I’m a self-proclaimed coffee lover–you know, one of those people who go to bed at night looking forward to their first cup o’ Joe early in the morning. But recently I’ve been reading a lot about the health benefits of tea and have decided to make a bigger effort to add it into my daily mix. So far, I’ve been pleased with the results. Tea tastes good, is easy to make, and offers a subtle sense of wholeness and purity to it that I really like. Besides, what’s better than unwinding after a long day at work with a cup of tea and a book? Tea and rain? Tea and long conversations? When you add on to that tea and brain/body boosting benefits–yeah, I think I’ll have a mug after all.

Try These 3 Teas–and Reap (Steep?) the Benefits

If you’re like me, you take your coffee very seriously. But if you’re trying to go a little lighter on your daily caffeine intake or simply looking for another hot (or cold) beverage to enjoy throughout the day, try tea. I like these 3 the most, all of which offer some serious health benefits

1) Green Tea

healthy teaBest served hot or cold without any added sweeteners or creams (but maybe a spritz of fresh lemon juice), green tea leads the pack in terms of good-for-you teas. It offers a powerful antioxidant effect, which can protect you against atherosclerosis, cancer, and other chronic health problems. It can also help control blood sugar levels, promote fat loss (by stimulating your metabolism), reduce inflammation, and improve your cholesterol profile. To avoid a bitter taste, don’t over-steep your green tea: let the bag sit in just-short-of-boiling water for up to 3 minutes, then take it out.

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2) Pu-erh Tea

Like green tea, this long-heralded tea has been used for centuries in Asian culture for a variety of health and medicinal benefits. It contains compounds called polyphenols (flavonoids, catechins, and theaflavin) which, in addition to having an antioxidant effect, can aid with digestion, fat loss, and stress reduction. Pu-erh tea leaves are naturally fermented prior to being dried, which leads to a proliferation of gut-healthy and blood-cleansing microorganisms. For an extra immune system boost, try adding equal parts turmeric powder and ginger powder (about a teaspoon of both).

3) Peppermint Tea

TYhis is one of my favorite after-dinner treats. It’s particularly effective at aiding with digestion, relieving gas, and calming an upset stomach. Research also suggests that it can help people with irritable bowel syndrome and cold and flu symptoms. Give this minty drink a whirl after a meal or the next time you’re feeling a bit gassy.

Got a favorite tea in your pantry at home? Let us know why you love it by sharing in the comments below!