- Fights free radical damage
- Lowers high cholesterol
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Fights cavities
- Promotes weight loss
If you are a tea lover, it will be please you to know that it is the most popular brew in the world. (Coffee is gaining popularity rapidly!). It is not just a pleasant and refreshing drink; beneficial components like flavonols, catechins, tharubigins, and theaflavins in black tea makes it an exceptional brew.
Black tea has been flying under the radar, while green tea has been grabbing headlines regularly. Read on to discover or learn that an everyday old cuppa is just as good for you. How are the two different? Although both green and black tea come from the same plant that is known as Camellia sinensis, they are processed in different ways which give them different compositions as a result. While black is fermented green tea goes through no fermentation which is the reason for the dark color and bitter taste of the former.
Even though the total number of flavonoids remain similar, the nature of flavonoids undergo some changes after fermentation.
Some catechins get oxidized or condensed to theaflavins during the process which results in the black tea has roughly 45 times higher content of thearubigins and 99 times more content of theaflavins (both are tannins) compared to green tea. However, green tea contains three and a half times catechins than black tea. The black tea holds out the following benefits for your health and well-being due to this chemical composition.
1. Fights damages cause by free radical
Polyphenols help in fighting the damaging effects of free radicals just like catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins with its potent antioxidant properties. Free radicals form naturally in one's body during the conversion of food to energy. Some specific factors can increase their numbers which is a challenge for the body to neutralize these aptly. These days the increased intake of processed, refined food, alcohol, smoking, and extended exposure to the sun contributes to multiplying the number of free radicals in our body. These causes oxidative damage to your cells. The damage not only contributes to premature aging but also plays a role in contributing to diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. A cup of black tea can be translated as providing a coat of protective and anti-aging antioxidants by repairing the damages caused by free radicals.
2. Lowers high cholesterol
High cholesterol levels can mean an increase in the risk of atherosclerosis (happens when plaque build up inside your arteries) and even heart issues.
If you are fighting hard to keep your bad cholesterol in control, your daily dose of black tea can contribute to help lower it. A study was conducted on people who had slightly high cholesterol; they had five servings of black tea daily for three weeks. Drinking this brew helped in reducing LDL cholesterol by more than 10 % and total cholesterol levels were down by 6.5 %.
Regular consumption of tea might also help to hinder the oxidation of LDL and minimizing the risk of atherosclerosis. Tea catechins are thought to counter cholesterol irregularities by limiting the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
3. Help control high blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a root of many severe medical conditions such as stroke, kidney failure, heart failure, and heart attack. Fortunately, good wellness lifestyle along with good eating habits, keeping the weight healthy along with good physical exercise goes a long way in controlling your blood pressure. An odd cup of plain black tea is a bonus to keeping hypertension at bay.
Another study showed that have three regular cups of black daily for half a year decreases both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the subjects. Tea may impact hypertension with the improvement in the functioning of the cells that line your blood vessels and heart. Another possibility relates to its ability to burn abdominal fat which helps in controlling blood pressure.
When this was applied to public volunteers, the study showed a reduction of up to 10% in the risk of hypertension and 7-10% in heart disease.
4. Prevents cavities
Tooth enamel usually repairs itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources and tea for those who drink it. However, when the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost which can result in cavities. Having tea regularly enhances the protection and repair of tooth enamel with components such as Streptococcus sobrinus and Streptococcus mutans.
5. Boosts weight loss
If you are on a program to lose weight, black tea can be your added benefit. Several studies have shown that the composition of bacteria present in the intestine changed, increasing the number of bacteria that is associated with lean body fat ridding bacteria that is linked with obesity.
While it is still essential to be attentive to diet and workout regularly to lose those unwanted kilograms, black tea can provide a bonus improvement to metabolism.
6. Improves immunity while fighting infections
We are constantly exposed to harmful germs that can trigger a range of illnesses. Generally, our immune system can protect and fight off diseases. However, our immune system can do with additional help when possible, and black tea is one of that extra help. The compounds that are present in black tea have been found to act against a spectrum of microorganisms known to cause disease.
7. Defends against diabetes.
Unrestrained diabetes can lead to a succession of problems that include weakening eyes, damaged nerve heart and kidney disease. Insulin which is a hormone controls the blood sugar level; it helps to move glucose from your body into cells for it to be broken down and get released as energy. People with diabetes cannot break down glucose into energy due to insufficient insulin or insulin is not functioning well. Black tea can come to your rescue if you are at risk of high blood sugar level.
