Ah, tea. What’s not to like about it?
It’s delicious, it warms you up, and it’s one of the best things you could ever put into your body. Tea is chock full of natural substances that will improve your health in a lot of different ways. Although we’ve known for centuries that tea is associated with many health benefits, we’ve only just started to investigate it scientifically. The findings so far have been amazing.
Even if you hate tea, you should drink it every day because…
1. Tea strengthens your immune system.
A 2009 experiment by the National Academy of Sciences showed that tea drinkers’ immune system blood cells responded to germs five times faster than those of coffee drinkers. Green, white, and black teas are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that naturally kill bacteria and viruses and protect the body against a wide range of diseases.
2. Tea protects you against cancer.
Because tea is loaded with antioxidants, it’s very efficient in preventing free radical damage that may lead to cancer. Not only that, but green tea also contains a natural polyphenol called ECGC, which has been shown to halt cancer growth and to protect cells from DNA damage. Scottish researchers also discovered that green tea shrinks tumors and in some cases removes them altogether.
3. Tea rehydrates your body.
Forget Gatorade. It’s chock full of sugar and artificial flavors that actually retain water in the body. Instead, have some tea. It does the trick. Contrary to popular belief, the caffeine content in tea is not high enough to dehydrate the body. Instead, tea hydrates the body as much as water does, only with added antioxidant benefits! A study conducted by Kings College in the UK (in addition to numerous other studies) found that normal hydration was consistent with high tea consumption. Next time you go running, ditch the Gatorade and bring along a bottle of iced tea!
4. Tea lowers your blood pressure.
Studies have shown that drinking black or green tea on a regular basis lowers your blood pressure levels by about 2 to 3 points. That’s a big deal, because even a small decrease like this can drastically reduce your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease.
5. Tea can lift your spirits.
Some types of tea can serve as natural antidepressants. Kratom tea is a good example. At low doses, kratom gives you a burst of physical energy and makes you more alert. People have reported feeling friendlier, sociable, and more talkative after drinking kratom tea and other types of tea.
6. Tea helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Not only does tea contain fluoride, it also kills the bacteria that causes plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath. However, some low-quality teas have been shown to contain a lot of fluoride that can do more harm than good. You should consider drinking only high-quality teas, as they contain the safest levels of fluoride.
7. Tea increases your metabolism.
Tea, especially green tea, has natural properties that boost your metabolism and help your body burn fat faster. Whenever you drink tea, your metabolism raises as much as 4.5 percent for as long as 8 hours afterwards. It’s been shown that drinking three cups of green tea a day can help you lose 3 pounds per year.
8. Tea helps produce stronger bones.
If you don’t like milk (or if you’re a vegan), you’re in luck! Researchers have discovered that people who drink tea regularly have greater bone density and strength than those who don’t drink tea. In 2009, a Hong Kong study concluded that tea contains a group of chemicals that stimulate bone formation and help slow bone breakdown. They also found that one chemical in particular, called epigallocatechin (EGC), boosts the activity of bone growth by up to 79 percent by promoting bone mineralization in the cells. It also blocks the activity of osteoclast, a type of cell that breaks down bones.
9. Tea lowers your risk of heart disease.
Drinking three or more cups of tea per day lowers your risk of coronary heart disease. It’s no surprise, because tea is packed with antioxidants. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center discovered that the antioxidant properties of green tea might help prevent coronary artery disease.
10. Tea reverses signs of aging.
Toss the chemical-filled anti-aging cream and brew a cup of tea for yourself. It’s better for your skin. The EGCG found in all kinds of tea (except black) reactivates dying skin cells and keeps the skin looking fresh and healthy. Not only does EGCG help prevent wrinkles, it also benefits many skin diseases, including ulcers, wounds, psoriasis, and eczema. In so many different ways, tea keeps the body in tip-top shape and helps prevent it from aging badly.
As great as those health benefits are, they’re not the only ones. Tea comes with so many more health benefits, including:
- Weight loss
- Diabetes prevention
- Lower cholesterol
- Increased mental alertness
- Decreased stress
Wait, do you hear that? It sounds like the collective whistling of tea kettles everywhere. Where’s yours?
[This is an article I wrote for Lifed.com. You can see the original article here.]