We all love good tasting drinks! One of the hardest parts about switching to a healthier diet is finding healthy beverages. The truth is, most beverages are unhealthy. Even most of the beverages in the health food stores are unhealthy. Even if a drink doesn’t have any bad ingredients, if it’s bottled in plastic it’s toxic and shouldn’t be drank. Drinks bottled in glass are much better, but they probably have a huge amount of sugar in them. The sugar in the drinks cause a blood-sugar spike, which is really bad. The solution? Make your own drinks!
How To Make Hibiscus Tea
The best solution to our beverage problem is to make your own healthy drinks. That puts you in control instead of the beverage industry, which is primarily focused on profits. Until there are enough health-conscious companies producing drinks for us, making your healthy drinks at home is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
In this blog post I’m going to show you how to make a drink I’ve been drinking regularly for years without getting tired of it – hibiscus tea. It’s quick, healthy, and delicious!
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
You will need:
- Hibiscus flowers (dried or fresh)
- Sweetener (stevia, xylitol, and/or sugar)
- MSM (optional)
You can watch the video above for a demonstration of how to make hibiscus tea, but for those that want a quick answer: all you’re doing is soaking the dried hibiscus flowers in water, waiting for it to turn red (about an hour), straining the flowers (though you can leave them in there to consume), and then sweetening it. It’s that easy!
You’ll notice that I didn’t add measurements. That’s because I don’t measure it myself. You’ll just have to wing it a few times and then you’ll get the hang of it.
Don’t Destroy The Vitamin C
One way this recipe is different from a normal tea infusion is you don’t have to heat the water. The hibiscus comes right out by simply soaking it in water. In fact, you don’t want to heat the water because then you’d run the risk of destroying the vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is volatile and much more easily destroyed than other vitamins.
We Can’t Produce Vitamin C Endogenously
Besides its taste, the reason why this drink is so special is because we need a regular intake of vitamin C. Our bodies don’t produce it endogenously. Therefore it is, by definition, an essential nutrient and needs to be taken in ever day. Perhaps the reason why our bodies don’t produce its own vitamin C is because in the past it was so commonly found in food that we didn’t need to produce it. Recently, the foods we eat have drastically changed. While we used to get our food exclusively from nature, a lot of our food is processed now and lacking vitamin C. And most of the vitamin C we do get is from fortification.
Natural Vitamin C vs Synthetic
The isolated synthetic version (ascorbic acid) is missing co-factors such as other nutrients that collectively work with the ascorbic acid to perform its function. Your body then has to strip the co-factors from somewhere else, robbing your body of vital elements. That’s why natural food-based forms of vitamin C are superior to the synthetic versions. Because our bodies are unable to make it, it’s important to get vitamin C every day, and several times throughout the day.
Tip: Use several sweeteners to get to your desired sweetness level without taking in too much sugar
Stevia and xylitol are great non-glycemic sweeteners you can use to sweeten hibiscus tea. Using too much of either one can have its drawbacks. Too much stevia can throw off the flavor, while too much xylitol can give you diarrhea. That’s why it’s so good to use a variety of sweeteners. If you use a little bit of stevia, xylitol, and sugar, you get the best of both worlds. You still get a sweet drink, without pushing the stevia or xylitol too far and without it having too much sugar.
MSM & Vitamin C
Adding methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to hibiscus tea multiplies its nutritive value. MSM is basically sulfur. It’s a beautifying mineral that’s great for the skin and hair, as well as being a good detoxifying agent. There’s a strong synergistic effect between natural vitamin C and MSM. Together they help to build collagen. I like to take MSM capsules and vitamin C capsules with hibiscus tea, when possible.
Recommended Product Sources
You’ve got to be careful buying these things because there are a lot of different products out there to choose from. As with most things, there is a qualitative difference between the different brands of products mentioned in this post. To make it easy for you, I’ll create some links to the exact products I use and recommend, as well as tell you why I use those specific products.
I personally use different types of stevia. Green leaf stevia is considered the best because it’s more natural, but there are some caveats. First, it’s very concentrated so be very careful not to use too much. Also, if you’re making a cold drink, as in this case, you may want to heat it up in hot water to draw out the sweetness. You can use that to make a sweet “syrup” to keep in the fridge to add to cold drinks when you need it. Because of these and other inconveniences, many people choose to go with liquid stevia instead. A lot of the liquid stevia is processed with questionable means. Here is a good brand of liquid stevia. You can buy 1 lb. of green leaf stevia on Amazon here.
Most of the xylitol on the market comes from corn. Many people believe birch-derived xylitol is superior to corn-derived. Whether or not one source produces a better quality than the other, there is concern of the corn being genetically modified, if not now, then in the unsuspecting future. Personally, I buy the big bag of birch-derived xylitol to save money. You can find the best deal on birch-derived xylitol here.
I hope you enjoy hibiscus tea as much as I do.
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