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Health & Nutrition, Mindfulness, News, Sleep

Aaah, sleep, glorious sleep.  How wonderful it is to drift off to the land of nod, and to arise, refreshed and ready to face the day seven to eight hours later.  But how many people do you know who actually get the optimum amount of sleep? When was the last time you woke up naturally from a deep and nourishing sleep, ready to tackle the day without needing a jolt of caffeine to get you going? 

 

We all have times in which sleep is elusive.  Sometimes it is thankfully only for a short period, but at other times it is painfully prolonged. The events of the past year have played havoc with the sleeping habits of many people. Studies have shown that not enough sleep, or poor quality of sleep, over a extended period can adversely affect our physical and mental health. Not enough sleep can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. 

 

In the UK there are many options for help available for those struggling to sleep, starting with advice from your GP and the NHS.  If you are reading this blog, you may be looking for complimentary ideas to use alongside these proven methods. In this blog we will attempt to answer the following questions and ascertain whether tea can help you to sleep better.

  • The definition of sleep
  • How much sleep do I need?
  • Why can’t I sleep?
  • Sleeping tips
  • Does Twist tea help with sleep?
  • Key UK sleep advice resources

The definition of sleep

Sleep is a tricky concept to pin down.  According to this explanation, ‘sleep is a reversible behavioural state of perceptual disengagement from and unresponsiveness to the environment’. Are you any clearer on what sleep is from that definition?  Nope, neither are we and if the experts are honest, they aren’t exactly sure what it is either.  What is certain, though, is that sleep is vital to our physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Humans used to follow the natural rhythm of daylight, sleeping when it became dark, waking when it became light.  The introduction of electricity and artificial light irrevocably altered our sleeping patterns.  No longer were people required to conduct their evening activities by firelight; instead, they could extend their activities into the night with brighter electric lighting.  Flexible working hours and digital devices have further changed the way in which we sleep, and not always for the better.



How much sleep do i need?

You may ask: how much sleep is enough? 

 

Too often, sleep is something that gets relegated to the bottom of the ‘To Do’ list.  We all have a lot that we try to fit into our day, and sometimes these tasks eat into our sleep time.  Are you one of those people guilty of sleep procrastination?  You know, when you realise it’s getting late, but you want to finish the movie/get to the exciting part of your book/wade through all of your social media sites/have another drink at the pub because it’s your only chance all day to do these important things?

 

According to the NHS, most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.  By calculating back from the time that you need to get up in the morning, it is possible to work out the optimum time to get to sleep.

 

Sounds simple enough.  But what if you just can’t get to sleep at that time?

 

Why can’t I sleep?

There are many reasons for not being able to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep problems can be caused by one, or several factors.

 

Anxiety or depression and sleep

Anxiety and stress often rob us of our sleep and there has been plenty to worry about during the past year. Juggling concerns over work, childcare, schooling, and the health of our loved ones has had a detrimental effect on our sleep. According to Sleepstation, an online sleep help program endorsed by the NHS, ‘one of the most important factors needed for good sleep is a quiet mind. You cannot sleep if your mind is racing, or you are worried or stressed’.  Additionally, people can become anxious about sleep itself. Once you are aware that you might have a problem getting enough sleep, it can become something else to worry about and sleep can become more elusive than ever.

 

Depression can also leave many people unable to sleep, or unable to get out of bed.  Sleeping more than our recommended six to nine hours per night is also not advised.

 

Digital devices and sleep

We all know that we spend far too much time on our digital devices these days.  With many facets of our lives increasingly online, it is hard to escape and switch off.   But escape from it (briefly) we must each day if we are to get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from our phones, tablets and computers affect the release of melatonin, a hormone that prepares our bodies for sleep.  Ideally, we should turn these devices off one hour before we need to be asleep, preferably leaving them outside our bedrooms, and instead pick up a book, have a relaxing bath or have a warm, non-alcoholic drink (more on this later).

 

Too much caffeine and sleep

Found in tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks and some medication, caffeine is great for giving us that energy boost we crave, usually when very tired.  But it can have a downside: caffeine is addictive, meaning the more we drink it the more we crave it, thus a vicious circle is formed.  Some people are affected more by caffeine than others and can experience headaches, heart palpitations, upset stomach, as well as insomnia.  Because of its stimulating effect, the NHS recommends that we don’t eat or drink anything containing caffeine in the four to five hours before bed.

 

Not enough exercise and sleep

Regular exercise is important on so many levels. We need it to keep our hearts, bones and muscles healthy and strong.  Regular exercise also benefits our mental health and can have an impact on the quality of our sleep.  The World Health Organisation recommends that adults have between 150-300 minutes per week of moderate exercise.  Moderate exercise includes cycling, swimming, walking, running and group activities such as tennis and football.

