Spiced tea can either be black or with milk, depending on one’s preference.
Generally, studies have shown that spiced tea offers not only benefits of tea, but also the various spices added.
Spiced tea typically contains a high amount of antioxidants that help strengthen one’s immune system.
Common spiced tea options include cinnamon, mint, ginger, lemon, turmeric and rosemary, among others.
Emmy Ntamanga, a Kigali-based nutrition consultant, says the common mistake people make when it comes to spiced tea is using too many spices in the tea at once.
This, according to him, is not recommended and that variation is important to avoid toxicity.
Spiced tea, he says, is recommended after a meal and not on an empty stomach because of vitamin C in the ingredients, which can trigger gastric acid.
Nutritionists say cinnamon tea can be prepared by boiling cinnamon sticks in water, or grounded into powder and added to tea.
Venuste Muhamyankaka, a nutritionist and the executive director of SUN Alliance Rwanda, says cinnamon tea has several compounds that are extremely beneficial to health.
For instance, he says, cinnamon tea helps with weight loss, menstrual cramps, improving heart health, reduction of inflammation, as well as reducing blood sugar levels.
He says cinnamon is also known to be good for skin health; hence, it might also help with acne and skin ageing.
Ginger as a spice, according to Muhamyankaka, is well-known for its health benefits.
He says that when put in tea, it not only gives an amazing taste and aroma, it also offers numerous health benefits.
Ginger tea, Muhamyankaka says, helps with sore throats, menstrual cramps, and nausea.
“Ginger tea is also known to help with stress and can strengthen immunity and stomach performance,” he says.
Dieudonne Bukaba, the nutrition programme coordinator at Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA) Rwanda, says spiced tea is a source of antioxidants that may boost the immune system and help fight diseases.
He says that depending on the antioxidant, the tea and its blended spices offer health benefits that include improved protection against certain illnesses and diseases, stronger mucous membranes, fever reduction and effectiveness against some bacteria and viruses.
Bukaba adds that studies suggest taking teas spiced with turmeric to ingest the antioxidants that aid kidney and liver function, or cinnamon to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Ntamanga says some spiced tea may also contain antioxidants and other polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
He adds that people who suffer from inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, can take spiced tea often as it may contain inflammation pain-fighting capsaicin.
Ntamanga says natural spices are better than processed ones, and if you can get them fresh, even better.
In general, spices used in tea are healthy and some even increase vasodilatation of vessels (the dilatation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure), and improve the digestion of food, Ntamanga says.Follow Lydia_AtienoM