If food cravings are derailing your efforts to eat healthily, drinking a cup of tea instead might help. Find out how herbal teas help to fight food cravings and support you in choosing a healthy diet.
By now, we all know the importance of a healthy diet. When we eat a wide variety of whole foods, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats, we nourish our bodies, reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases, and give our mental health a boost too.
But making the commitment to eat healthily is easier said than done. When our shops and high streets are packed with unhealthy, processed food, resisting temptation can take all our willpower.
The trouble is those foods are designed to make us crave them. Packed with sugar and unhealthy fats, many processed foods are terrible for our health but a treat for our tastebuds.
If you are trying to eat more healthily this year but find it hard to resist food cravings, you might not have to look far for a solution. It could be as simple as drinking more herbal tea.
How Do Herbal Teas Help Reduce Cravings?
While drinking a cup of herbal tea might not make your cravings disappear altogether, it can help make them more manageable so that you can make healthy choices instead.
There are several ways that herbal tea helps to fight food cravings. Let’s look at a few.
1. Hydrates You
A common piece of advice for anyone experiencing food cravings is to drink a glass of water before eating anything. This is because we often mistake thirst for hunger, so your cravings could be a sign that you are slightly dehydrated.
While we should all drink more water, you might find a cup of herbal tea more satisfying, especially when you feel like reaching for an unhealthy snack. The warmth of the tea is gentle on your stomach, plus it is more interesting than drinking water on its own.
According to the NHS, we should all aim for 6-8 cups of fluid a day. And herbal teas absolutely count.
2. Provides Comfort
Food cravings often don’t have much to do with hunger. For many of us, the appeal of sugary and unhealthy foods is that they make us feel better when we’re stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.
If you find yourself reaching for comfort foods more often than you’d like, you can try using herbal tea for emotional support instead. There’s nothing more relaxing than settling down in a comfortable spot with a steaming mug of your favourite tea.
It’s a simple and accessible form of self-care that helps you prioritise calm and relaxation.
Some herbal teas are especially good for stress-relief and are great options to choose instead of an unhealthy snack. Our NutraRelax tea, for example, contains herbs like chamomile, lemon balm, and hawthorn berries to help you unwind and feel calm again.
3. Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth
Sometimes, all you want is something sweet. Indeed, we seem to be hard-wired to like sweet things – eating a sweet-tasting treat activates the parts of our brain associated with reward and pleasure.
However, eating lots of sugar can have a devastating effect on our health, increasing our risk of tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes.
The good news is that there are naturally sweet-tasting herbs that can satisfy your sweet cravings and help you resist the urge to snack on sugary treats.
Liquorice and cinnamon are two great options to reach for when you are craving something sweet. Both are naturally sweet-tasting and may help to stabilise your blood sugar levels too.
4. Helps You Feel Fuller for Longer
If you are struggling with food cravings, it is best to avoid getting too hungry. You’ll find it much harder to resist unhealthy foods when you’re hungry than just after you’ve had a healthy snack or a nutritious meal.
But many of us find it difficult to get between meals without feeling hungry. Drinking herbal tea can help. Certain herbal teas fight food cravings by reducing your appetite, making you feel fuller for longer.
Green tea is well-documented for suppressing your appetite and keeping cravings at bay, especially when combined with capsaicin (like that found in cayenne pepper).
Other appetite-suppressing herbs to look out for include guarana and garcinia cambogia, both of which are found in our NutraTrim tea, along with green tea and cayenne pepper.
5. Gives You a Better Night’s Sleep
We all know how a bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling grumpy and craving carbs. That’s because lack of sleep is associated with changes in the hormones that influence our appetite and metabolism.
Not getting enough sleep leads to raised levels of ghrelin and reduced levels of leptin, two hormones that are responsible for regulating our appetite. As a result, we’re more likely to feel hungry and crave unhealthy, calorific foods when we haven’t slept enough.
Fortunately, there are plenty of herbal teas that can improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest. Lemon balm, valerian, chamomile, and hawthorn berry are all known to promote sleep, which is why we use them in our NutraRelax tea.