 

It makes sense that getting regular exercise will have an impact on our sleep quality as it expends our energy and makes us tired.  It’s important to remember that some exercise is better than no exercise, even if it’s a simple walk each day.  Evidence shows that the relationship between exercise and sleep is interlinked: poor sleep leads to lack of energy and a reduction of exercise, which can then lead to more poor sleep. However, while it is important to exercise in order to improve our sleep quality, we need to remember not to exercise too vigorously just before bed as it leads to a rise in hormones such as cortisol, which can interfere with sleep.

 

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe how we might create a space (ideally a bedroom) that will help us to achieve a good night’s sleep.  This includes the following:

  • Ensure that you have a comfortable mattress.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is the right temperature, not too hot or too cold, 18 degrees Celsius is recommended as a guide.  
  • Try not to have a TV in your room and try not to have any digital devices in there either.  If you use your phone for an alarm, consider changing to an old-fashioned alarm clock.  If you read books on a kindle app, try switching to night mode to reduce the back light.
  • If possible, limit the amount of light coming in from the windows, either with curtains or with an eye mask.  Equally, if your room is noisy consider using ear plugs for sleeping.



Sleeping tips

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a single, magic pill we can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. It seems that we need to look at several lifestyle factors.  The NHS recommends that we do the following:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. (try to establish a bedtime routine that can help prompt or remind your body that it is time to sleep. You might also find it helps to keep a sleep diary, particularly when trying to establish a bedtime routine that works for you).
  • Try not to eat or drink anything containing caffeine in the four to five hours before bed.
  • Try not to nap during the day.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise two hours before bed. Light exercise such as yoga or stretching is ok.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark.

 

If, after trying these methods you still cannot sleep, it is important to seek professional help from your GP.



Does (Twist) tea help with sleep?

Tea is undoubtedly good for us.  First discovered in China almost 5000 years ago, tea is a drink brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Tea can be classified into black, green, white, oolong and Pu-erh teas. All tea types contain antioxidant properties which can help to protect us from heart disease and some types of cancer as well as boosting our energy and concentration levels.

 

Herbal teas are not tea in the technical sense as they do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant.  The correct term is tisane; however, we often refer to them as tea because we brew them in much the same way. Popular herbal teas include peppermint, chamomile, lavender, ginger, and rooibos. Like traditional teas, herbal teas offer many health benefits and are largely caffeine-free. 

 

So can tea help with sleep? While tea has much to offer us in terms of health benefits, we must be honest and admit that it is not the only solution to getting a good night’s sleep.  However, at Twist we believe tea can help with sleep, especially when used in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle habits.

 

Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a herb that produces daisy-like flowers. The tea brewed from the dried Chamomile flowers has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for insomnia. It is naturally caffeine-free, making it ideal for drinking at any time of day. Chamomile contains apigenin, a phytonutrient that has a sleep-inducing effect. Chamomile is also thought to help reduce stress and anxiety and some have described it as being a ‘mild tranquilizer’Discover the benefits of Chamomile tea.

Chamomile Tea can help you sleep
Twist Teas’
Sleep Tea blend is a soothing mix of whole chamomile flower heads, lemon balm, valerian, and lavender. Lemon balm, valerian and lavender have been used for centuries to treat ailments including insomnia and anxiety.  While further study is required to determine exactly how this works, the addition of these herbs undoubtedly enhances this aromatic brew.




A hot drink before bed

Creating an evening ritual for yourself, including enjoying a hot drink, is mentioned in many sleep help guides.  If chamomile is not your cup of tea, brew yourself a Chocolate Cake Tea and top it with frothy milk for a soothing rooibos hot chocolate.  Rooibos is a herb native to South Africa that is naturally caffeine-free and is known for its health benefits.  Our Chocolate Cake tea has the bonus of no added sugar, meaning you can enjoy a completely guilt-free pre-sleep treat.


Caffeine and sleep

At Twist Teas we have lots of delicious caffeinated blends but these are probably not the ones you should be reaching for when finding it difficult to sleep. 


