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By: May Shabti/Arab America Contributing Writer
There are many health benefits that come along with drinks that are consumed heavily by the Arabic speaking populations. Benefits may include simply relaxing the nerves of the body, as well as to cure insomnia and anxiety. These relaxing drinks listed below have been in the Arab tradition for many years and have made the overall culture proud. Furthermore, these relaxing drinks are passed on to future generations in order for them to experience the delicious flavors of these drinks but most importantly, the health benefits that come along with them.
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is an herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions. The steps needed to make chamomile tea include that the flowers are set to dry and then they are infused into hot water. In addition to its popularity, it is used most commonly before bed, chamomile tea is decaffeinated and known to cure both insomnia and anxiety. Highly calming, the dried chamomile flowers steep to a warm golden-brown and can help with stress and minor aches and pains.
2. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Drinking orange juice daily helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates, thanks to the natural sugar, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes naturally found in oranges. Arab Americans do consume oranges and freshly squeezed orange juice for the numerous health benefits they offer, including the relaxing aspects. Most parents encourage their children to begin drinking this beneficial drink at a young age so that they become both physically and mentally stronger. Furthermore, the oranges benefits, once consumed, intervene in the construction of proteins and help sustain an acid-base balance, thanks to the large amounts of potassium.
3. Fresh Lemonade
It is a custom in many parts of the Arab World to offer fresh lemon juice upon the arrival of guests. In fact, lemon trees are popular in that part of the world as well as in warm climate areas in the U.S. It’s very common for every Arab American home to be stocked with lemons that are essential in Arab cuisine. They are desired for taste but also for Vitamin C which is crucial in maintaining overall good health. Lemon juice doesn’t only bring relaxation but also protects the body from Immune system deficiencies. Drinking it with warm water every morning helps in maintaining the pH balance of the body. Along with vitamin C, lemons are also a rich source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium etc.
4. Anise- Yansoon Tea
Yansoon tea has been known for its amazing wonders in resulting in good health benefits in the human body. With natural sweetness (think licorice), anise tea is loved for its unique flavor and calming properties. What’s more, anise tea can also be used for upset stomachs, nausea, and hiccups. Natural digestive properties make this tea a great choice after eating large meals.
5. Za’atar Tea- Thyme
Za’atar and also za’atar tea is gaining popularity and the Arab World and among Arab Americans. It’s known for its numerous health advantages. Furthermore, this tea is great for the mind and stomach. In addition, za’atar tea improves memory and cleans out the stomach. Rich in antioxidants, this tea is also useful in preventing aging from within.