Hibiscus Tea Is Delicious, Lowers Blood Sugar

With a country as big as the U.S., there are so many local foods. You can travel around trying new things in every place. You learn so much about the people and the culture! Often times, what we see on the Food Network is fatty creations. Still, just as often, delicious local dishes are tasty, simple and healthy!

As a San Diego company, we’re used to seeing iced hibiscus tea in every Mexican restaurant. It’s not a delicacy for us. But, when our out-of-state friends come for a visit, they are blown away by how tasty it is. It’s called Agua de Jamaica in our local taquerias, and you can usually get it sweetened or unsweetened. If you come for a visit, avoid the sweetened version, it’s often made like southern sweet tea where they have dissolved as much sugar as physically possible into the drink! The unsweetened version is tarter and so refreshing on a hot day!

If you aren’t planning on making a trip to a place where hibiscus tea is common, you can buy hibiscus tea in stores. It’s often in health food stores, online, occasionally in Walmart and many other places. You would be surprised where products are sold when you are looking for them instead of just browsing. Google it: it may be in your supermarket; it’s definitely on Amazon. It’s often sold as a loose-leaf tea, which you can make with a strainer. When we make it with a strainer, we like to add bits of ginger for an extra pop of flavor — but that is less traditional. Be a little careful, the picture above isn’t an exaggeration, it is a bright red drink. It looks like it’s been dyed. Don’t spill it on a white shirt. In addition to being refreshing and delicious, hibiscus tea has a lot of health benefits! You can drink it hot or cold. As the weather is only cold for a couple months a year here, we rarely — if ever — drink it hot!

Hibiscus tea is an excellent source of antioxidants. In studies, it also appeared to aid some weight loss, but more research is needed for that claim. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Additionally, it can lower cholesterol, help depression, lower inflammation, boost the immune system and aid the liver. It’s also a great source of vitamin C. Studies have also found it helps intestinal health and indigestion. As we said above, if we make it as loose-leaf tea, we often add ginger and then it does seem to help an upset tummy!

Some studies have found that hibiscus tea has so much impact on blood sugar that it can make sugar levels dangerously low in conjunction with medications. So you should be careful about drinking too much of it and may wish to consult your doctor if you are taking blood sugar medication. Doctors say no one should drink more than three cups of hibiscus tea a day as too much of it can be a bad thing. It can interact with other medications, as well.

This is a favorite of ours here in southern California, and it’s nice to share it with you. It’s fun to be able to share a local food that’s healthy. Most of our local specialties aren’t! San Diego is proud of the California burrito, which, despite its name, you can only find in the city. It’s what you would see if the Food Network came here to feature us on a show! It’s made with fries inside it — it will not aid blood sugar in any way, shape or form. Instead, drink the tea everyone in the region likes that has many health benefits; we hope you enjoy it!
September 10, 2020
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