Tea is full of cancer fighting, heart and brain nurturing health benefits.
Not surprisingly, sugar is the most common substance used to sweeten tea in America. However, adding sugar to tea is akin to ordering a salad with buttermilk ranch dressing. It‘s a missed opportunity to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. It’s important to make healthy choices when it comes to the food and beverages we use to fuel our bodies.
According to The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, only 30 percent of Americans consume less than the recommended amount of sugar each day which means 70 percent of Americans are consuming too much sugar. Excessive consumption of sugar over time can lead to ailments such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, to name a few.
To help keep your hot tea drinking habit healthy, here are some swirl-in alternatives that are better than sugar, and, in some cases, even sweeter.
- Agave is an all-natural, gluten-free, organic nectar that dissolves easily in either hot or cold teas. It enhances without changing the taste of the tea. Agave is available as a liquid or a dissolvable stick.
- Cinnamon is a natural spice that not only sweetens hot tea, but, when ingested, acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. It helps promote digestive and heart health and helps fight against diseases like cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
- Lemon is an acidic, citrus fruit that has strong immune-boosting elements to help fight infection. This is one of the most popular swirl-ins for hot and iced tea.
- Medjool date is a naturally sweet, one-seeded fruit that can be pureed and added to hot tea. These dates contain fiber, amino acids and many minerals that aid in digestion.
- Orange peels are often discarded but are good all-natural sweeteners that contain nutrients that help promote respiratory health. Orange peel tea is packed with flavonoids which helps combat the effects of aging.
- Peppermint is a hybrid mint that is derived from two mint plants (spearmint and watermint) and is perfect for the holiday season. It’s not only a delicious and healthy alternative, but it also helps relieve many gastric disorders.
- Raw honey is a super-saturated, all-natural sugar solution that is a good source of carbohydrates. It also contains small amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can help fight the common cold. It sweetens tea without adding any artificial preservatives or additives.
Before you reach for sugar the next time you’re sitting in front of a cup of delicious hot tea, remember these healthy alternatives. Many are readily available in restaurants or are small enough to be carried with you.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.