The Health Benefits of drinking Tea
Tea – the perfect beverage to warm you up, soothe a sore tummy or play a role in social rituals throughout history. In some cultures, there are century old traditions and ceremonies practiced around tea. It’s not just a drink, but an important part of life for many, and as it is so, there are various health benefits from drinking it too. There are many different types of tea – from oolong to chamomile, in this post we take a closer look at some of the health benefits of tea.
All in just a cup
Sometimes used to calm the mind and body, other varieties can also help energise the immune system. Tea contains antioxidants, catechins and polyphenols. One of the most active ingredients of tea are proanthocyanidins, which are polymer chains of flavonoids, the best one being, catechins. Catechins are antioxidants, what means that they prevent oxidation which causes cell damage and consequent health problems in many organs and tissues. Researchers do not always agree about which type of tea is richest in catechins, but it is generally believed that white and green teas are the richest and most potent. Tea also contains theanine, which has psychoactive properties and has been proven to reduce mental and physical stress, improve mood and cognitive abilities.
The evidence is in the details
- Tea can help keep your waist circumference in check. Boosting metabolism, suppressing appetite and detoxification are just a few of the documented health benefits in drinking tea.
- Polyphenols (found in abundance in teas) help regulate blood sugar (also known as glucose). Therefore, it can be said that tea helps reduce the risk of diabetes. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, tea drinkers are less likely over time to develop diabetes, compared with people who drink less tea. In another study found in the British Journal of Nutrition (2014) wherein researchers conducted a meta-analysis concluded that there’s an inverse relationship between tea consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For each additional two cups of tea consumed per day, reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 4.6%.
- Tea has been associated with a lower risk of depression. In a 2015 meta-analysis published by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that for every three cups of tea consumed per day, the relative risk of depression decreased by 37%.
- Cortisol is the stress hormone that contributes to belly fat and makes your skin age quicker. If you’re looking to have cortisol levels drop back down faster after a stressful event, according to Psychopharmacology (2006), daily consumption of tea for at least six weeks may make your cortisol levels spike less and can help your body rebalance its cortisol levels.
- In Cytotechnology (2007) researchers also suggested that tea can be helpful in reducing pollen allergies. Tea may also reduce allergic reactions through quercetin (a flavonol naturally-occurring in tea) known to mitigate the histamine response. Make your tea double strong in reducing allergies, and add honey to your tea.