Of my recent travels, London stands out as one of my favorites. After all, what’s not to love about a place that makes an event out of tea in the afternoon? Tea is a passion of mine, one that fits very well into my fitness journey. My tea love affair started many years ago when I used a cup in the morning to help me break my diet Coke habit. As I explored different varieties of tea I came to appreciate its taste and the other benefits to my overall well being. If your only experience with tea is of the sweet variety or a bag of Lipton let me give you some tips on how to add tea for wellness to your fitness journey.
There are basically two types of tea: those derived from the Camellia sinensis plant (black, green, white, oolong or pu-erh) and herbal teas (herbal infusions). Unless otherwise indicated, all of the Camellia sinesis plant derived teas have caffeine. Herbal teas generally do not (yerba mate is an exception to this rule). Whole leaf teas are better quality than cut leaf. You’ll find cut leaf in most tea bags so I recommend purchasing a tea strainer and go with whole leaf where possible.
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We commonly think of clover as the lucky little leaf that has ties to St. Patrick’s Day. But what exactly is it?
Technically speaking, the binomial name for clover is Trifolium, which in Latin means ‘three leaves.’ It can be commonly identified by its three heart-shaped leaves, which are often marked with a distinctive white chevron or ‘V’ in the center. Red and white clover have colorful red and white blossoms that can be easily picked and either dried for use as herbal remedies, or eaten fresh like other edible flowers.
The health benefits of clover are vast. Red clover specifically is found to be high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C. Menopausal women who take red clover might also improve their cardiovascular health and reduce menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, because of its ability to help balance estrogen levels. And while white clover is not usually eaten or used as an herbal resource like its red counterpart, it is known to be relatively high in protein and is also safe to consume. Clover can also be used topically as a salve, cream or oil to help skin conditions such as eczema.
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