If you know me, you know I am a HUGE fan of tea! Believe it or not, tea is actually the second most consumed beverage in the world, only coming in second to water. According to archaeological evidence that has been found, it is estimated that people have making and drinking tea for over 500,000 years! Tea has many purposes, from simply being a warm beverage to help you relax to keeping you healthy and preventing disease.
There are three main types of tea – black, oolong, and green. All types of tea are actually derived from the same plant; the difference comes in how they are prepared. Green tea is the least processed out of the three and is made by steaming, drying, and rolling the tealeaves. When black tea is made, the tealeaves are put through an oxidation process that changes the tea’s color and flavor. Oolong tea is in between the other two types in terms of how it is processed, the color, and the flavor. When anything is processed or altered, some of the nutrients are stripped away. Because green tea is the least processed type of tea, it is the highest in polyphenol content; the antioxidants found in plants that are thought to have many health benefits. No matter which type of tea is your favorite, they all will have a positive impact on your health.
Below are my top 5 reasons that you should be drinking tea!
- It could help boost your immune system: In a recent study by Dr Jack Bukowski, a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, found that drinking 5 cups of tea a day can significantly improve your body’s ability to fight infections. A substance called L-theanine, found in black tea, is broken down in your liver into ethylamine, which primes the response of your immune system. In his study, the immune systems of participants who drank tea responded 5 times fast than the immune systems of coffee drinkers! Polyphenols have also been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause infections.
- It can help prevent heart attack, stroke, and cancer: Studies have shown that individuals who drink 4+ cups of tea per day have a 32% reduction in risk of having a heart attack and have lower LDL cholesterol. Another study showed that people who drink 1-3 cups of green tea per day have a 20% reduction in risk of having a heart attack and 35% reduction in risk of having a stroke. Research on preventing cancer by drinking tea is mixed, but many studies have shown an associating between drinking tea and lower risk of developing cancer.
- It can help you lose weight: While drinking tea definitely isn’t the magic answer you have been looking for to losing weight, it can help give your metabolism a boost and help break down body fat more quickly thanks to flavonoids known as catechins. Some research done on rats has also shown that polyphenols may help block fat absorption in your intestines.
- It helps keep you hydrated: Tea is a great versatile alternative to drinking water. It comes in a ton of different flavors, you can drink it hot or cold, and it has no calories naturally! If you are the kind of person who likes to have some flavor in what you’re drinking, tea is a great way to mix it up and will help you get in more water throughout the day.
- It boosts your brain power: Research done on Japanese adults has found that those who drank 2 cups of tea per day decreased their risk of cognitive impairment by about 50%! The small amount of caffeine in tea helps keep your mind alert and can temporarily help improve short-term memory. Tea can also help lower stress levels; participants in one study who drank 4 cups of tea daily for one month had a 20% drop in their levels of Cortisol, a stress hormone involved in our body’s flight or fight response.
No matter your reason for drinking tea, by doing so you are giving your body a ton of antioxidants that can help keep you healthy and prevent disease. With so many benefits, it’s a simple step to take to bettering your health, no matter where you are in your fitness journey.
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