I just can't be doing with strict, by-the-books detoxing. It all seems like such a load of stress and bother. But this January I'm going to promise myself two things that I hope I'll be able to achieve. One, I am going to force my five a day down me if it kills me, and two, I'm going to get into a good tea drinkin' habit. Green, matcha or white will be the ones I'll be looking for - you can keep yer Lyons pyramids, ta.
Why? It's all a bit of a cheat, really. The hope is I'll be so stuffed full of fruit 'n veg that I won't want to eat crap, and the tea thing? Well now, green and white teas are potent wonders. Packed full of polyphenols, potent phytochemicals that are among the most powerful antioxidants, this stuff is very definitely worth a try. There are lots of lofty claims that green and white teas can help to beat cancer and heart disease, and while those claims haven't been substantiated, what is true is that these babies are packed full of goodness, which makes them a great choice if you've been partying a little on the hard side and you're looking and feeling a bit shagged. What's also known is that they can also aid weight loss - so really, it's a no-brainer.
What to choose? Green tea is the first line of defence, and you can pick up packs of teabags in health food shops - look for something like Yogi Tea's green tea range. Great for every day use, keep a pack at the office and sip a few cups a day - squeeze in some lemon if you're not too keen on the taste, or buy a blend like green tea and vanilla, or green tea and jasmine.
For a bigger jolt of goodness, check out matcha. Differing from other blends you might have tried, this stuff is loose green tea in super-fine powder form which you whisk into hot water, and down the lot. The benefit is you get all those extra nutrients that otherwise get binned with the teabag. Origins do a great organic matcha, which you can even whisk into vodka for a (relatively) sin-free cocktail. I've tried it, and felt positively virtuous. But post-Christmas, you may prefer to go the hot water route. In fact, yep, I'd definitely urge that, but do note that matcha is quite highly caffienated, so avoid just before bed.
The pick of the bunch is white tea. Incredibly high in polyphenols because it's made purely from the young bud of the tea plant when it's at its most potent, the leaves are withered and allowed to dry naturally, not crushed. This helps to preserve the maximum amount of goodness, making white tea a brilliant choice for a January detox cheat. Check out the Republic of Tea's selection of white tea blends.
Lastly, tea fans in Dublin are spoiled for choice with the recent opening of a branch of Les Palais des Thés on Wicklow Street, the tea store in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre and the Tea Garden tea shop on the north quays. All three are a source of gorgeous blends and insider info. If there's a tea-tastic location in your town or city that's worth a mention, please leave us a comment!
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