Iced Tea: Ditch Lipton to Reap the Health Benefits of Home Brews

By Katherine J. Chen

Sitting by the pool on a hot spring day with a good (or not so good) romance novel and a glass of iced tea (Lily Pulitzer pants, optional) seems pretty ideal to us right about now (especially considering the rain we’ve been inundated with). And while a glass of Nestea or Lipton may be refreshing (and easy) come the lazy days of summer, at The Beauty Bean we’re all about getting the most nutritious bang for the buck and, well, Nestea and Lipton just don’t quite make the cut. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to forgo your tea-time. Rather, just brew your own equally refreshing, but nutrient-packed tea and serve it chilled, over ice.

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Our top three picks:

Green Tea, with its slightly nutty, earthy and clean taste, has been known for centuries for its medicinal powers. It’s antioxidant-rich brew has been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol and even tooth decay.

Oolong tea, also rich in antioxidants, has been shown to help lower high blood pressure, treat skin diseases like eczema and even help ward off the appearance of fine-lines and wrinkles. With a more floral flavor than green tea, oolong tea is rich and dark with a range of fragrant notes. Even the color of the tea, a dark reddish brown, connotes the tea’s perfume-like flavors. Add a dash of Orange Blossom honey to make the flowery aroma even stronger.

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Black tea, although less antioxidant-packed than oolong or green tea, will nevertheless help to protect your body against viruses, arthritis, cancer and inflammation while also strengthening your heart and healing impaired blood vessels, frequently the cause of heart attacks and strokes. With a flavor stronger than both oolong and green tea (some even say bitter), this caffeinated tea is best served with a natural sweetener, like raw honey.

Whichever you choose to brew, try to drink at least four glasses a day in order to realize all the benefits – which shouldn’t be hard considering you won’t need to think of much else while lounging poolside.

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