4 benefits of rooibos tea
1. Rooibos is a source of some unique polyphenols
Rooibos is the sole natural known source of the polyphenol flavonoid aspalathin, and one of two naturally occurring sources of another polyphenol, nothofagin.7
Polyphenols are common in plants and serve several functions. These include:8
Aspalathin specifically has been observed to improve carbohydrate metabolism and glucose homeostasis.9,10 One study looking at these effects concluded that this compound could even be useful in the management of hyperglycaemia and obesity.11
- Attracting insects
- Feeding repellents
- Pigmentation and photoreception
- Protecting the plant from sun/light
- Antimicrobial activity
- Fighting free radicals (antioxidant effect)
In general, consuming food and drink with high levels of antioxidants is said to be beneficial to health.12 Antioxidants play an important role in protecting cells from free radical damage, and lucky for us, there is some evidence that suggests rooibos tea can increase antioxidant levels in the body.13
Unfermented (green) Rooibos has been reported to have higher levels of antioxidants than traditional, fermented Rooibos.14
2. Low (or no) calorie
Rooibos tea contains zero calories when enjoyed without milk or other added ingredients which is great for those trying to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight.
3. Naturally caffeine free
Rooibos tea is a brilliant naturally caffeine free alternative to your usual black tea or coffee.
Many people nowadays try to limit their caffeine intake or go completely caffeine free for a multitude of reasons. Whether you are looking to improve your quality of sleep, to reduce anxiety or even improve gut health, cutting out the caffeine might be the right choice for you.15,16,17
4. Low tannins (4.4%)
Unlike green and black tea, red bush tea contains virtually no tannins (4.4%).18 Tannins are a type of polyphenol found in many plants and other organic matter, and are considered responsible for the somewhat bitter taste and astringency associated with many teas.19
Due to its low levels of tannins, rooibos is a great choice if you are looking for a milder tasting tea.