Each new year, millions of people across the globe make New Year’s resolutions in a bid to improve themselves or their lives in various ways.
Despite the initial enthusiasm, maintaining resolutions throughout the year can be challenging.
However, experts believe that drinking tea could help those who struggle to stay on course with their goals.
SA Rooibos Council spokesperson Adele du Toit said tea drinkers might be at a slight advantage when it came to keeping New Year’s resolutions.
She said that many resolutions often revolved around health and fitness, financial goals, personal development, career aspirations and relationships, which were all areas where tea drinking could contribute positively.
“Those that make resolutions related to health and wellness, such as exercising more, eating healthier or reducing stress, can benefit from herbal infusions like rooibos,” Du Toit said.
That was because tisane was rich in antioxidants and could promote relaxation and reduce stress, thereby supporting overall well-being.
In addition, drinking herbal tisanes could potentially help improve focus and concentration, boosting mental clarity, Du Toit said.
“There’s something special about a symbolic oath taken as a resolution at the start of each new year, which we shouldn’t lose sight of.”
Du Toit has provided the following ways to incorporate rooibos into your routine, which she believes can indirectly support and contribute to achieving your resolutions for 2024:
A healthy body houses a healthy mind
Rooibos contained antioxidants that had been linked to various health benefits, including a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, she said.
“The unique combination of antioxidants found in rooibos help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, making you less susceptible to disease.”
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining good health.
“When consumed without adding sugar, rooibos can contribute to your daily fluid intake, aiding healthy hydration.”
Herbal teas like rooibos, ginger and peppermint are known for their digestive benefits.
Du Toit said a healthy digestive system could contribute to your overall well-being and help you feel more comfortable while working towards your resolutions.
Replacing unhealthy habits
For those resolving to cut down on unhealthy habits like excessive intake of sugary beverages, Du Toit said that substituting those with rooibos was a healthier alternative.
Mindfulness and relaxation
As some resolutions involve practising mindfulness, reducing stress or improving mental health, she suggested taking a moment to prepare and enjoy a cup of rooibos, which could serve as a mindfulness practice, providing a calming ritual that helped you relax and focus.
Lower risk of depression
In recent years, the role of nutrition in mental health and preventative medicine has prompted explorations into the effects of tea, especially herbal tea, on mental health.
“Researchers found that frequent tea consumption has a strong linear relationship with reduced rates of depression.”
Du Toit said that a study had determined that for every three cups of tea consumed a day, the relative risk of depression decreased by 37%.
“Rooibos contains two rare antioxidants, namely, aspalathin and nothofagin, which interferes with the production of cortisol, a stress hormone secreted by the adrenal gland,” she said.
“Along with its stress-lowering effect, it is likely that other healthy compounds in rooibos stimulate a positive response in the gut and brain, which also improves mood.”
If your resolution was to cut down on caffeine, opting for rooibos, which was naturally caffeine-free, could help reduce your caffeine intake, she said.
She said that ultimately, while tea drinking could complement a healthy lifestyle and indirectly support resolution-keeping efforts, success in maintaining goals depended on various factors, among them commitment, planning, consistency and a holistic approach to health and well-being.
“By including a daily cup of rooibos, it can be a supportive element within a broader framework of healthy habits that can set you off on the right path.”