An Ancient Powerful Beverage for Daily Health
For thousands of years, many cultures have used the health benefits of tea in all aspects of their daily life.
Produced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, tea is one of the most popular beverages on the planet – second only to water in consumption. Every country in the world drinks tea in one form or another.
Skin care companies tout the anti-aging qualities of tea, adding extracts of various teas to skin creams, soaps and moisturizers.
It has been used as an effective home health remedy for generations to soothe indigestion and calm diarrhea.
Tea fosters a calm mood while simultaneously revitalizing your brain’s ability to focus and think clearly.
Drinking tea daily can provide a myriad of health benefits and protect you against some of the most debilitating diseases known.
Common Types of Teas Which Provide Uncommon Health Benefits
Green Tea (Most popular: Japanese, Chinese, Ceylon and Kahwah) has far more proven health benefits than other teas do because it has garnered the most research. It is the most popular tea consumed in Japan and China.
Harvard Women’s Health Watch published their findings on the powerful antioxidant benefits of the flavonoids – primarily catechins, also known as ECGC – found in green tea.
They found that these compounds aid in weight loss, prevent DNA damage, lessen brain damage after a stroke and reduce the risk of cancer.
Black Tea (Most popular: Assam, Nepal, Darjeeling and Nilgiri ) is the most common tea, accounting for 75% of all tea consumed around the world.
The Journal of Food Science noted that black tea has the highest concentration of polysaccharides – carbohydrates that prevent glucose absorption; making it the most effective for diabetics.
White Tea (Most popular: Silver Needle, White Peony, Long Life Eyebrow and Tribute Eyebrow ) has a milder taste than green or black tea, has less adverse effects – even when you drink as many as five cups a day – and is now widely available.
A staple in Eastern households for more than a thousand years, white tea is gaining popularity in the Western world. A study by Beiersdorf AG found that white tea extracts not only prevented fat absorption, but also broke down the fat of lab-created human fat cells.
Because white tea is rare and more expensive than other teas, it may not be a first choice for avid tea drinkers.
Additionally, research is limited on this variety of tea but initial results show it may just surpass the recognized cancer-fighting benefits of green tea.
Oolong Tea (Most popular: Darjeeling, Assam, Vietnamese and Thai ) is processed differently than green or black tea.
It’s less oxidized than black tea, which gives it an increased concentration of polyphenols, that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and help lower blood sugar levels.
Oolong tea has even proven effective in preventing oral bacteria according to the Department of Dentistry at Osaka University in Japan.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Tea
1.Fights Cancer: The antioxidants in tea kill cancer without damaging the surrounding cells. The polyphenols found in all tea varieties have some of the highest free radical scavenging ability, (free radicals promote oxidation, which scientists now believe causes cancer). Studies have focused on black and green tea as the most prolific teas consumed.
2. Accelerates Weight Loss: High concentrations of the aflavins and the arubigins fight the absorption of fat in rats fed a diet high in fat. Green and Oolong teas also boost your metabolism and naturally increase your energy levels.
3. Boosts Immunity: Tea is both antiviral and antibacterial due to compounds known as alkylamines. These antigens “prime” the immune system, which boosts the body’s immune response 5-fold.
4. Prevents Heart Disease: Tea reduces your risk of high blood pressure, prevents blood clots and keeps blood vessels relaxed. One study in Europe showed that one cup of tea each day could reduce the risk of heart attack by 50%!
5. Strengthen Nervous System: Tea polyphenols stimulate the nervous system and increase brain alertness. They also protect brain cells and slow deterioration caused by neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Unlike higher caffeine beverages, tea stimulates brain function without causing stress to the heart.
6. Lowers Diabetes: Research compiled by the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany found that consuming four cups of tea each day reduces your risk of developing type II diabetes by 20%. Tea also regulates glucose levels, allowing the body to absorb sugar more slowly.
7. Increases Bone Density: Scientific studies done at the University of Cambridge School of Medicine showed that tea drinkers have 5% stronger bones than non-tea drinkers. While coffee seems to weaken bone density, the flavonoids in tea counteract the caffeine and strengthen it.
Which Is Better? Bottled Tea vs Fresh Tea
The American Chemical Society (ACS) found that bottled teas boasting “antioxidant protection” on their labels may contain less polyphenols than a cup of green or black tea brewed at home.
The antioxidant power of a single, 8 ounce cup of home-brewed tea can range from 50-150mg. The six bottled brands studied ranged from 3mg to 81mg of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle.
Shiming Li, Ph.D., explained, “There is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low.”
Adding in high amounts of sugar and other additives further reduces the health benefits of bottled tea.
Tea made at home costs just a few cents, compared to bottled teas that can cost two dollars or more. In the United States, bottled beverages generate approximately one billion dollars in sales annually.
Tea sales – both bottled and fresh – have risen in recent years due to promising research in the scientific community. Poly phenol-abundant tea has been linked to reducing the risks of heart disease and obesity.
The health benefits of tea are not new. However, as more extensive research is done, we will likely find ever more reason to relax with a cup of tea.
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