The Paleo List Answers:Is Rooibos Tea Paleo?
Rooibos is a shrub from South Africa whose leaves are used to make an infused tea-like beverage. Technically, it is not tea in the botanical sense because it is not from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, it is known as an herbal infusion, and often called Red Bush or Red African Tea.
It is made in the same way as traditional black tea, and the leaves are oxidized to produce a deep red color. Rooibos is slightly sweet, caffeine-free, and particularly popular in South Africa where it is grown. Traditionally, it was used to fight allergies, asthma, colic in babies, and dermatological conditions. Animal studies show that rooibos has powerful antioxidant and potential cancer-preventing effects.
However, many people don’t realize that the rooibos plant is a member of the legume family!
Is Rooibos Tea Paleo?
Soaking leaves in warm water? It doesn’t get more Paleo than that, right? Well, rooibos is a member of the legume family, which is avoided for the levels of anti-nutrients (phytic acid) present in legumes (beans). However, the anti-nutrients present in legumes is found in the bean pods themselves, not the leaves, which is why most people consider Rooibos tea Paleo.
Also, there are back-and-forth debates about high concentrations of polyphenols found in coffee, chocolate, and tea, generally speaking, they’re not harmful. We vote yes to Rooibos. It’s especially helpful for people trying to cut back on caffeine, but still enjoy a warm beverage.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: