Tea is a popular drink on every continent around the world, from sprawling cities to tiny towns. For thousands of years, hundreds of cultures have made tea a central element in day to day life, from tea time in England to Japanese tea ceremonies and tea gardens. A staple in the lives of millions of individuals, tea is more than just a feel-good drink. Offering numerous health benefits, tea’s enduring global legacy is hardly a coincidence. If you haven’t considered all the good tea can do for your health, take a look at these 10 great reasons to join the tea revolution.
1. Tea is full of antioxidants
Both green and black teas contain antioxidants, or chemicals that work to inhibit the oxidation of other, generally bad, chemicals. Antioxidants offer numerous health benefits, including reducing effects of pollutants like food chemicals and tobacco. Researchers estimate that tea offers over ten times the amount of antioxidants available in fruits and vegetables, making tea a drink that is both tasty and beneficial for your immune system.
2. Tea provides caffeine without jitters or crashes
Coffee is a popular morning drink, but its side effects aren’t always so nice. Many individuals find themselves jittery and nauseous, while others feel the crash a few hours later. Both black and green tea have caffeine, but not enough to cause any of coffee’s unpleasant effects. Many people drink tea as a boost in the morning or a pick me up in the afternoon to stay alert without the possibility of a crash.
3. Tea is hydrating
Doctors recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to maintain bodily fluids and promote digestive health. While most beverages are made with water, many have too many other additives to be truly hydrating. Tea is made by steeping leaves in water for flavor and, despite small amounts of caffeine, is almost as hydrating as plain water. In fact, regular tea drinkers find that they are able to drink more in a day, making it easier to consume the recommended 64 ounces.
4. Tea can reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes
Heart attacks and strokes are often caused by blood clots, which can arise from too much bad cholesterol. Drinking tea has been known to lower cholesterol and prevent clogs in the arteries, keeping your heart pumping healthy. A study even found that individuals who drink three or more cups of tea a day can reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes up to 70%!
5. Tea contains cancer fighting agents
Numerous studies have linked the antioxidants in tea to cancer-fighting agents, making tea a great defense against multiple forms of cancer. Frequent tea consumption can boost the immune system, strengthening the body against caners including breast, skin, lung, colon, rectal, stomach, small intestine, esophagus, pancreas, ovarian, liver, oral, and prostate. Although tea is no substitute for healthy living, an extra boost is always a benefit.
6. Tea is good for your bones
Parents always tell children to drink milk so that they’ll grow up big and strong. Luckily for those who aren’t a fan of dairy, tea has some of the same effects! Numerous studies have found links between tea consumption and healthy bones. One study even found that older women who drink tea regularly for a prolonged length of time are far less likely to suffer from osteoporosis or other degenerative bone disorders.
7. Tea can keep your weight lower
Weight loss is on everyone’s mind and with tea, you can shed the weight and keep your waist size small. While nothing rivals a healthy diet and exercise, studies have shown a connection between frequent tea drinking and a lower waist circumference and lower BMI. These same studies also found a link between increased tea consumption and a reduced risk of metabolic disease, like diabetes, that may be related to lower weight and overall health. In addition, tea is free of calories, meaning that you can drink as much as you want with no consequences to your diet.
8. Tea can promote mental health
No one likes the idea of reduced mental faculties in old age but tea drinking may be able to provide a benefit. Recent studies have found correlations between frequent tea drinking and the prevention and possible treatment of common neurological diseases. This is especially true for degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Researchers attribute the connection to the polyphenols, a form of micronutrient thought to be beneficial in fighting degenerative disease, that are abundant in many kinds of tea.
9. Reduce your risk of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder that causes trembling and, eventually, crippling muscle stiffness and weakness. Medications are available that can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms, the disease has no known cure. Despite the grim prognosis, several studies have linked tea consumption to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s. Although many other factors, like age, gender, and physical habits, play a part, increased tea consumption can benefit both men and women.
10. Tea can help you relax and sleep better
Black and green teas can keep you alert and energized but herbal tea can help you relax and sleep better. Many tea blends contain herbs and amino acids that have been linked to reduced stress and anxiety. Some tea mixes, often termed “sleepy time” are designed to increase relaxation and help drinkers sleep. These teas generally contain chamomile, an herb used to soothe and settle upset stomachs and upset minds. Some herbal teas simply taste good but specialty blends are designed to help you shed some of your day to day stress.
Whether you’re looking for a crash-free boost in the morning, a way to promote a healthy immune system through flu season, or want to relax in the evenings, tea has countless benefits to many aspects of your overall health. Next time you’re feeling stressed, sleepy, or under the weather, put a kettle on the stove and enjoy the benefits tea can bring to your mind and your body.