Health experts believe it is ok to consume up to 400mg of caffeine, the equivalent of four to five cups of tea or coffee, per day. If you consume more caffeine than this every day, sleep specialists agree that it is a good idea to reduce your caffeine intake.  It can be difficult reducing your caffeine intake to zero and might be unnecessary too (unless you are experiencing extreme reactions to it). Before we look at obvious caffeine-free and reduced caffeine options, we are going to go out on a limb and suggest that changing the type of caffeinated drink you consume might have a bearing on your sleep quality…


Pure Matcha Green Tea

Matcha, a powdered green tea, contains an equivalent level of caffeine per cup than espresso coffee due to the way in which matcha tea is grown. Yet the caffeine in matcha affects us differently to the way that the caffeine in coffee does.  There is a synergy between caffeine and L-theanine (an amino acid present in matcha) which allows for a slow-release of energy. This contrasts with the quick boost of energy followed by a sharp drop in energy often experienced following a strong coffee. Furthermore L-theanine and caffeine work together to reduce stress and improve concentration.  A very good reason to replace your morning coffee with a cup of nutrient-dense matcha instead.



And now on to those reduced caffeine and caffeine-free tea options!


The NHS recommends abstaining from eating or drinking anything containing caffeine during the 4-5 hours before bedtime.  If you still feel the craving for a cup of black tea during the late afternoon or evening, Pure Rooibos can provide a delicious alternative.  A herb native to South Africa, Rooibos is has a nutty, full-bodied taste and it is naturally caffeine-free. If you like our Pure Rooibos, you might like to try our other Rooibos blends, all caffeine-free and with no added sugar.


Decaffeinated tea is another option that makes it possible to reduce our caffeine intake without abandoning black tea altogether. Twist’s All Day Decaf, another award-winning tea comprises premium, organic Sri Lankan Black Tea treated with liquid carbon dioxide to remove caffeine.  This harmless process does not diminish the flavour.  Other decaf teas are rinsed in Methylene Chloride, primarily used as an industrial solvent and paint stripper. Fancy a cup? No, us neither…

 

Hydration and sleep

A 2019 study has shown that there is a correlation between sleep length and dehydration

The study found that people are more likely to wake up dehydrated if they have had less than eight hours’ sleep.  For most of us, dehydration leads to headaches, difficulty in concentration, irritability, and dizziness.  There is no doubt that staying properly hydrated is necessary for maintaining our physical health.  The NHS recommends that we drink between six to eight glasses of fluid per day to stay hydrated.

Cold Bew Tea Bags UK


If we are trying to eliminate as many factors as possible in our quest to get a good nights’ sleep, it can’t hurt to try to drink the right amount of water during the day. However drinking enough water to stay fully hydrated can get, well, boring can’t it. Cold Brew Teas
can be a delicious alternative to plain water.  At Twist we have a wide selection of innovative blends of the finest whole leaf teas, fruits and herbs that have been carefully created to taste as great brewed cold as they do hot.  Perfect for enjoying during the warm summer months, our cold brew blends differ from traditional iced tea as they have no added sugar or artificial sweeteners and many of them are naturally caffeine-free. Cold Brew teas make it easy to reach your daily 2 litre quota, without worrying about consuming too much sugar or caffeine.



Conclusions

If you are having trouble getting to sleep, or with getting enough sleep each night, it is important that you seek help from your GP or healthcare professional.   At Twist we do not believe that tea is the only solution to sleeping better but the choices we make in terms of what we eat and drink during the day, including the tea you chose and when you drink it, seems likely to have some bearing on how well we sleep.  Whether you wish to trade the jitters of your morning coffee for the smooth energy boost of a matcha, or would like to reduce your caffeine intake altogether by considering Rooibos, decaffeinated tea or fruit and herbal teas, Twist has a blend for all options! 

 

Key UK sleep advice resources

NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/ 

Sleepstation https://www.sleepstation.org.uk/ 

Mental Health https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-sleep-better 

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/tips-to-improve-your-sleep/ 

 

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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Mindfulness, News

With the phrase ‘New Year, new you’ flooding our airwaves, and lots of talk about adopting healthier habits, we thought we’d take a look at the benefits of drinking Green Tea. One of China’s favourite teas is Sencha Green Tea which makes up the majority of our delicious, Refresher Green blend (73%) and provides a myriad of health benefits. Sencha Green Tea is made from the Camellia sinensis leaf, which is steamed, rolled and dried to give it that refreshing touch. The other ingredients which give this green elixir our ‘twist’ include Ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, Siberian ginseng, and sunflower. 

In this post we are focusing on the health benefits of Sencha Green Tea.

 

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances which may protect our cells. Sencha Green Tea contains a high amount of polyphenols which are proven to halt cell damage and fend off free radicals, which in turn can help prevent cancer. Additional benefits of polyphenols include aiding digestion, weight management and cardiovascular diseases.

Refresher Green Tea Blend by Twist Teas

Energy-boosting

Sencha contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can actually give a sustainable boost of energy. So if you’re looking for mouth-watering brew to get you through the last part of the day then look no further. And don’t worry, although Sencha contains caffeine, a cup of Sencha contains around 20-30 milligrams, whereas its counterpart, coffee, contains upwards of 200 milligrams, so you won’t have a caffeine crash!

