For the Love of Tea….

Image ref: Senchateabar

From hibiscus to green tea, to white tea and chamomile, every tea cup is packed full of healthy goodness.

It’s no secret that drinking tea is good for you. Tea has been an integral part of traditional medicine and is revered as a cure in almost all Asian countries and the Middle East. The Chinese and Japanese have consumed tea to improve health for centuries. This same tea is even promoted in Western medicine as a way to treat symptoms of the cold and flu.

The goodness that comes as a result of drinking tea goes far beyond simply feeling better when you’re sick, helping to protect brain health, improving your heart’s health, and even preventing certain types of cancer, let Ibiene take you on a journey on the healthy benefits of drinking tea so you can settle in with your favourite mug and sip to your health.

Health Benefits of Green, Black, and White Tea:

Image ref: Forbes

Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea the real thing. They are all derived from the plant category called Camellia sinensis, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, which is claimed to help against free radicals that can contribute to clogged arteries, cancer and heart disease.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain by seemingly heightening mental alertness.

The secret to teas is this; the more processed the tea leaves, the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.

Protects the Heart’s Health:

Image ref: Merriam Webster

Recent research including animal studies shows that tea drinking may significantly lower the risk for serious heart disease including heart attack and blood clots. Tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe tissue in arteries. This helps to minimize the risk of inflammation that can restrict blood circulation and cause clotting.

Consuming tea may also help decrease high blood pressure and lower cholesterol. One study found that people who drank four cups or more of green tea each day had a 32 percent decreased risk of heart attack and significantly lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.

Boosts Energy:

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Although, green tea contains a small amount of caffeine that can help increase energy. The low caffeine amounts make green tea a good choice for people who are looking to cut back on their caffeine intake.

Green tea’s energy-boosting properties are further driven by an amino acid known as L-theanine which slows the absorption of caffeine. As a result, the energy boost from green tea is longer-lasting and steadier than that from a cup of coffee. L-theanine increases alpha waves in the brain, helping to increase focus while at the same time offering calming and relaxing effects.

May contribute to weight loss:

Image ref: The New York Times

Green tea may help accelerate weight loss thanks to its chemical composition – amino acids that signal the body to burn stored fat.  Although studies have shown that these benefits are more pronounced in individuals of Asian descent, people of other ethnicities may also see improved weight loss numbers, but to a lower extent than others.  

Green tea extract is a popular weight-loss supplement that is promoted to accelerate weight loss. Green tea extract is simply a concentrated form of green tea leaves. By drinking green tea, you can get the same weight loss benefits as taking a supplement. Green tea also helps to keep you hydrated and may satisfy a sweet tooth. Replacing sugary sodas and sports drinks with green tea can cut calories and help you reach your fitness goals sooner.

One important note to take is that a cup of tea contains only a couple calories. Processed, sugar-sweetened tea beverages are loaded with extra calories. So, if there are any health benefits to tea consumption, it is probably completely offset by adding those grain or cubes of sugar or full cream.

Are you a tea lover? Do share your love for tea in the comment section.

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