No matter what the season, tea can be a tasty beverage since it can be served iced or hot. But its benefits go far beyond refreshment. There is plenty of research showing that drinking tea can actually improve your health.At the very least, it's a tasty way of getting enough fluid into your body each day. On top of that, studies have shown teas can help protect your teeth, your heart, and possibly even helping to stave off cancer.
However, which type of tea you drink makes all the difference. Non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The amount of time the leaves are processed determines whether you end up with a green, black or oolong tea.
The green teas are the least processed and tend to have the highest amounts of polyphenols, and the only type that contain the polyphenol, catechin, which is why many studies have been done using only green teas. Certain herbal teas are known for their medicinal values, including soothing the digestive system.
Here are the top health benefits of tea:
1. Tea contains antioxidants
Antioxidants work to prevent the body';s version of rust and help to keep us young and protect us from environmental damage.
2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee
Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50 percent of what typically is found in coffee. That means you can consume it without those pesky effects on your nervous system.
3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
A study published recently found a nearly 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35 percent reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea a day. Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
4. Tea may help protect your bones
Data from recent studies has shown that green tea may prevent bone loss.
5. Tea may keep your smile bright
Japanese researchers have found that tea can decrease tooth loss. It changes the pH in your mouth when you drink it and that may be what prevents cavities. Beyond that, tea, unlike many other beverages does not appear to erode tooth enamel.
6. Tea may boost the immune system
Studies have shown tea can tune up immune cells so they reach their targets quicker.
7. Tea may help battle cancer
Studies on this are currently mixed, which means more research is needed. But, if you've got a strong family history of cancer and you want to do anything you can, you might increase your tea consumption.
8. Herbal tea may soothe the digestive system
Herbal teas, in particular chamomile, can be good for people with irritable bowel syndrome because it is an antispasmodic. And ginger teas can calm nausea.
9. Tea — unadulterated, that is — is calorie free
It's a great no-calorie alternative to water. It provides so many options for flavour and versatility. You can have it hot or cold. And you don't have to put anything in it, though you might want to add a cinnamon stick or some ginger. That means you're able to hydrate with something other than water alone.