist, iced tea is an amazing way to stay hydrating during the summer (and all year round). Tea, after all, is steeped in water, and this water intake, in addition to its vitamins and minerals, will keep you glowing all summer long. Furthermore, Coldist notes that drinking green tea daily can reduce your risk for heart attacks by 20%, while it can reduce your risk for strokes by 35%. This is in addition to its ability to help you focus and maintain attention on whatever you’re doing.
Ultimately, the best and healthiest practice is to make your own iced tea at home from loose leaf tea or bags, but you can also buy plenty of quality brewed and bottled beverages at the store that will keep you not only hydrated but energized all summer (and year) long. To make your own iced tea at home, you’ll steep your tea as you normally would with heat to extract all of its flavors and benefits, but don’t over-steep it. This is crucial, according to Tea How, as over-steeping will make your end product bitter. Then, once you’re done steeping, sweeten it if you’d like, let it come to room temperature, and then refrigerate. Failing to let it cool down before refrigerating will make it cloudy, per Tea How.
How do you take your iced tea? Do you have a favorite variety? Do you prefer it sweetened or unsweetened? Let us all know all your thoughts over on Twitter @Fuzzable!