Roo-what? Rooibos (pronounced roy-bos) is a bush indigenous to the shrubland of South Africa. The red leaves can be used to make a naturally caffeine free herbal ‘tea’ that has a deep reddish-brown colour, and almost nutty taste. While rooibos has been drunk in South Africa for centuries, it has only recently started to become popular the world over thanks to its numerous health properties - and we for one couldn't be happier with its rising popularity! So much so, that we've put together 6 amazing health benefits of our favourite South African brew:
1. Caffeine free to help you sleep
We often get asked why we don't sell a 'decaf' black tea, and quite simply, the decaffeinating process isn't for us. In order to create decaf tea, harsh chemicals are used to strip the tea leaves of their naturally-occurring caffeine. Traces of this solvent might remain on the leaves, affecting their colour, quality and taste - something we're definitely not on board with. That's why we always reccomend a naturally caffeine-free herbal ‘tea’ like rooibos - It can be enjoyed at any time of day and can be drunk with milk as an English Breakfast replacement for those with a night-time craving!
2. three powerful antioxidants
Rooibos is rich in polyphenols, microscopic antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and antiviral, helping to fight colds and infections and boost the immune system.
Rooibos also contains aspalathin, a miracle worker for your blood sugar that can help balance glucose levels, improve insulin resistance and boost insulin secretion. These factors can reduce your chance of contracting type II diabetes and help those who are already sufferers. (A friendly word of advice: drinking rooibos sadly does not mean you can eat that whole pack of donuts)
Finally, rooibos contains quercetin, your heart’s secret weapon. It is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce blood pressure and prevent a wide variety of heart conditions.
Phew! Are we back in biology class? The key message to take away is that the powerful antioxidants found in rooibos tea can help with your immune system, blood sugar levels and overall heart health. We'll take a gallon thanks!
3. High nutritional values
Rooibos is hella healthy. It contains high levels of a variety of minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc. This mineral mocktail has myriad health benefits, as we will see below.
4. Strong bones and teeth, lush hair and young skin
While beauty sleep can be hard to come by nowadays, a cup of rooibos tea each day could help offset all those late nights. Rooibos is high in calcium, manganese and fluoride, which help to improve bone health and strengthen teeth. High levels of zinc and alpha hydroxyl help to fight wrinkles and other signs of premature aging, and the potent combination of zinc, calcium, copper and potassium can keep your hair long and lush by strengthening hair fibres. Just don’t forget to brush it 100 times before bed, too.
5. Makes your stomach happy
The sciencey bit: rooibos is rich in antispasmodic agents, which activate potassium ions in the body. (Yeah, we didn't really get it either - Activated potassium ions sound like something out of a personal trainer’s diet plan.) All you need to know is that potassium can help to ease stomach cramps, alleviate abdominal pain, and aid digestion. Hurrah!
6. Breathe easy
Rooibos naturally causes your bronchi and bronchioles (the tubes found in your lungs) to dilate. This can increase airflow to the lungs, making breathing easier. Rooibos has often been recommended to people suffering from allergies, including hay fever.
With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder this humble red bush is beginning to take over the world. We recommend drinking it plain or with a splash of milk if you prefer a slightly smoother, creamier taste. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try it with a squeeze of honey, or check out rooibos creme caramel which contains real chunks of caramel in - YUM!
Try it for yourself with 10% off any of our rooibos bleds throughout July - simply use the code 'ROOIBOS10' at checkout.
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