Often the focus in a plant-based diet understandably tends to be only on the food consumed, but beverages are regularly overlooked. Those following a plant-based diet will find tea to be a healthy drink choice. A variety of teas are made from only plants and safely consumed as part of a vegan diet without any problems. If they are not vegan, they are generally vegetarian. As well as being hydrating and tastier than water, tea also has several health benefits.
Where Tea Comes From
The leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant are traditionally used for making tea. Caffeine-free teas are also usually made from plant matter, such as herbal and fruit teas. On the other hand, some teas contain more than just water and plant material. It is not vegan to add extra flavoring from milk or honey to improve the tea taste. These products contain ingredients derived from animals, and therefore they are not vegan. When trying to stick to a plant-based diet, it can be helpful to know the many tea varieties such as green and black teas, and how they’re often prepared at coffee shops.
In terms of veganism, green tea is an obvious choice. The green tea leaves are dried using heat to prevent them from oxidizing. After drying the leaves, the tea drinker can then brew a refreshing cup of green tea. Typically, green tea does not have milk in it, so it is almost always vegan. There are many health benefits associated with drinking green tea as well. Flavonoids found in tea provide antioxidants, and they play a significant role in the health of the cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that routine consumption of green tea leads to an improvement in blood pressure and a decrease in LDL-Cholesterol, the form of cholesterol that is associated with a greater risk of stroke and heart disease.
Black and green tea both originate from the same plant leaves. Unlike green tea, however, black tea is oxidized before being dried and fired. The leaves oxidize into a completely dark rich brown-black, and a vibrant, tannic taste instills into the tea leaves. When the tea leaves are oxidized, the process is utterly animal product fee, so it is entirely vegan. There are, however, some beverage connoisseurs who prefer to drink black tea with sweetened milk. There are similar benefits associated with black and green tea. Black tea may offer different benefits from green tea as a result of the oxidation process. In addition to the same cardiovascular benefits as green tea, black tea can protect against Parkinson’s disease, reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, improve bone density, protect against diabetes, and lowering cancer risks.
When consuming plant-based diets, tea comes with a host of health benefits. Apart from keeping you hydrated and giving you a variety of beverage options, tea contains ingredients that have been shown to benefit your digestive system, stress levels, and heart. Antioxidants, caffeine, and hydration are additional benefits of tea. Adding animal products such as milk or honey to a tea beverage, however, will make the drink non-vegan. If there are no vegan alternatives to drinks such as bubble tea, milk tea, and chai lattes, then avoid ordering these beverages.