Our Healthy Must-Have of the Week: A Spicy Nighttime Ritual

I drink a lot of tea—in a typical day, I’ll have anywhere from three to six cups, usually Irish Breakfast tea with fat-free milk. But after 4 p.m., my tea habits make a drastic change. That’s because black tea has about 50 mg of caffeine per cup—not as much as coffee, which contains anywhere from 100 to 200 mg, but still enough to affect your sleep if you’re drinking it late in the day. And I’ve found that I’m especially sensitive to caffeine. For this reason, I try to limit my caffeine consumption to no later than 4 p.m. The only problem with this no-tea-after-4 rule is that I often want something to sip in the late afternoon, and I definitely need something to sip after dinner!

The solution: Herbal spice tea. I love it because it’s extremely versatile—if I drink it straight up, it has a sharp, peppery kick. If I’m in the mood for something creamy after dinner,  some warm fat-free milk added to a strongly brewed cup of spice tea creates a hot chai latte. And in the summertime, I drink it iced, both with and without fat-free milk.

Second, the robust flavor is really satisfying. In fact, I’ll often drink a cup of spice tea instead of having dessert. Cinnamon, a key component of spice tea, has a natural sweetness—you’d be surprised how sweet a cup of spice tea is without the aid of added sweeteners. And for those times when I still need a sweet treat, sipping a cup of steaming spice tea helps me relax, slow down, and savor my treat (one sip tea, one bite dessert…and repeat).

Another perk: The herbal spice tea I drink most often is a strong blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper. The concoction makes my stomach feel great (probably from the ginger, which has been studied for its nausea-soothing properties in pregnant women and people who experience motion sickness).

And although herbal spice tea doesn’t contain actual tea leaves, like black or green tea, it still packs some powerful antioxidants from the spices like cinnamon and cloves, which protect your health and reduce your risk for a variety of diseases. So, the next time you’re searching for something to sip at night, consider herbal spice tea, which comes in a variety of flavors from cocoa spice to options with a hint of chili pepper! It can be tea time any time of the day thanks to herbal spice tea!

  • http://www.junepagan.com June Pagan

    If you aren’t interested in spiced tea there are a number of fruit tisanes on the market, that are herbal infusions without the tea compnent. I recommend Serendipitea’s tisanes, they are incredibly fresh

  • Sharon

    Yay, spice tea! It has helped wean me from too much caffeine, and it tastes so good.

  • http://www.sideofsneakers.com Heather @ Side of Sneakers

    I love spiced teas- they’re a great alternative to a sweet or a way to beat those late night cravings. I love using spiced teas to help me get my water intake up- I’m so bad about that!

  • Eternity

    Thanks, I will try it!