“Hot tea on hot summer days?!” There have been scientific studies showing that drinking hot beverages triggers our body’s natural cooling system—sweating, and the evaporation of this sweat helps modulate body temperature and maintain heat balance. However, others argued that the amount of heat lost by sweating and evaporation will never exceed the amount of heat gained by the hot drink consumed. Whether drinking hot beverages can cool down our body or not, there are other good reasons to include hot tea on our summer drink list.
First, in the “yin (cold) and yang (hot) world” of Chinese medicine, our digestion process requires the yang energy. Drinking warm beverages enhances our digestive system, while consuming too much iced cold drinks actually weakens it. When our digestive health is good, other systems in our body will also function well.
Second, many real (Camellia Sinensis) and herbal teas have health properties that help our body fight the summer heat and humidity. Here are some examples:
Barley Tea is a popular summer beverage in Asia. Made by simmering lightly roasted barley grains in water, this tea has a toasty flavor with slightly bitter undertones. It helps reduce stress and rehydrates the body naturally.
Chrysanthemum Tea can clear our internal heat and support our liver, lungs and eyesight. It can ease symptoms of a summer cold, fever, dry mouth and headache.
Hibiscus Tea is usually made from dried hibiscus flowers. It is deep red in color and has sweet and tart flavor similar to cranberry. Historically, hibiscus tea was used in African countries to decrease body temperature, treat heart disease and related illnesses, and sooth sore throat.
Mint Tea not only cools down our body, it also refreshes it. It is a wonderful beverage for the summer.
The above are just a few examples of how tea is good for us in the summer. Their health benefits are best acquired in the form of hot infusion. However, if drinking hot beverages in the summer really isn’t your cup of tea, then try the cold brew version. It will still be healthier than consuming sugar-rich carbonated drinks.
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