The month of November, dubbed, Movember, will see thousands of men growing moustaches and beards to raise greater awareness of men’s health issues that are often ignored.
Among the top health problems experienced by South African men are hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, as well as lung-, prostate-, testicular- and colorectal cancers.
To live happy and healthier lives, it’s becoming imperative for men to make better lifestyle choices. Preventative measures, regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle consisting of a balanced diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake are essential for reducing the risk of these conditions.
Interestingly, scientists are now also touting tea-drinking as an important factor for longevity.
According to findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, those who drink more than two cups of tea a day are more likely to live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t. Researchers found a decreased risk of dying from all causes by up to 13% among regular tea drinkers. Their risk of dying from coronary heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular diseases in general also decreased significantly.
Another study published in Nutrition, Malnutrition and Heart Disease showed similar results with habitual tea drinkers having a 39% lower risk of heart disease and stroke, 56% decreased risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29% lower risk of all-cause death compared to never or non-habitual tea drinkers.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the Rooibos Council says men who are looking for natural ways to boost their health, can turn to Rooibos. This red-hot bevvy is packed with goodness – offering a wide range of flavours and types to satisfy every palate. She says the tisane is particularly good for men who are looking to improve heart- and prostate health, digestion and muscle recovery.
“One of the biggest benefits of drinking Rooibos is the advantage that it holds over alternative beverage options. Drinking the occasional beer, glass of wine, soft drink or fruit juice have their place, but it’s really about what you drink the most. If you drink Rooibos regularly, you’re going to reap the rewards of drinking a beverage with multitude health benefits, plus it’s caffeine-free.”
While longevity and a healthy lifestyle are the result of a combination of factors, and no single dietary element alone can guarantee a longer life, here are some ways in which drinking Rooibos could benefit men in particular.
· Keeps high blood pressure in check: Rooibos is known as a bronchodilator, which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but generally reduces high blood pressure.
· Prostate health: The tisane’s anti-inflammatory properties may be of interest to men who want to maintain prostate health as inflammation has been linked to prostate issues.
· Boosts male fertility: The high antioxidant levels in Rooibos could support healthy sperm and a higher sperm count.
· Improves heart health: Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant found in Rooibos, has been linked to the prevention of a wide variety of heart conditions. It promotes HDL – good cholesterol and inhibits LDL – bad cholesterol from adhering to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This means added protection against various heart conditions, including arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
· Builds and repairs muscle tissue: Not only do Rooibos’ free-radical fighting antioxidants help you look and feel younger by slowing down the ageing process, but these also assist with improved recovery after exercise.
· Skin health: Rooibos’ antioxidants may help improve skin health, which can benefit men in terms of maintaining a youthful appearance.
· Reduces risk of diabetes: One of the rare antioxidants found only in Rooibos, is Aspalathin which helps to balance blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance and increase glucose absorption through the muscles. Aspalathin also boosts insulin production in the pancreas. This acts as a defensive shield against the development of type 2 diabetes.
· Enhances physical performance: Athletes will also benefit from Rooibos’ antioxidants that help to fight inflammation, boost circulation and heal damaged muscle tissue. Rooibos also helps the body to absorb iron, which enhances the delivery of oxygen to the muscles – critical for endurance racing.
· Lowers cancer-risk: Research conducted at the SA Medical Research Council found that in combination with a healthy lifestyle, both green (unfermented) and traditional (fermented) Rooibos, significantly inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
· Stress Reduction: Rooibos is known for its calming and stress-relieving properties, which can also be beneficial for mental well-being.
· Digestive Health: The tisane also aids digestion and can alleviate abdominal discomfort, which is beneficial for overall gastrointestinal health.
Du Toit says the protective effects of Rooibos are most pronounced among those who drink it habitually. “Studies have suggested that the main bioactive polyphenolic compounds in Rooibos are not stored in the body long-term, therefore frequent intake over an extended period may be necessary for it to have the desired effect.”
She says the growing interest in tea among men worldwide is encouraging and points toward a more health-conscious outlook.
Rooibos comes in a wide range of flavours, from robust and bold to delicate and aromatic offering male consumers a diverse and delicious sensory experience.