Photography: Tango/c. | Food Styling: Nataly Simard | Prop Styling: Caroline Simon
Also known as red tea or red bush tea, rooibos is made from the leaves of a shrub called Aspalathus linearis.
Now enjoyed all over the world, this tea only grows in its homeland, South Africa, where it has been used medicinally for centuries. Traditionally, the tea leaves are fermented, turning them a reddish-brown colour; however, there is also a green, unfermented variety that boasts even more antioxidants. Read the leaves and find out why rooibos is totally our cup of tea.
- Tea Time: It’s been said that a cup of tea solves everything, and that might very well be true. Drinking tea is associated with many health benefits, including a lowered risk of serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Herbal teas, particularly, are an easy way to increase your intake of potentially health-promoting phytochemicals. While there is a demonstrated positive link between habitual consumption of green or black tea and bone mineral density, recent studies from researchers at Brock University in Ontario suggest that the polyphenols in red rooibos have potential benefits for bone health, too. Recognized as a functional food with preventive and therapeutic benefits, rooibos's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also possess immune-modulating and chemopreventive effects.
- Thirst Quencher: This flavourful tea can be served hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened, with or without milk...whichever way your heart desires. Loaded with natural antioxidants and caffeine-free, rooibos is a superb alternative to black or green tea. Not only that, it’s also free from oxalic acid and low in tannins, so it’s a good option for those with kidney issues. The tannins in tea can produce a bitter flavour, but rooibos has a naturally delicate, sweet flavour, making it an excellent alternative to other beverages, too. Plus, it might be better for your teeth when compared with juice or pop. The acids and refined sugars found in soda and citrus juice promote the erosion of enamel on the surface of your teeth, and once it’s been depleted, it’s lost forever. The erosive effect of tea on your teeth is similar to water. Rooibos also contains fluoride, which is proven to protect against tooth decay.
- Singular Source: Antioxidant-rich rooibos is the only known natural source of aspalathin, a flavonoid with established blood glucose-lowering properties. Good news for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes: Research suggests this compound may have beneficial anti-diabetic effects, including balancing blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance and suppressing vascular inflammation. This powerful flavonoid is more abundant in the unfermented green variety. Allowing rooibos tea to infuse for 10 minutes or longer promotes an optimal antioxidant-rich brew. The ample complement of polyphenols present in rooibos also offers other benefits, including weight management by increasing levels of the hormone leptin, which helps regulate food intake.
Try this superfood in our Piña Colada Rooibos Tea Blend (pictured above).