 

Rich in Vitamin C

Sencha is rich in vitamin C which is an essential ascorbic acid. The main benefits of vitamin C include supporting a proper immune function and the healing and formation of collagen, and, therefore, its importance in our diets cannot be understated!

 

Fat Burning benefits

I am sure you will have seen many fat burning kits and supplements which probably include Sencha and other Green Teas. This is because the properties Sencha Green Tea can increase metabolic rate, and therefore increase fat burning.

 

Sweet breath 

This is a peculiar benefit, but also a very practical one. Sencha Green Tea can actually improve the breath. This is due to the catechins present in the tea. Research shows that catechins reduce the growth of bacteria in the mouth, such as streptococcus mutans resulting in improved mouth hygiene and the prevention of bad breath. 

So, what are you waiting for? Stock up on our revitalising super brew and enjoy all the great benefits of Sencha Green Tea packed into a simple tea bag!

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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Matcha, Matcha Powder, Mindfulness

Turmeric, the vibrant spice so prominent in Indian cuisine, has been gaining in popularity and not because of a rise in curry cravings. Twist Teas’ infatuation with this knobby root is thanks in part to how inviting it makes the idea of a Turmeric Matcha, but mostly because of its many reputed health benefits.

What is it?

Turmeric is a spice found within the Turmeric plant, farmed in parts of Asia and is traditionally the main spice in curry, giving it that golden-yellow colour. Not only does it encompass a flavourful taste, it also contains compounds associated with various health benefits.

Health benefits

It contains Curcumin

Curcumin is a key ingredient found in Turmeric and has great anti-inflammatory effects, that are said to rival the effectiveness of some over the counter drugs.  It does this by preventing the NF-kB molecule from entering into your cells, which commonly sparks significant amounts of inflammation.

Increased brain function

Curcumin increases a growth hormone found in the brain associated with heightened awareness. This allows people to obtain better levels of focus and may even help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Heart health

Again, the nifty curcumin plays a role in increasing the effectiveness of the heart, specifically by improving the function of the blood vessels through the endothelium.  An improvement in the Endothelium’s role in regulating blood pressure can see heart health increase as a result.

Antioxidants

Curcumin has been found to destroy free radicals in the body, which can be extremely harmful and even cancer causing.  It does this by boosting the production of antioxidative enzymes.  For more information on antioxidants, read my blog Matcha Ado About … Pure Matcha

Now that you know about the amazing potential turmeric has, you won’t be surprised that we have added it to our Matcha!  The combination of these two super foods can see them both heightening the effectiveness of each other’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. 




Serving Suggestions

Smoothie: Simply add a teaspoon to a smoothie of your choice. It works particularly well if you’ve got a fairly bland, unsweetened, smoothie that needs something with a distinctive flavour to turn it into to a really delicious, mega-healthy treat.










Matcha latte: Now this is a really delicious, fiery drink that is great to wake yourself up on a Monday morning.  Simply add one teaspoon of Turmeric Matcha to a cup, add enough hot (not boiling, 80 degrees centigrade) water, milk or milk substitute to turn it into a paste.  Then add the rest of the liquid, stirring vigorously until fully combined and frothy.  Now you’ve made yourself a lovely healthy pick me up!









Savoury dishes:  Sprinkle a teaspoon of turmeric matcha onto a dish that could use a bit of spice. Some of my favourites include immune-boosting carrot and ginger turmeric soup or using it to spruce up plain old chicken and rice.









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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Matcha, Matcha Powder, Mindfulness, News

Peppermint has been a staple tea for many generations and for good reason.  Native to the UK and the rest of Europe and across Asia, its delightfully fresh, minty taste, together with its myriad of health benefits, has made it one of the most popular teas across the world.  At Twist Teas, we thought instead of replacing the old with the new, why not combine the two – Peppermint Matcha!  Not only have we united these two super nutrients for their unique health benefits, but they also taste wonderful when combined!  Peppermint Matcha makes for an incredible super brew!  For information on Matcha, take a look at the Matcha blog as today we are going to be solely delving into how amazing peppermint can be.

Health benefits of peppermint

Inflammation reduction

Peppermint can act as a relaxant as the compound methanol allows for easier blood transportation as it increases blood flow.  This can see reductions in aches, pains and may even help things such as headaches and migraines.

Mouth health

It freshens your breath, and contains antibacterial properties to help fight off germs.

Increased focus and energy

The natural properties in peppermint have been shown to help with perceived levels of energy and increased levels of focus.  Peppermint, combined with our Matcha, will definitely sort out those midday work blues.

