Iced tea is an absolute favorite among people on warm summer days. While it is mostly made from Camellia sinensis leaves, herbal teas are also served cold as iced tea sometimes. Because of its many health benefits, it is becoming exceedingly popular and is replacing canned beverages and unhealthy alternatives the world over.
However, anything in excess is harmful. When it’s hot and you’re sweating excessively, you may feel like drinking a lot of iced tea. While you might think this is a good idea, drinking excess iced tea is likely to result in the accumulation of oxalate, which will eventually result in kidney stones. If you already have kidney stones, drinking more iced tea may increase their size. Never replace water with iced tea when you’re thirsty. Drinking glasses and glasses of iced tea every day will dehydrate you excessively. A glass or two once in a while will help you feel refreshed without harming yourself. It’s always best to make your own iced tea without sugar. Store-bought ones are abundant with added sugar and, hence, high in calories.
Besides these concerns, homemade unsweetened iced tea in moderate quantities has some amazing health benefits.
Benefits Of Drinking Iced Tea
1. Aids Weight Loss
Unsweetened iced tea can work wonders if you’re trying to lose weight. About 100g of iced tea with sugar has about 25 Cal; the same amount of iced tea without sugar, on the other hand, has as little as 2 Cal. Drinking unsweetened homemade iced tea is great for losing weight because it has no calories from added sugar. So, the next time you have the urge to pick up a can of coke, make yourself a glass of iced tea and avoid the excess calories.
2. Abundant In Antioxidants
The antioxidants in iced tea help your body fight illnesses. Green iced tea has antioxidants called catechins, which are said to be beneficial against heart disease and cancer. However, research is yet to confirm these findings. These antioxidants can also make your skin look younger by combating oxidative stress.1 Make your own green iced tea without sugar to benefit from the antioxidants in it; add lime or mint to increase the vitamin C content and, hence, the antioxidants in your iced tea.
3. Source Of Flavonoids And Fluoride
Unsweetened iced tea is rich in flavonoids and fluoride. While the fluoride strengthens your bones and teeth, the flavonoids may help in preventing chronic diseases. These flavonoids target the harmful free radicals in the body and destroy them, thus preventing illnesses.
4. Mineral Benefits
Unlike sodas and energy drinks, homemade unsweetened iced tea does not contain any sodium, which is known to cause cardiovascular diseases when consumed in excess.2 The manganese in unsweetened iced tea activates manganese superoxide dismutase – an enzyme that prevents tissue damage and improves metabolism.
Now that you know how beneficial iced tea can be, here’s how you can easily make your own.
Steps To Make A Healthy Glass Of Iced Tea
- 4–5 tea bags of your choice (Ceylon and Keemun work best among black teas.)
- Lime, fresh fruits, mint (to taste)
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a pot.
- Soak the tea bags in the hot water for 5 minutes.
- Pour the tea into a pitcher, and allow it to cool for a while.
- After 10–15 minutes, add 2 cups of cold water to dilute the tea.
- Refrigerate the tea mixture for 2 hours till it is chilled.
- Add lime, fresh fruits, or mint before serving.
- Pour the mixture into a tall glass filled with ice, and enjoy your homemade iced tea!
|↑1||Masaki, Hitoshi. “Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects.” Journal of dermatological science 58, no. 2 (2010): 85-90.|
|↑2||Mozaffarian, Dariush, Saman Fahimi, Gitanjali M. Singh, Renata Micha, Shahab Khatibzadeh, Rebecca E. Engell, Stephen Lim, Goodarz Danaei, Majid Ezzati, and John Powles. “Global sodium consumption and death from cardiovascular causes.” New England Journal of Medicine 371, no. 7 (2014): 624-634.|