The health benefits of tea are well-documented by dozens of universities around the world. As much as we know about this ancient beverage, it seems we continually learn more.
As we head into the warmer seasons, pouring your favorite blends over ice is just the thing to quench your thirst, boost your energy, and provide powerful antioxidants.
The History of Tea
The use of tea in medicinal, culinary, and religious applications date back to the earliest recorded texts of mankind’s history. The first mention of tea was more than 10,000 years ago!
Second only to the consumption of water, every country on Earth drinks some form of tea – botanically identified as Camellia Sinensis. This plant family includes black, white, green, oolong, or Pu-erh teas.
Teas are different from “tisanes,” which are not actually “tea.” Tisanes are medicinal, made from steeping certain plant seeds, roots, flowers, fruits, or herbs in hot water. True “herbal tea” does not contain the leaves.
Its popularity makes sense. Tea has versatile uses, many different flavors (there are more than 3,000 known types), is readily available in every culture, and is inexpensive.The first mention of tea was more than 10,000 years ago! #TeaFacts #SipThis #TeaTimeClick To Tweet
A few facts about tea…
-Tea is nutrient-dense. It offers powerful antioxidant protection with few calories. It doesn’t matter if you drink it hot or cold, add milk or sugar, or buy the cheap stuff. All tea has powerful compounds that help your body.
-Black tea (the most popular tea in the United States) has the most caffeine content (double other varieties) but has less than half the caffeine found in regular coffee.
-Some teas are naturally caffeine-free such as tulsi, chamomile, rooibos, and hibiscus. These are not technically part of the Camellia Sinensis family but are still beneficial. Tea labeled “decaffeinated” goes through an additional processing step to remove it.
Proven Tea Health Benefits for Your Brain
Despite thousands of studies, much of what makes tea so powerful is still misunderstood.
As Thomas G. Sherman, associate professor with Georgetown University Medical Center put it, “We don’t clearly understand why tea is so beneficial, but we know it is.”
Not fully understanding how the compounds in tea work doesn’t stop them from protecting your body. Every year, more studies point to fascinating results from tea consumption.
Recent research from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore found that drinking one cup of tea every day lowered the risk of cognitive decline by 50%! For those participants with a higher genetic risk of Alzheimer’s, tea drinking lowered their risk of the disease by 86%!
More than 950 seniors over the age of 55 participated in the study. The results were linked specifically to members of the Camellia Sinensis family (green, black, or oolong varieties).
No matter the number of drug trials pushed through in the last two decades, there simply isn’t a pill that’s making a huge impact on this disease or its symptoms.
Lead author, assistant professor Feng Lei, explained. “Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. A simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders.”
The team credits the incredible results on the bio-active compounds found naturally in tea. Specifically, catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins, and L-theanine. They act as powerful antioxidants with outstanding anti-inflammatory properties
One powerful substance naturally occurring in green tea is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that protects human DNA from cellular mutation.A powerful substance occurring in green tea is ECGG, an antioxidant that protects human DNA from cellular mutation.Click To Tweet
Studies have repeatedly linked green tea consumption to…
- Improved brain health
- Better fat burning
- More efficient metabolism
- Heart protection
- Lower cancer risk
- Natural infection fighting
- Lower system inflammation
A Refreshing Switch from Coffee
Green tea is my favorite tea variety. It’s been studied extensively in the past decade and is sold everywhere now. I keep a large pitcher on hand during the summer and alternate between bottles of water.
Fill a kettle (or medium pot) with water and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat, add 6 green teabags, and steep covered for five minutes (longer if you like it stronger). Remove the bags and allow to cool. Pour into a gallon container, lightly sweeten, and fill remaining container with cold filtered water. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
If you don’t want to add sweetener, consider including a flavored herbal bag. Peppermint is a great choice for delicate sweetness without the calories or sugar. I exchange one green teabag for a flavored variety.
Between the flavor and the tea health benefits, you’re going to be hooked!Between the flavor and the tea health benefits, you’re going to be hooked! #TeaTime #SipThis #TeaFactsClick To Tweet