by René Hermans
Photos supplied by Rooibos Limited
Rooibos is gaining popularity as a delicious and healthy beverage. Consumed in southern Africa for centuries, it has become a beloved drink around the world. It is caffeine-free, low in tannins and rich in antioxidants that offer a variety of health benefits.
Rooibos is produced from the plant Aspalathus linearis, a leguminous shrub unique to the Cederberg Mountains around the town of Clanwilliam and indigenous to the Western Cape of South Africa. It forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, commonly known as fynbos, and grows nowhere else in the world. Rooibos contains a complex mix of many flavonoids, compounds widely found in plants known to have health benefits.
Rooibos – the healthy choice
It is one of the best health drinks or beverages for those who care about their fitness. Medical science is only beginning to discover the many health advantages of Rooibos. On-going research and case studies confirm that there seems to be no end to its benefits.
Here are just a few of its impressive health credentials:
• Rooibos is completely pure and natural as it contains no additives, preservatives or colourants.
• Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free.
• Rooibos contains antioxidants that fightfree radicals (a by-product of normal cell function), which weaken the body’s natural defences and lead to ageing, the declining of the immune system and the onset of a wide variety of diseases.
• Rooibos contains no oxalic acid.
• Rooibos is an excellent thirst-quencher to keep the body hydrated.
• Rooibos is calorie free, and is perfect for anyone on a weight loss plan.
What Rooibos can do for you
Low in Tannins – Unlike many teas, Rooibos is naturally low in harmful tannins. Tannins can interfere with iron absorption, particularly in populations of individuals with marginal iron status. These include infants and toddlers, teenage girls, pre-menopausal women, elderly men and vegetarians.
Caffeine-Free – Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and is therefore recommended for patients suffering from insomnia. A cup of Rooibos just before going to bed can help you sleep better. By removing caffeine from your diet, you may also lower your stress levels, improve your mood and your heart health. Rooibos gives you the energy and health benefits without this addictive substance.
Health professionals in South Africa suggest Rooibos for people suffering with irritability, headaches, disturbed sleep patterns, insomnia, nervous tension, mild depression or hypertension because it is caffeine-free and appears to have a
soothing effect on the central nervous system.
Rooibos contains naturally occurring antioxidants, a group of vitamins, minerals and plant substances or phytochemicals which help protect the body
Boosts Antioxidant Levels in the Body – Rooibos contains naturally occurring antioxidants, a group of vitamins, minerals and plant substances or phytochemicals which help protect the body against free radicals. Damage to cells by free radicals is thought to be partly to blame for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and ageing. It is the naturally occurring antioxidants in Rooibos, 50% more than in green tea, that excites scientists and health professionals around the world, with research being undertaken to identify the particular health benefits of Rooibos.
Rooibos is Calorie Free – and is therefore suitable to recommend to anyone on a weight loss plan. It has a naturally sweeter taste than other teas and is therefore an easier substitute than many herbal options. Rooibos also contains nine minerals and trace minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, copper, manganese and fluoride.
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