Allergy symptoms

Peppermint contains acid rosmarinic, which has been shown to be a reliever of allergic reactions associated with things such as hay fever, asthma causers and pet allergies.

Sinuses

Peppermint contains methanol, an anti-inflammatory compound, which increases the level of nasal airflow, helping you to breath more freely.  If you drink your Peppermint Matcha steaming hot, it can really help your sinuses.

So, that in combination with our Matcha will certainly give you that health kick (you might not know) you needed!


 

Serving Suggestions

Refreshing hot (or cold) brew: This will undoubtedly give a kick to your day and is incredibly simple to make.  Just add a teaspoon of Peppermint Matcha to a cup, stir in a small amount of the liquid (slightly cooled boiling water, milk or milk substitute, approx. 80 degrees centigrade) and make a smooth paste.  Then slowly add the rest of the liquid, stirring vigorously.  At Twist Teas, we especially enjoy it cold on ice with a sprig of fresh mint.









Protein Shake: If you are looking to change up the taste of that protein powder, add in some revitalising Peppermint Matcha and give it that uplifting minty flavour!  Just make your shake as you usually would, add a teaspoon of the powder and shake away!










Blueberry porridge with a Peppermint Matcha kick start: Now for one of my favourite breakfasts, with a twist (we are called this for a reason!). Make your blueberry porridge as you usually would – oats, water, milk or milk substitute and blueberries.  Then mix in around a teaspoon and a half of the Peppermint Matcha.  The peppermint gives a massive kick to the flavour of the porridge and to my brain. Also works well sprinkled on granola with a dash of yoghurt or Kefir. Kickstart your day with this super-nutritious breakfast!







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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Matcha, Matcha Powder, Mindfulness, News

Does it really taste like chocolate? ABSOLUTELY! But not only that, you’ll also benefit from the super nutrients in the matcha and the cocoa.  Yes, cocoa powder is also incredibly healthy for you when it’s in its basic powder form, absent of all the sugars and sweeteners you find in chocolate bars. Now, let’s delve into why cocoa powder is so great and why we have added it into our matcha (it’s not just for the taste!).  If you’re not caught up on incredible benefits of pure matcha, check out this post

Cocoa

I’m sure you don’t need a lesson on what cocoa tastes like given that it’s the essential ingredient in chocolate, but let’s start with a little more about how it’s made.  Cocoa trees produce large cocoa pods which contain around 20 to 30 seeds sitting in a sweet white pulp – these are the cocoa beans.  It takes a whole year’s crop from one tree to make half a kilo of cocoa.  When harvested, the ripe pods are cut open and the beans are taken out, fermented, dried, cleaned and roasted.  They’re then cracked, the nibs are grounded, and dried again, and then grounded into the powder.  Phew!  I’m exhausted just writing about it.

Now for the benefits!

Reduction of potential blood and heart problems

Cocoa powder contains flavanol which increases the level of nitric oxide present within the blood.  This is beneficial as nitric oxide allows for easier transport of blood as it dilates your arteries and relaxes blood vessels. This can result in a host of benefits including a reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) and inflammation.

Brain function

Polyphenols found within cocoa powder can protect neurons within the brain against injury that may be instigated by neurotoxins, and can suppress neuroinflammation, seeing a promotion in memory and general cognitive functionality.

Weight control

Although not completely proven, it has been suggested cocoa powder is satiating as it reduces appetite and inflammation.  Further, it has also been advocated that it increases fat oxidation, which increases the rate of fat burning within the body.

Asthma and breathing difficulties

Theobromine and Theophylline are present within cocoa powder and both can relax the body’s airways, widening them by dilation of the lungs and, as a result, allowing you to breathe more easily.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of chocolate! As it contains significantly high amounts of sugars and fats, that would be a pretty bad idea. Rather, try adding cocoa powder to your diet and try out our Cocoa Matcha to get some serious health benefits at the same time.

Also, check out our Tumeric Cocoa Matcha for a delicious combination of sweet and spice with the added advantage of also having Tumeric in your diet.  Please see my blog on Tumeric to see how remarkable it is!



Serving Suggestions

Sprinkle it onto your breakfast cereal:  Cocoa Matcha turns your granola or morning porridge into a delicious, rich chocolatey feast. It provides you with a morning full of energy and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

At Twist Teas, we’ve gone one step further and added it to our homemade granola mix which gives us a great start to our day.









Hot cocoa.  Instead of a high calorie hot beverage, why not have a low calorie, equally delicious treat! Just make the matcha by putting a tea spoon full into a cup, adding a small amount of slightly cooled boiling water, milk or milk substitute (approx. 80 degrees centigrade) and stir into a smooth paste. Then add the rest of the liquid stirring vigorously.   And there’s your fusion cocoa goodness to warm you up on a cold winter’s day.










