Tea had been consumed for thousands of years. Not only can tea be a tasty drink, but it also has many health benefits ranging from mental health, heart health, maintaining a healthy weight, fighting disease and maintaining overall well-being.
All varieties of Chinese tea come from the plant Camellia sinensis. According to Teavana, the different types depend on the area the tea is grown, the time it is harvested and the way it is processed.
While the different varieties have different flavors, each type also offers different health benefits.
Common health benefits of tea
Many antioxidants can be found in tea. Antioxidants have been proven to improve effects of aging as well as repair skin cells. This function can result in overall healthier skin. White, green and rooibos teas contain many healthy antioxidants.
Drinking tea may help unclog arteries, iVillage.com said. When arteries flow easily, the heart is healthier. According to nursingdegree.net, drinking teas can also help prevent blood clots, a main cause of heart attacks and stroke.
Many restaurants offer tea as a beverage after meals. The drink may be flavorful at the end of eating, but tea also can serve as a digestion aid after a large meal. After eating, tea can be soothing to the stomach and help in the process of digestion. Rooibos and green tea are especially helpful with digestion.
In its naturally brewed form, tea has zero calories. Calories are not added until sugar and milk are mixed in. Drinking tea compared to high-calorie drinks can result in weight loss over time.
Tea can also increase metabolism. Some studies show that consuming green tea regularly can speed up metabolism, resulting in losing an extra 70-80 calories daily, nursingdegree.net said.
According to iVillage.com, tea contains fluoride and tannins which may help fight plaque and maintain a healthy smile. Reduced bacteria and plaque can lead to stronger and healthier teeth and gums.
Although tea can be healthy for teeth, it is important to not drink it with sugar regularly, which can decay teeth. Both green and rooibos teas have compounds which promote healthy teeth.
Strong Immune System
It can be comforting to drink a warm cup of tea while sick, but some studies also have shown that tea is beneficial to the immune system. Drinking tea can help one’s immune system fight disease and infection, iVillage.com said.
It is important not to depend on tea fully as a medication, but drinking the beverage can help in battling sickness. Brewing black tea with lemon can clear nasal congestion, nursingdegree.net said.
Tea is often considered a soothing beverage. Studies show that in addition to soothing the body, drinking tea can also make the mind more alert. L-theanine, an amino acid, helps the brain focus, nursingdegree.net said. The combination of a relaxed, yet alert body can help while accomplishing tasks.
Teas can also have calming effects. Drinking tea has been proven to reduce stress, especially for people suffering nervousness and anxiety.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea. iVillage. Web. 22 April 2012. http://www.ivillage.com/top-10-health-benefits-drinking-tea/4-a-108301
Types of Tea. Teavana. Web. 22 April 2012. http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/types-of-tea
33 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea. The Nursing School Catalog. Web. 22 April 2012. http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/18/33-health-benefits-of-drinking-tea
Reviewed April 23, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith