Coffee? Tea? Or Better Rooibos Tea?
As Malaysia is so famous of its delicious food, we as Malaysians have never faced any problem deciding what to eat for our tea break. Be it Curry Puff, Rojak Mee, Egg Tart, Cream Puff, and even the most classic scones with butter and jam that we have inherited from the British since the colonial era. But, all of these highly sweetened, oily and high caloric foods will never be perfect without a cup of “Teh Tarik” or simply Malaysian style milk tea.
Errr….. you may ask, “so what? It is just a curry puff with a cup of ‘the tarik kurang manis’!”
Now, there is a better choice for your tea time rather than drinking the ‘teh tarik kurang manis’ which is apparently still very sweet regardless of what standard you are referring to. Rooibos tea is a drink derived from a type of plant, Aspalathus linearis which is indigenous to South Africa. It has been used for medicinal purposes since the 19 th century. For years, rooibos tea was served after it was fermented and was then called red rooibos tea. In recent years, another type of non-fermented rooibos tea, called green rooibos tea has emerged in the market with a more refreshing aroma and more health benefits.
The rooibos plant grows naturally without any caffeine. This is important, as it means it does not need to undergo a chemical process to remove the caffeine. It also means that anyone can drink it, including those who do not want to drink caffeine such as children & pregnant women. The other key benefit of no caffeine is that rooibos tea can be consumed in unrestricted amounts. Besides, it will not interfere with the heart rate of some caffeine sensitive persons.
Rooibos contains a complex mix of many flavonoids (compounds widely found in plants that are known to have health benefits). Its composition is unique, because it contains aspalathin – to date only isolated from Aspalathus linearis (the botanical name for Rooibos). Aspalathin is the major flavonoid of unfermented Rooibos. It decreases during fermentation, and hence green rooibos tea contains the highest amount of Aspalathin.
Aspalathin is important, not only because it is a novel compound, but also because it is the most active antioxidant in Rooibos. Besides, research has found that aspalathin is the key component in rooibos tea that exerts the glucose lowering effect of rooibos.
LOW IN TANNIN
Tannin is the “bad guy” that is normally found in tea. Normally, a green tea or red tea is high in tannin.
That is why some people cannot tolerate tea. Tannin might cause digestive problem and will affect the absorption of iron.
Unlike most tea (from Camellia sinensis) , rooibos tea is naturally low in tannin and has rich source of
minerals including magnesium (essential for the nervous system), calcium & manganese (essential for strong teeth and bones), zinc (important for metabolism) and iron (critical for helping blood & muscles distribute oxygen). And because it doesn’t contain high amount of tannin, it can be safely drank with iron rich food such as red meat without blocking the absorption of iron.
AIDS IN RELAXATION
Rooibos is unique in that it can be consumed as often as you wish and at any time of day. Many people choose to drink it before bedtime as it can help with insomnia. Due to its high mineral content and lack of caffeine, it’s known to help people to feel calm and relaxed.
SO….THE CONCLUSION IS…..
Rooibos tea has so much more benefits than a normal cup of tea. A simple article like this simply can’t
fully illustrate it. The amazing antioxidant effect from rooibos helping in fighting diseases, reduce
eczema condition and so much more are just tip of the iceberg. So, starting from today, instead of ‘teh tarik kurang manis’ why don’t you give yourself a try of ‘teh rooibos tanpa gula’? You will definitely find its benefits in no time.