With fruit and yoghurt.  Another delicious way to enjoy our cocoa matcha is to combine it with some yoghurt, exactly as you would when making a drink.  Then simply add some fruit.  Now you can have healthy chocolate-dipped fruit for breakfast.  The Twist Teas taste team made this delicious chocolate dip with coconut yoghurt – our healthy version of a chocolate fountain!










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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Matcha, Matcha Powder, Mindfulness, News

If the idea of Beetroot & Acai Matcha gives you pause for thought, rest assured that at Twist Teas we do things a little bit differently and a whole lot better.  And this blend is no exception:  it’s absolutely delicious and boasts serious amounts of nutrients!  For extra information on Matcha take a look  to find out more about how magnificent it really is.  Now, onto the standout perks of adding Beetroot & Acai to your diet.

Beetroot

Beetroot is often considered somewhat of a super food, here’s why:

High nutrient profile

Beetroot contains pretty much all the nutrients required in your diet including Folate, Potassium, Iron and Manganese.  So if you are looking for a natural source of multivitamins, you’ll find one here!

Nitrate concentration

The high nitrate concentration found in Beetroot paves the way for an improvement in blood flow.  This is because it’s a vasodilator, making your blood flow more easily.  It affects the muscles in the walls of your arteries and veins, preventing them from tightening and the walls from narrowing. Although Nitrate concentration is temporarily high after consumption (up to 6 hours), this can boost mental and cognitive brain function, helping to remove ‘brain fog’ and can reduce blood pressure, endorsing better mental clarity and concentration.

Acai

Acai berries are native to South American rainforests and have grown in popularity in recent years.  Whilst relatively expensive, this  ‘jack of all trades’ is a worthwhile investment because of its numerous health benefits:

Immune system

Studies show that a Polyphenolic compound found in the acai berries prevent cells from malfunctioning which may in turn reduce the possibility of tumour growth.  The berries also contain Anthocyanin, which is reputed to reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which have an adverse effect on the immune system.

Heart and brain health

Anthocyanin has also been shown to strengthen memory by improving blood flow efficiency to the brain and reduce neuroinflammation.

So, when combining Beetroot, Acai and Matcha ,you have… well not just super, but super, super and you guessed it, super food, so you are certainly getting bang for your buck!’




A warm brew: I wasn’t lying when I said it was delicious! On its own as a brew, it’s jam packed full of flavour! Simply turn the powder into a paste and then slowly add the rest of the hot water, milk or milk substitute stirring vigorously as you go.  And there you have it:  your triple super brew!










Mixed with porridge:  You might want to alleviate that annoying brain fog in the morning, or just fancy a change.   If so, add around half a teaspoon of the powder and mix it in.  This tastes really delicious.  Enjoy!

Make a super smoothie: Now I know I’ve said super many times, I promise, just once more. Just add around a half a teaspoon to whatever smoothie you’re making:  I like a mixed berry one, and make it even more… SUPER than it already is!








Add to salad mayonnaise, yoghurt or vinaigrette salad dressing:  This is a great way to add health benefits to your salads. At Twist Teas we enjoy it on beetroot and goats cheese salad and especially love Leon’s Original Vegan Mayonnaise with a Matcha twist!

 










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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Matcha, Matcha Powder, Mindfulness, News

If you haven’t already heard about Matcha you will do soon!  It’s the new super tea creating waves in the health and fitness industry:  it has skyrocketed in popularity due to its unique nutrient profile, with consumers drinking shots, lattes, and tea, all made from Premium Grade Matcha with the promise of health benefits, ranging from enhancing weight loss to decreasing the risk of heart disease.  And to top all that, Twist Teas’ Pure Matcha Great Taste Award winning blend tastes delicious too!

 

 

What is it?

 

Matcha green tea powder is a refreshing alternative to traditional tea, a bright green elixir that’s packed with antioxidants that enhances your mood, health and energy level.

 

You’re probably already familiar with green tea.  Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but it’s made from the entire leaf, it packs in a more concentrated number of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.  Farmers grow matcha by covering their tea plants for between twenty and thirty days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight.  This increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid content, and gives the plant a darker green hue.  Once the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are ground up into a fine powder known as matcha.  Due to its multistage process, it is much pricier than your regular teas, and for good reason!

 

What are its benefits?

 

The increased levels of Chlorophyll in matcha can reduce inflammation within the body, which can be great for aches and pains, and things such as acne and swelling.  Peculiarly, it’s also a natural deodorant, so for people like me who like to get a sweat on, it stops my partner, and mum, keeping their distance from me when I’m back from the gym!

