I am not a typical tea lover but one glass of rooibos tea sets my mood going as I begin my day, it is a good source of health promoting phenolic compounds. These poly-phenols are considered an important source of antioxidants in a diet.
According to South African Rooibos Council, in addition to regular physical activity and a healthy diet, scientists are recognising the importance of certain food chemicals, called phenolic compounds that can reduce one’s risk of developing diseases.
The SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), stated that while rooibos alone is not a silver bullet, it has the potential to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which is said to be the root cause of many lifestyle diseases. Oxidative stress occurs when our bodies use up the oxygen that we breathe in to produce energy.
Through this process, ‘free radicals’ are produced which can cause damage to cells and ultimately lead to disease. Antioxidants interact with free radicals before they can cause any harm. The more antioxidant rich our diet, less our susceptibility to disease and premature aging.
Rooibos contains polyphenols, which are considered an important source of antioxidants in a diet. Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your brain, heart and gut health and are commonly found in plants and herbs. Polyphenols are further divided into sub-groups that include flavonoids. Research has confirmed that rooibos contains an abundance of these potent free radical scavengers that help protect the body from oxidative stress and thus disease.
One of the polyphenols identified in rooibos tea is aspalathin, which helps to protect against cardiovascular disease, often as a result of diabetes. For optimal benefits researchers recommend drinking about five to six cups of rooibos tea throughout the day.
A pre-clinical research that was done demonstrates that aspalathin in rooibos helps to balance blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance and increase glucose absorption by the muscles. Aspalathin also boosts insulin production in the pancreas. This acts as a defensive shield against the development of type 2 diabetes one of the most widespread and dangerous medical condition in the world. Rooibos tea also acts as an anti-spasmodic agent, which reduces stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Therefore, try one glass of rooibos a day to get you started in the daily regimen and you can choose from a variety of flavours that suit your taste buds to start off your day, instead of tea or coffee and energy beverages which have high caffeine that is lethal to your health.