Researches have indicated that compounds such as theaflavins, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate and other tannins in tea to improve the activities of insulin. A moderate intake of one to two cups of tea daily has lowered the risk of diabetes type 2 by as much as 70%. However, if milk is added to your drink, then the beneficial effects are reduced quite considerably. A study found that adding 10 grams of milk to a cup of tea reduced the insulin boosting capability by 2/3rd and adding 50 grams of milk decreased the benefit by nearly 90%; similarly, other non-dairy creamers and soy milk also caused a reduction in the enhancement of insulin.
8. Is Good For The Heart
It has been clear on the benefits of black tea on several factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels which affect our heart.
Drinking black tea also helps the cells that line the interior surface of lymphatic and blood vessels. The flavonoids present in tea also functions as a blood thinner. Some studies indicate that drinking tea is connected with a lower death rate in survivors of a heart attack.
9. Lowers risk of a stroke
A stroke is a life-threatening condition which develops when the blood supply to a specific part of the brain gets blocked. It is a medical emergency that requires urgent scrutiny. Elements such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes, obesity, stress, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension increase the chances of having a stroke. Fortunately, the regular intake of a few cups of tea can help reduce the risks.
10. Enhances concentration
Like many of us, I am sure you have caught your mind wandering around making you unable to focus on the things you are doing. Researchers have indicated that drinking black tea can enhance your alertness and focus. The L-theanine and caffeine might be responsible for these benefits. The synergetic rapport between the two can help to improve performance and concentration, controlling your mind from getting distracted or wandering. One other advantage is that L-theanine can help counteract overstimulation of caffeine. Hence, a cup of black tea might be the best way to get caffeine dose without the usual jitteriness that is linked with too much caffeine.
11. Glowing skin
The tannins present in tea have a moderate astringent effect. This is perfect as a natural toner. Some leftover tea leaves or a damp tea bag works well and does the trick on puffy eyes as well. Next time you brew some tea, leave some behind, soak some cotton on it and place it on your shut eyes for a few minutes and you will be sorted. A moist tea bag works just as well.
12. May Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease is a condition when neurodegenerative ailment affects the nerve cells that produce dopamine. This neurotransmitter helps to coordinate and control our mechanical movements.
Some meta-analysis of studies has shown that components present in tea such as theanine, flavonoids, and caffeine can lower the risk of Parkinson's disease through various mechanisms such as helping with the secretion of dopamine, enhancing locomotor function and improving circulation to the brain.
13. May Offer Some Protection Against Cancer
Some researches show that regular consumers of black tea could be at a lower risk of cancers of the colon and ovaries. A study has found that on women who drank 2 cups or more of black tea every day the risk of ovarian cancer declined as much as 30 %, the credit goes to the phytochemicals found in tea. However other group studies point out that the green tea's anti-carcinogenic properties are more potent than that of black tea. The researchers attribute this to the fact that most catechines are oxidized in black tea which in turn makes it less stronger than those found in green tea.
Putting on the kettle has got to be one of the most natural things in the world today. All one needs to do is pour a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of tea leaves, let it brew between 3-5 minutes, and your hot tea is ready. You can further experiment with this favorite drink by adding ginger that is grated or in powder form. This drink helps to thin the blood and combats insulin resistance and enhances the heart-healthy powers of the black tea. You can add a spoonful of energizing and antioxidant-rich natural honey to sweeten the brew. If you like a lemony tang, you can squeeze the vitamin C rich juice of a lemon after brewing the tea. Mix all three ingredients during cold winter days or even nights to keep you warm and energized for a good part of the day.
Despite all the benefits of black tea, do bear in mind that all good things must be consumed in moderation. Too much of everything is not good. For example, if you drink more than 5 cups a day, it can cause an array of side effects such as heartburn, palpitations, inability to sleep (some people are more sensitive than others), tremors, headache and in some cases diarrhea. You also need to keep a check on the intake of caffeine if you are on regular medication and its adverse effects. Generally, black tea consists of about 2-5% caffeine. Hence two cups of tea will give roughly 200 mg of caffeine. Be cautious of having more than this quantity if you are pregnant. To be on the safe side, limit your intake to no more than three cups a day bearing in mind the other sources of caffeine you have.
Read other Wellness and Lifestyles articles.
Disclaimer on Wellness Articles
NOTE: Raj Tamang is a wellness aficionado, having focused on keeping trekkers and his team members fit through diet and proper treatment during their treks. While Raj has no formal qualifications in this field, he has done plenty of research over the years. He understands the benefits of keeping healthy and using whole foods to nourish both himself and his team properly. Please note, while Raj is experienced in the field of wellness, his advice should not be taken above or instead of medical professionals' guidance.