 

Matcha is also generally high in antioxidants, stabilise harmful free radicals.  (For more about this read my blog tea for fitness and health ).  Other benefits of matcha include:

  • weight loss as it has the potential to increase fat burn during exercise,
  • heart health development as it can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol allowing easier transport of blood flow, and
  • improved brain function due to the high levels of L-theanine present in the leaves.

 

Best of all, the tea is simple to prepare, so you can incorporate it effortlessly into your diet and give your day a burst of extra flavour.  



Serving Suggestions

  • As a tea, you would use one tsp of the Pure Matcha powder, add a slight amount of water to it mixing it in creating a paste. Once the paste is made add the rest of your hot water and there you have it, your green super brew!

 

  • Due to the way it boosts brain function, having a quick shot of it before a workout would be an excellent way to boost your concentration! To do so, make a small paste like you would making the tea, then add around 100-200ml of cold water, mix it together and there you have it, a healthy pre workout drink without abundances of caffeine and other unwanted additives!

 

  • Another quick way to get that Matcha boost is to simply sprinkle it onto some of your porridge or oats in the morning. That way you’re ready for the day ahead! I like to have our Twist Pure Matcha as it gives it a nice chocolatey taste which definitely satisfies my sweet tooth.

 

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Health & Nutrition, Immunity, Mindfulness

No specific food or supplement will prevent us for catching a serious infection like COVID-19/Coronavirus.  Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.  However there are plenty of small things we can do that may strengthen our immune system. 

From supplements to exercise to nutrition, we thought we’d share some of the natural ways we’ve been making sure we stay fighting fit at Twist HQ – or rather Twist WFH (Working From Home).

We’ve been eating our fruit and vegetables.  These foods are fantastic for increasing your immune system.  They contain various antioxidants that help fight against free radicals which can instigate inflammation within the body.  Most fruit and veg contain a variety of macronutrients your body needs, for example, vitamin C which is required for development, repair and growth of all bodily tissues.  It also produces antibodies which counteract hostile microbes and helps stimulate many types of white blood cells which help in fighting off illness.  There’s an abundant of vitamins in tea, especially vitamin C, which is fantastic news for us at Twist Teas!


We’ve reduced our added sugar intake.  There is of course a significant link between added sugars and being overweight or obese.  Being obese may lead to a higher potential of getting ill.  Studies have shown this whereby people who are obese are twice as likely to get the flu, even if they have had a vaccine.  Reducing sugar intake can aid weight loss and reduce inflammation within the body.  Your daily sugar intake should be no more than 7.5% of your daily intake, therefore, for someone who has 2000 calories, they should only have 32.5 grams of sugar.  However some of us are finding it incredibly hard to keep to these levels during lockdown.  So we’ve been drinking copious amounts of tea from our Puds Without Sin range including Mint Humbug, Lemon Drizzle, Banana Shake and Minty Allsorts.  They don’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners and really deliver on flavour.

We’ve been exercising.  Now this doesn’t mean we’ve all been doing crazy intense sprinting or weight lifting.  Moderate exercise is a brilliant way to help boost your immune system.  Physical activity helps antibodies and white blood cells become more active, meaning they’re more ready to fight illness.  Exercise may also help your immune cells regenerate more regularly.  We’ve all been making the most of our limited time outdoors by doing moderate exercise like walking, jogging and cycling – whilst keeping a safe distance from anyone we meet.

Decrease stress.  Being able to manage your stress is a great way of reducing the chance of illness but it’s not easy especially at the moment.  Increased stress levels may cause imbalances in immune cell functions which inhibit the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens.  This is because the stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system.  Stress will also see a growth in inflammation within the body.  Easy and fun ways to reduce stress is to do some exercise and stretching.  This releases endorphins which activate the opioid receptors within the brain making you feel a sense of euphoria and accomplishment.  It also helps minimise discomfort.  Stretching is particularly helpful because it increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which enhances relaxation.  We’ve found it easier to complete a 20-minute stretch session whilst WFH.  But beware, if followed by a cup of Chamomile Yawn it can lead to a daytime nap as well!

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Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Mindfulness

The next time you need a ‘pick me up’, go for the tea bag, not the coffee. There’s more to tea than meets the eye, or should I say the taste buds!

All tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant which contains caffeine.  Other than being naturally low in calories and sugar free its other antioxidant properties, hydrating effects and detox abilities are all well documented.  But if you want to know the other specific benefits different types of tea can have on your health and fitness, put the kettle on and read this quickly before deciding which brew to chose!

