Statistically, about half of the US population enjoys tea daily; here, black tea is the most popular. In Asia, green tea is the most commonly consumed, while in some parts of China, oolong tea is favored.
No matter the variety, the medicinal benefits of tea have been known for thousands of years. Scientific studies are now backing up those ancient beliefs.
All tea is beneficial, whether black, green, or oolong. Depending on how the leaves are processed, some have higher antioxidants, compounds like polyphenols, and are twice as beneficial.
“It’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink”, said Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., a research scientist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
12. Drinking Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
Tea increases your metabolism and can increase your calorie expenditure and reduce your body fat. Green tea and matcha tea, which is a concentrated powdered green tea, have been found to be most effective for weight loss. This is due to the compound catechins, which increase your metabolism and fat burning abilities. Tea helps break down starches and fats.
11. Powerful Inflammation Fighters
One polyphenol compound in tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which decreases the causes of inflammation. Many chronic diseases, from diabetes and cancer to cognitive decline, start with a buildup of inflammation. EGCG is 100x stronger than vitamin C and supports joint and muscle pain.
10. Improves Insulin Sensitivity for Diabetics
Green tea specifically can reduce complications of diabetes. Research shows that it improves insulin sensitivity and protects the pancreatic cells from further damage. Catechins can help normalize blood sugar.
9. Tea Compounds Boost Brain Health
Two compounds in green tea, L-theanine and caffeine, improve cognition, boost memory, and increase attention span. They also help with visual processing and concentration.
8. Great Cancer-Fighting Potential
Although more research is necessary, in lab studies it appears that teas fight cancer growth by reducing metastasis, or the spread of tumor growth. This is especially true for green teas due to the higher polyphenol content.Related: Toss Your Multivitamins and Eat These 9 Foods Instead
7. Helps with Heart Health
Tea assists with cardiovascular health by lowering high blood pressure and decreasing cholesterol levels.
6. May Slow the Progress of Alzheimer’s
In particular, black tea may help with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by inhibiting the enzymes associated with protein increases in the brains of these patients.
5. Tea May Benefit Bone Health
Tea polyphenols benefit the factors affecting bone mass and bone strength. It may also help control osteoporosis by increasing bone density.Related: 8 Signs That Osteoporosis May Be Ravaging Your Bones
4. Helpful for Dental Health
Green tea is antibacterial and can assist with the prevention of dental cavities and gum disease. This may be due to the fluoride content in tea, which also helps guard against bone loss in the jaw.
3. Green Tea Is Anti-Aging
All tea, but especially green tea, is popular in all societies living in the Blue Zones, where people live to be well over 100 years old and in good health. They also follow good diet practices, exercise and have a community.
2. Types of “True” Tea
All true tea comes from the Camilla sinensis plant, including black, oolong, and green teas. As far as which is the least processed, green tea is less fermented and has higher benefits due to it containing more antioxidant compounds. All other plant teas are herbal teas, most of which are caffeine free.
1. How to Incorporate Tea into Your Daily Diet
Studies have shown that for general health benefits, three to five cups a day is best. Now this may sound like a lot, but remember that most glasses or cups we use are really 12 ounces or more. So you are probably drinking more than you thought!
If you are trying to resolve a health issue, try consuming more by using tea either as broth when cooking or in smoothies.
It always is healthier to drink your tea with no sugar and eat a healthy diet (try stevia or monkfruit for a healthy sugar).Related: Could Drinking Hot Tea or Coffee Give You Cancer?