Summer temperatures have been creeping up in the lead up to the heated Christmas season. As we are bracing for the scorching heat waves the time has come to get out the boardshorts, bikinis, sunhats, sunscreens, eskies, ice and the cold drinks. The holiday season also brings along endless opportunities for temptations and indulgence. This summer, I think I have the perfect companion for you which could help you get through both the hot summer days as well as the heavy food.

 My favourite technique is to spoil myself with iced tea. This helps to keep me cool while being loaded with goodies such as antioxidants and phytochemicals (see article October 2019 “All that good stuff”). This little helper offers a break from the heat and aids to restrain the aftermaths of the overconsume on sweets and fats. Therefore, I can stay cool, light and healthy at the same time as indulging and relaxing.

 The past seasons I indulged with iced tea classics such as mint, ginger and lemongrass, hibiscus (see articles December 2018 and February 2019) and black tea. Recently, I found a new addition to my cool drink favourites: Rooibos tea. It combines the refreshing red colour of hibiscus with the classic taste of black tea. With the extra benefit of not containing any caffeine and being known for having a high antioxidant content.

 The health benefits of this plant are far-reaching and can be particularly useful during the hot weather, eating frenzies and holiday stress. Rooibos has been said to have protective effects on heart health and can aid to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Potentially lifesaving qualities during the high fat and sugar eating frenzies! By improving blood circulation this refreshing holiday season companion can also improve your brain function to help you keep an organised and cool mind in the season’s rush. The high antioxidant content is known to protect against free radicals which may aid to combat cancer cells as well as stimulating strong hair and skin.

 Originating from the Cederberg in South Africa this plant has travelled the world due to its pleasant taste and good reputation. It’s certainly been giving my festive season a magic touch.

Tip: Add some lemon and mint for some extra freshness or some cinnamon for a Christmassy touch.