“an indispensable ingredient in the elixir of life because of its important contribution to our longevity and health.” Author Unknown
Tea has been a favorite beverage worldwide for thousands of years and was introduced to the US in the 1600’s. A hot cup of on a rainy day can chase the chills away and a pot of tea shared among friends can lend an air of enchantment to any afternoon. But more than that, tea and other herbal beverages can help boost your general sense of health and well-being. The different types of teas and different ways it is consumed makes it a highly diverse and enjoyable drink.
Worldwide, tea is the most widely consumed beverage. With such a high level of popularity, a lot of research has followed looking at the effect tea has on the body.
This research has led to a number of health benefits being discovered about tea.
According to thedoctorwillseeyounow.com, tea drinkers experience more health benefits than nondrinkers when they incorporate drinking it on a regular basis. A French study between 2001 and 2008 of more than 130,000 people aged 18 to 95 found that drinking tea reduced the risk of non-cardiovascular (non-CV) mortality by 24 percent. The study, presented at the annual European Society of Cardiology meeting, revealed that tea's antioxidants may provide survival benefits.
It’s bioactive compounds like polyphenols-flavonoids-catechins are thought to be responsible for the health benefits that have traditionally been attributed to the tea. Tea is reported to contain nearly 4000 bioactive compounds of which one third is contributed by polyphenols. Other compounds are alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline and theobromine), amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, chlorophyll, volatile organic compounds (chemicals that readily produce vapors and contribute to the aroma of tea), fluoride, aluminum, minerals, and trace elements. Polyphenols found in tea are mostly flavonoids and these compounds have multi-dimensional effects such as antibacterial action, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory benefits.
General Tea Facts
There are lots of different types of teas. Each type has a unique taste and unique health benefits. Before looking at the general benefits of tea, I want to explain what tea is and what it isn’t. What is called “real tea” is made of leaves from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) and comes in five basic varieties of “real tea”: black, green, oolong, white, and fermented tea. “Herbal teas” are a blend of different parts of various other plants. Herbal teas are blended using the leaves, flowers, fruits, roots or bark of any one of hundreds of different plants or may be a mixture of several plants.
Types of Tea
A Few General Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Slows the aging process
Helps you stay hydrated
Helps to create a calmer state of mind
Lowers your risk of cognitive impairment
Lowers stress hormone levels
Eases irritability, headaches, nervous tension and insomnia
Can cause temporary increase in short term memory
Soothes the digestive system
Fitness and Appearance
Helps to decrease tooth loss and periodontal disease
Boosts the metabolism and aid in weight loss
Helps keep skin acne-free
Helps with bad breath
Illness and Disease
Helps to strengthen your immune system
Helps to fight infection
Helps control nasal congestion and fight cold & flu symptoms
Helps to protect your bones
Aids in the prevention of neurological diseases
Helps to fight against cancer
May help reduce your risk of glaucoma
Helps to prevent arthritis
How Best to Drink Tea
First, tea is best made fresh and drank everyday as a nutritional supplement - hot or cold. The National Cancer Institute advises that hot brewed tea has greater concentrations of polyphenols than iced or bottled varieties. Loose-leaf tea is 4x-5x more robust in flavor and health benefits. To get the greatest amount of benefit from your tea, it’s best to drink it hot or warm with purified or filtered boiled water. However, room temperature helps to draw out more antioxidants.
Place your loose-leaf tea in a tea ball, infuser, or tea bag. Use 1- 1 1/2 tsp. of tea is typically used to make an 8oz. cup of tea. Double the amount of the tea for iced tea. Pour the hot water over the tea and allow it to steep the number of minutes recommended for the type of tea you’re preparing. It’s best to cover the entire cup with a lid and allow the tea to steep in its own heat.
For maximum benefits, teas are best drank without sweeteners, however if you desire a sweetener, I recommend 100% Pure Maple Syrup Grade A or B, or Sugar in the Raw for flavorful blends or Raw Honey for herbal teas with a medicinal taste. A study published in “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research” in 2007 found that adding lemon or soy or rice milk to green tea significantly boosted the body’s absorption of its antioxidants. It is always a good practice to drink plenty of water between cups of tea to aid in flushing out accumulated toxins. So, enjoy a nice relaxing and healthy cup of tea daily.
NursingDegree.net /blog / June 2008