The believed health benefits of Apple tea are numerous and are essentially derived from both its tea component and its apple fruit component.
Apple tea is typically made from robust and brisk black tea enhanced with flavor from apples and sometimes accompanied by dried apple pieces and occasionally some spices. Other fruits such as blueberries, lemon and oranges may also be added to give a zesty tang to the basic apple-flavored tea.
Apple tea is particularly popular in Turkey where it is called Elma Çay and is considered somewhat of a national staple drink. Apple tea is almost always available from street vendors, restaurants, tea gardens, and even carpet shops. It is also widely used in households to accompany meals and as drink to be served to guests. It is typically drunk to warm the body during the cold season and served with ice during the hot summer months.
Apple tea can be enjoyed either of several ways:
- Simply place about a teaspoon of readily-made Turkish apple tea or gourmet apple tea loose leaf mix in a mug of newly-boiled water and allow to steep for about 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the leaves and drink. Adding a hint of honey or sugar can be made to sweeten the tea.
- Home-made apple tea can also be made by placing 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf black Ceylon tea or one black tea bag in a mug of hot water for about 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the leaves or the bag then add fresh apple juice to the mix. The strength of the apple flavor will be dependent on the quantity of the juice.
- Dried slices of apple fruit may also be added to freshly-brewed black tea. Simply brew the tea in the manner mentioned in #2. The fruits should be added while the tea is still hot so that the nutritious benefits of the apple can be unlocked and combined with that of the tea.
Apple tea benefits are mainly obtained from the healthy constituents of the black tea leaves as well as from the apple flavoring and fruit component. Black tea is rich in antioxidants like (catechin, quercetin), amino acids, minerals (such as magnesium, sodium, potassium) and vitamins (like vitamins B, C and E). On the other hand, apples are also rich in vitamin B and C, fiber, and antioxidants and these contribute substantially to the health benefits of the entire brew.
The following are the potential benefits derived from this flavorful brew:
- May help reduce the risk for certain cancers, particularly those involving the colon, lung and prostate, due to its quercetin content.
- May help lower bad cholesterol levels in the body and hence may contribute to lower risk for cardiovascular diseases.
- May help prop up the immune system and enhance the body’s resistance from bacteria and viruses.
- May help in fighting arthritis and other forms of inflammation.
- May help in the general maintenance of health and well-being.