Tea is more than just a popular cold-weather beverage. For thousands of years, tea has been, and still is today, a tradition and ritual, rooted deep in cultures around the world. Originating in China, possibly as early as 2737 B.C., tea drinking spread to Japan, then Holland, and eventually throughout the rest of Europe. Dutch settlers to America first introduced tea in 1650. Britain was one of the last European countries to adopt tea, though it was heavily taxed in the beginning. Most of the tea imports were illegally smuggled until the British government slashed the tax rate in 1784, enabling tea to become an affordable drink for all and not just a beverage for the wealthy.In the U.K. alone, roughly 75 million cups of tea are consumed daily, while it is estimated that over 3 billion cups are consumed worldwide every day. Tea’s popularity isn’t just due to its pleasant taste either. For centuries it has been drunk for its therapeutic benefits, which have now been heavily studied. So, let’s break down all the science-backed reasons you should be drinking more tea.
Tea seems to solve just about any problem. Stressful day at work? Curl up with a warm mug. Feeling sluggish? Perk up with a matcha latte. Under the weather? Soothe a sore throat with some tea and honey.The medicinal benefits of tea, no matter the variety, have been known for thousands of years. And now, modern science is backing up a lot of those benefits. Here are 10 science-backed reasons to drink more tea:
Black, oolong, and green tea’s polyphenols all have been shown to increase calorie expenditure and reduce body fat. Interestingly, tea actually promotes one type of fat: brown fat. This type of fat is more metabolically active and contains more mitochondria than white fat, which means brown fat can actually burn calories and improve metabolism.In a review of 15 studies, it was found that those who consumed two to six cups of green tea a day for longer than 12 weeks had lower body fat and body weight than those who did not. Not a fan of brewed tea yet? Green tea extract, a concentrated form of green tea available in powders and pills, has also shown metabolism-boosting weight loss benefits.
Inflammation has been linked to everything from diabetes to cognitive decline. In fact, it has been implicated as the root of almost all chronic diseases. The antioxidant polyphenols in tea are powerful inflammation fighters. In fact, the EGCG in green tea is as much as 100 times more potent than the antioxidant power of vitamin C.Research has shown that tea can be beneficial for those with inflammatory bowel disease as well as other inflammation-driven diseases.
In a study of more than 40,000 adults, it was found that regular tea consumption reduced the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. In fact, participants who drank five or more cups of green tea per day had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular death compared to those who drank less than one cup per day. Researchers credit green tea’s effect on hypertension and obesity along with potent polyphenols for its protective effect.Chronic diseases are among the leading causes of death in the U.S., making tea all the more important to drink daily. More benefit was seen in those who drank three to four cups a day versus one cup or no cups, so drink up!
Green tea may help reduce complications from diabetes. Diabetes is a worldwide health concern, with significant risks of complications, early death, and poorer quality of life. Research shows tea can improve insulin sensitivity, protect pancreatic cells from further damage, and decrease inflammation, all benefiting those at risk for or already diagnosed with diabetes.
Regular tea consumption may lower the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. While the exact causes of Alzheimer’s are still unclear and there is no cure, research confirms that green and black tea drinking improves cognitive scores among those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.Additionally, it can boost memory and increase attention span to prevent cognitive decline. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in tea has been shown to improve reaction time, visual processing, memory, and concentration. It even changes the way your brain is organized for more efficient information processing.
Green tea’s catechin EGCG is a potent antioxidant that has major cancer-fighting potential. Lab and animal studies have found that EGCG can reduce metastasis and improve outcomes for cancers of the breasts, lungs, colon, skin, and others.While more clinical studies in humans are needed, some long-term observational studies have found similar cancer-fighting benefits. For example, Japanese women who drank 10 or more cups of green tea a day (120 ml or 4 ounces each) had a seven-year delay in cancer onset. This amount of tea was reported to be equivalent to 2.5 grams of green tea extract.
Not all drinks are good for you mouth (looking at you, sugary sodas and juices!). But teas can actually improve oral health. Tea contains fluoride and can improve bacterial populations in the mouth. This reduces the risk of periodontal disease, cavities, and possibly even oral cancer. So even if you skimp on flossing here and there, you can still feel good about your oral health if you are sipping tea.
Is there anything tea can’t do? A 2018 review reports infertility is heavily influenced by the degree of oxidative stress in reproductive tissues. Enter: tea. The polyphenols in tea have confirmed anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant effects. Therefore, the authors suggest, tea can improve fertility in both men and women. More research is needed, but it certainly looks promising.
This one might surprise you. While it was previously thought that tea (and coffee) promoted dehydration by acting like a diuretic and causing the body to lose more fluid, recent research finds that up to six to eight cups of tea a day is just as hydrating as the same amount of water.
Gut health isn’t all just fiber and probiotics. Research shows that tea’s polyphenols can beneficially modify gut bacteria. This can lead to positive health effects like reduced carbohydrate absorption, improved blood sugar levels, and weight loss.
