One of the most preferred drinks worldwide is tea for its refreshing taste and unique health benefits. Tea evolved from being a medicine in the 30th Century BC to being the most loved beverage in many countries, including India. India is the second-largest tea producer globally, and interestingly, Assam is the only largest region for growing tea. Probably that is why many people in our country cannot start their day without their favourite cup of tea. However, many consume tea without knowing the potential health benefits of drinking tea.
Procured from the Camellia Sinensis plant, tea is processed in different varieties - black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea. Each of them offers excellent benefits for our everyday wellness. Hundreds of scientific evidence and research also found many potential health benefits related to tea. The benefits of drinking black, oolong, and green include protection against cardiovascular disease, strengthening bones and the immune system, and reducing kidney stones. Here are some potential benefits:
Common Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
- Keeps you Hydrated: It is no secret that our body has 70% water, and it needs a constant supply of water to maintain the level of hydration. Drinking tea is the second best thing after water to keep your body hydrated. After brewing, tea is about 99% water, so drinking tea contributes significantly to your daily fluid needs. As a result, drinking plenty of liquid, including tea, will prevent dehydration.
- Source of Manganese: Teas are a great source of manganese. Typically, a cup of organic green tea has 0.1 to 0.5 mg of manganese, and black tea has a little lower amount of manganese. It is a vital mineral for boosting metabolism and bone formation. Our body also needs manganese for calcium absorption, regulating sugar levels, and normalizing nerve and brain function. You can quickly achieve the daily requirement of manganese by drinking your favourite cup of tea.
- Zero Calories: You will be surprised to know that all plain teas - black, green, white, and oolong are calorie-free. Green tea is a non-fermented form of tea, and white and black are partly or fully fermented forms of tea. Even if you brew these with skimmed milk, the calorie count won't cross 15 calories per cup. You need to stay away from adding sugar and additives to keep your tea calories free. For sure, it is an excellent alternative to flavoured hot drinks, sweetened coffee, juices, and sodas.
- EGCG Flavonoids: Teas are rich in ECGC (epigallocatechin gallate) flavonoids, which are water-soluble and offer health benefits through cell signalling and antioxidants. These flavonoids in tea can protect your body against cell-damaging free radicals. Cell damage contributes to many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Some research also found 1 cup of green tea can protect blood lipids from the oxidation process.
- Fluoride for Bone Health: According to research, one litre of black tea may have up to 9 milligrams of fluoride. It can prevent dental cavities, helps to strengthen tooth enamel, and restrict plaque-forming bacteria. Another American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study discovered that older women who had tea daily had higher bone density than others who did not consume tea. So, a moderate amount of tea every day can also help with maintaining healthy bones.
These are a few health benefits tea offers. Teas are also rich in Vitamins C, D, and K and riboflavin. Additionally, plain teas have many minerals, including calcium, zinc, iron, and sodium. And, not to forget, tea is more gentle to your body than any other flavoured beverages such as coffee and packaged juices. Different teas can help you combat or manage symptoms of some common health issues every day.
Teas for Common Health Issues
- Tea for Cold and Flu: A warm cup of tea is what we often look for when suffering from a cold or flu. It instantly makes us feel better. Herbal teas have antibacterial properties that soothe your throat and ease congestion. There are many options in herbal tea such as hibiscus tea, chamomile tea, lemongrass tea, peppermint tea, ginger tea, and more that are beneficial to manage the symptoms of cold and flu. These teas have antiviral, antimicrobial properties and antioxidants that can provide pain relief and fight illnesses.
- Tea for Weight Loss: Many studies agree that 2 to 3 cups of pure green tea a day can reduce body fat and weight. Green teas are high in catechins, which naturally boost your metabolism and speed up the process of fat burning. Catechins also act as a fat blocker, which helps if you have abdominal fat. On the other hand, Oolong tea which partially goes through the oxidation process, can keep you fuller and curb hunger, leading to weight loss. Add some pure basil leaves, lemon, or your favourite spice to enhance the taste of your weight loss tea.
- Tea for Aging Skin: Aging is a natural process, but most people today have problems with premature ageing. Tea has antioxidants, Vitamin E and C that can be beneficial to slow down the ageing process. The flavonoids in the tea keep your skin cells healthy and well-functioning. Also, catechins kill intestinal bacteria, which maintains a healthy immune system and cleanses the blood. Green tea, Matcha, and White tea are rich in amino acids that can reduce signs of ageing, acne, pigmentation, and dark spots.
- Tea for Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety seems like an integral part of our lives. Leading a balanced life is becoming more and more difficult. A fresh cup of tea can go a long way in calming and relaxing your body and mind. Mint tea, turmeric tea, pure rose tea, holy basil tea can all help to reduce stress and anxiety. The caffeine and L-theanine in tea produce a calm and meditative state of mind. The exciting thing about tea is that you can drink it hot, iced, with milk, without milk, and even enhance the taste by adding herbs of your choice.
- Tea for Immune System: Weak immune system is one of the most significant reasons for many illnesses and diseases. In the times of Covid-19, experts cannot stress more on having our immune system healthy. The theanine in tea can fight infection, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Consuming 2 to 3 cups of black tea daily can produce more interferon in immune cells. It is a protein that helps strengthen the body's immune power. Also, black tea can naturally resist viral and bacterial infections in the body.
Note: Please remember, teas can only manage, ease, and help with specific health issues. It is not a substitute for medication, so carry on with the doctor's prescribed medication and take tea to support your body to deal with health problems.
There are many more potential benefits of tea. Drinking tea can -
- Reduce the risk of developing kidney stones,
- Help to treat constipation,
- Fight morning sickness,
- Ease chronic indigestion,
- Lower blood pressure,
- Help improve blood circulation,
- Prevent hair fall and skin damage,
- Reduce menstrual pain and cramps,
- Reduce the risk of ovarian and prostate cancer,
- Lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and more.
The benefits are endless, and you should enjoy it all. It is time you replace your high-calorie beverages with delicious and healthy Indian teas, possibly the most nutritious drinks in this world.