Black Tea has many benefits, but perhaps a less known one which can improve health and fitness is that it contains an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine has been proven to help focus as it facilitates alpha activity within the brain. It is one of the main reasons as to why it is often reported that tea gives a more stable boost of energy in comparison to coffee. Our most popular black tea is Twentyfourseven which is an Indian Assam and Kenyan black tea, so if you are needing that tasty boost of lasting energy look no further!

Green Tea is one of the most popular teas due to its health benefits.   Like all tea it contains antioxidants and L-theanine which increase metabolic rate and fat burning as they mobilises free fatty acids (FFA’s) from tissues in the body allowing them to be burned as energy. The caffeine content helps physical performance by helping the flow of blood back to the heart allowing muscles to receive more oxygen and perform optimally.  Some of our most popular green teas include Refresher green which also contains some ginseng, Sencha green (Japanese) and our Beetroot Acai Matcha.

White Tea is rich in antioxidants as its full of polyphenols called catechins.  These help protect cells in the body from free radicals which can be harmful leading to increased potential of chronic inflammation and a deficient immune system.  Our favourite white teas at Twist are Strawberry & Rose and Passionfruit & Rose which are rich in flavour as they contain quality freeze-dried pieces of strawberry and passionfruit. They can be used as cold brews, brilliant for a delicious and healthy summer refreshment!

Herbal Tisanes are commonly called ‘teas’ although they don’t contain leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.  They are made from a wide variety of fruit and herbs  with many having differ health benefits, so, I’ll give a brief insight into the benefits of a few of our most popular blends.  Our peppermint tea, Propermint contains menthol, which is a natural substance which assists muscle relaxation, and gives an almost cooling sensation.  Rooibos contains significantly high amounts of antioxidants, actually 50% more than Green Tea, and our delicious Pure Rooibos, Banana Shake, Lemon Drizzle and Mint Humbug blends all which contain rooibos taste delicious too.  Finally, our ginger tea, Ginger Snap contains around 60% pure ginger, which helps stimulate better digestion, cinnamon and liquorice which both have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

We don’t say ‘blends with benefits’ for no reason! Now, what benefits do you want in your next cuppa?

By Danny Rose, Health & Well Being.

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Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Mindfulness
The summer of sports has well and truly begun – bringing with it a renewed interest in everything sports related. How do the best of the best do it? What helps them achieve the perfect physical fitness in training to be victorious? In a recent article in the Telegraph, it would appear the English football team has the answer: drinking tea!


The Telegraph’s Jamie Johnson says: “Eric Dier has revealed that a herb-infused drink called maté has become a staple part of the diet of England’s Tottenham contingent, under the influence of their Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino. “Eric and I spend our afternoons playing Uno and drinking tea – it’s a good way of spending an hour or two, just gossiping,” Danny Rose said. “That’s our secret.”


The tea in question is yerba maté, a traditional South American drink, made from the leaves and twigs of the IIex paraguariensis plant. Maté provides the energy boost without the jitteriness of coffee and has become very popular with top cyclists like Tim Wiggins.

Naturally, we’re big fans of maté, which is why we’ve added yerba maté to our  Breakfast Boost blend. It compliments the full-bodied blend of Assam and Ceylon, with added ginseng, making it the ideal brew to get you up and going.


Whether you train for the World Cup, a marathon, dance classes or just fancy a cuppa, here are 5 functional health benefits of drinking maté.


Reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system

Maté contains polyphenols and saponins, naturally occurring plant compounds. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, providing help during recovery stage – so you can get back on the playing field sooner!  


Provides a smooth increase in energy

Compared to the other most commonly used sports stimulants – coffee, kola, cocoa, guarana – yerba maté provides the most balanced energy boost. Users have reported a smooth and clean energy boost, experiencing a state of high alertness similar to coffee but without the side effects of jitteriness or a sudden energy crash.  


Can enhance physical performance

Current research has shown that drinking maté before exercising may improve muscle contraction, reduce fatigue and help with burning fat for energy, improving sports performance.  


Improves mental functions

Maté contains the amino acid called L-theanine which helps with focus and attention. It also contains a moderate amount of caffeine. The effects of caffeine as a psychoactive stimulant are widely known, enhancing memory, mood and alertness. In maté, the caffeine combines with theobromine and theophylline – providing an additional level of nutrition to enhance creativity and productivity.  


Provides a wide range of nutrients

It can be said that maté provides practically all micronutrients needed to sustain life:

7 vitamins
10 minerals
4 phytonutrients
15 amino acids
11 polyphenols

To add to the list of benefits it also exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink. 

 If you’d also like to take advantage of these and many more health benefits, we have Breakfast Boost on its own or as part of our selection boxes. Or Pick & Mix to create your ultimate tea collection.
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