OK, now that you are craving a warm mug of tea, which type should you have? There are four main kinds of teas (not including herbal teas, which can be made from a wide variety of plants): black, green, oolong, and white. These four types are all made from the leaves of the evergreen shrub, Camellia sinensis but are processed differently.
White tea is the least processed form of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant, providing a more delicate flavor and contains less caffeine than black tea (though caffeine levels vary among brands). For white tea, the leaves are harvested when they still are covered in silvery white hairs.
Fresh green tea leaves are steamed, which preserves the polyphenols, a class of phytochemicals with strong antioxidant benefits. The majority of polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids. The type of flavonoids that confer the most heart health benefits are catechins, and green tea is full of them! Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is the most prominent and most studied catechin. Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, similar to that of white tea, ranging from 25 to 35 mg per cup.Matcha is essentially green tea powder but differs from brewed green tea in that the tea leaves are covered prior to harvest, yielding a more concentrated flavor and higher caffeine and antioxidant levels.
Oolong tea is derived from partially fermented tea leaves and contains similar amounts of caffeine as white and green tea. Oolong tea, though less popular, provides many of the same benefits as the more well-researched green tea.
Black tea is the most processed of the tea leaves, but this allows the polyphenols to offer unique benefits. Black tea contains more caffeine than any other teas made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The caffeine content combined with black tea’s processing has shown more pronounced benefits in regard to obesity prevention and treatment than other teas.
While tea is considered safe in amounts up to six cups a day for most people, some herbal teas are made from plants that may be allergens to some. For example, those allergic to the daisy family or ragweed may need to avoid dandelion tea.
Caffeine. Caffeine content varies in teas and among brands but is highest in black tea. White, green, and oolong tea are lowest, providing only around 25 to 35 mg per 8-oz. cup. Those who are allergic or sensitive to caffeine should choose herbal, white, green, or oolong teas and avoid drinking any caffeinated teas in the afternoon or evening.
Iron-deficiency anemia. Tannins and caffeine in tea (and coffee) can reduce iron absorption, especially from plant sources. Vegetarians, vegans, and those with anemia should be cautious about their tea consumption.
Children. While the FDA provides no guidelines for safe caffeine intake for children, The European Food Information Council reports that children may consume one to two cups of tea a day, depending on age, without going above safe caffeine limits.
Side Effects of Taking High Quantity of Black Tea:
High amounts of black tea can cause side effects due to the caffeine in black tea. These side effects can range from mild to serious and include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion.
Despite your tea of choice, the research is clear. Drink three to six cups every day of white, green, oolong, black, or herbal tea as a way to stay warm in the cold months, cool off during the hot months, and to enjoy a healthier heart, brain, and body.
Video: 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world. There are many different types of tea; some teas, like Darjeeling and Chinese greens, have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour, while others have vastly different profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral, or grassy notes. Tea originated in the southwest of China, used as a medicinal drink. It became a popular drink throughout China during the Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to the West during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India to bypass a Chinese monopoly at that time. The phrase herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, or rooibos. These are also known as tisanes or herbal infusions to distinguish them from “tea” as it is commonly construed.
Video:10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
A catechin called EGCG found in green tea has been linked in various studies to a reduction in cancer rates. It may help in the reduction of the following types of cancer: bladder colon, esophagus, pancreas, rectum and stomach. However, a more recent study shows that you should be careful about the temperature of your tea. If you smoke or drink alcohol, let your tea cool first. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that drinking tea while it’s “hot” or “burning hot” was linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer in people who also smoked or drank alcohol every day. And what defines too hot? In 2019, researchers answered, saying liquid hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees C) was the tipping point for risk, assuming they drank more than two large cups of tea a day. In a study published in the official journal of the Japanese Circulation Society, researchers found that the more green tea you drink, the less chance you will have of developing coronary artery disease.
“Green tea also lowers fibrinogen, which is a substance in the body that can cause clots and strokes,” according to “150 Healthiest Foods on the Planet” by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. study published in the journal Aging found that regular tea drinkers have better organized regions in the brains than people who don’t drink tea. These organized areas are associated with healthy cognitive function. Researchers found that people who drank green, oolong or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years were protected against age-related cognitive decline. Drinking green tea results in a modest reduction in breast cancer risk. Researchers looked roughly 7,000 women aged 20-74 in a case-control study conducted in Shanghai from 1996-2005 and found a modest reduction in risk.
Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance.In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4% Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat .Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy.In two separate review studies, caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by 11-12%, on average.
Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection.Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries.
Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.Type 2 diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 400 million people worldwide.This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes .According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Obesity.Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area. One of these studies was a 12-week randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and belly fat (52).
However, some studies don’t show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt .
Green Tea May Help You Live Longer.However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer. In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period :
Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.
Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period (55).
Video:Top 13 Health Benefits of Green Tea | Green Tea For Skin Care | What It Takes
13 Benefits of Green Tea. Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation applied when processing Camellia sinensis into oolong tea and black tea. Green tea originated in China, but its production has spread to many countries in Asia. Here We Present you the Benefits of Green Tea : Green Tea Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health, Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter, Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance, Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer, Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection, Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese,