Whether you’re trying to quit coffee or you just need a healthy drink that will make you feel great in the morning and at night, tea is an excellent choice. But perhaps, you haven’t had a compelling reason to drink more tea, just yet? A recent series of studies by scientists at the National University of Singapore shows that tea can impact your brain health significantly.
In fact, they were able to show that participants who had been drinking tea at least 4 times a week over the last 25 years had better brain cell arrangements compared to their non-tea drinking counterparts. “Better brain arrangements” mean that the brain tissue and the nerves are aligned in such a way that signals are easily transmitted from one part of the brain to the other.
When these arrangements are disorganized, it can lead to brain disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And so the scientists were suggesting that tea could perhaps, be one way to keep such diseases at bay. That is just one way to benefit from a tea-drinking habit.
It is, however, important to note that not all teas are actual “tea”. There are a number of products marketed under the “herbal tea” category that does not contain any actual tea at all. Real tea is made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. The different varieties of tea-black tea, white tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all derived from this plant.
If you choose to drink more tea, make sure you’re buying tea that is made from the Camellia sinensis plant or else this post will not apply.
Now, let’s look at more benefits of drinking tea.
Tea has antioxidants
Tea has antioxidants and this is important for several reasons. There are chemical reactions inside and outside our bodies that create harmful chemicals known as free radicals. Free radicals can result in skin damage and are at the root of certain diseases. Antioxidants block the actions of these free radicals and blocks the damage they could cause.
Even though your body can naturally produce antioxidants, it’s always helpful to get an external boost, say from drinking tea. Tea is chock-full of antioxidants and drinking it regularly will supply your body with what you need to prevent free radicals from causing damage and disease.
Tea has less caffeine than coffee
One of the ways to get better sleep is to cut out caffeine at night. Even though tea does contain some caffeine, it is lower than what you get with coffee. Thus, it is useful if you need it to stay awake during the day and even if you drink it closer to your bedtime, it is likely not to affect your sleep.
Tea can affect your immune system
Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that a component of tea, L-theanine, is important in boosting the immune system.
In the human body, T cells are a group of immune cells that fight infections. Particularly, T cells will produce chemicals that will kill bacteria, fungi or viruses that attack your body. One other way T cells fight infections is by developing “memory”. What this means is that, if the T cells in your body to kill a type of bacteria once, the next time that same bacteria shows up, the T cells will clear them faster and more effectively because of the previous encounter.
Tea and heart health
Remember how we talked about antioxidants and how they can prevent free radical damage? Well another thing antioxidants do is to prevent the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. A buildup of plaque in the blood vessels causes atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a serious illness that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
The antioxidants in tea can help prevent this. Furthermore, tea contains flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Some doctors have advised however not to drink tea excessively because you’re trying to load up on these components of tea. As a matter of fact, some doctors think too many flavonoids in your body can cause kidney damage. Everything in moderation.
Tea and the digestive system
There are some reports that tea can help with digestion but there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in this area. Nonetheless, several Asian cultures have been drinking tea after their meals for centuries and appear to have great metabolism as a result of that.
Tea may help prevent cancer
Here are a few ways tea can help prevent cancer.
- The antioxidants in tea protect the skin from ultraviolet B (UVB) damage. This can prevent skin cancer.
- Tea may help activate certain detoxification enzymes that protect against tumor development.
- Tea has also been shown to slow the spread of tumor cells.
As you can see, it’s a Pandora’s box of surprises when it comes to tea and its health benefits.
If you found this post helpful, share it with someone else who will too.