Tea is a drink that has been enjoyed around the world for centuries. In some countries, drinking tea is a celebrated cultural event, like Japan’s tea ceremony or the UK’s tea time. The history of tea drinking can be traced back to at least around 5,000 years ago in ancient China. The story goes that Emperor Shen Nung had some servants boiling water when a camellia blossom fell into the pot. The drink was a hit and people haven’t looked back since. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how tea can be really healthy for our bodies.
Not all teas are created equally, though, and different teas have different health benefits. That’s one of the nice things about enjoying a cup of tea. Depending on what you want or need, there’s likely a tea out there for it. Keep reading for a closer look at three of the most popular and healthiest teas that are readily available on the market.
Green tea is one of the most famous teas for health reasons out there. In fact, green tea is well known for its high content of antioxidants, which can benefit us in many ways. These antioxidants can have wide-ranging effects on our bodies, potentially even lowering our chances of certain cancers. Green tea has also been linked with numerous positives for our mental health, such as possibly lowering one’s risk of Alzheimer’s or improving one’s memory.
Drinking green tea has been found to be effective at improving your cardiovascular health.
Additionally, you may see benefits for your heart as a result of drinking green tea, too. Drinking green tea has been found to be effective at improving a number of factors related to cardiovascular health, such as total and LDL cholesterol. One study found that green tea drinkers were 31 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
Green tea may even help you lose weight, another thing that can improve your heart health. Some studies found that green tea can boost your metabolism (though this was disputed by another study and may depend on individuals). One noted that green tea could increase fat oxidation by as much as 17 percent. These are certainly not the only ways that green tea may be beneficial for our health but they’re certainly great ones!
For many Westerners, black tea is a go-to brew in the morning, particularly if you don’t love coffee. Like its green cousin, black tea is also well known for its content of antioxidants, specifically a group called polyphenols. Studies have shown that these compounds can combat obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Antioxidants may not be the only reason to drink black tea. It can also reduce unhealthy, LDL cholesterol — studies show that it may drop it by 11 percent. In addition, studies have shown that black tea may be effective at reducing your risk of skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancer.
Black tea tends to be the highest in caffeine, though a cup contains less than the average cup of coffee.
Black tea is also a good source of energy for those who need a pick-me-up in the morning. Of the teas, black tea tends to be the highest in caffeine, though a cup of it contains less than the average cup of coffee. Caffeine not only helps you feel more awake, but it can also improve your cognitive function (increased focus, alertness, and accuracy) and memory. Physically, caffeine has also been shown to boost metabolism, which can help you lose weight.
Some teas don’t wake you up. Chamomile tea, for example, can help you get to sleep. A key component that makes it a sleepy-time tea is apigenin, an antioxidant that may promote sleepiness and combat insomnia. Evidence also points to chamomile tea improving the quality of that sleep. Chamomile tea may also help relieve some issues that may keep you up at night, showing that it can help with anxiety and depression.
At the same time, chamomile may protect against ulcers while lowering the acidity in your stomach.
This drink may even promote digestive health. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is believed to help prevent diarrhea. At the same time, chamomile may protect against ulcers while lowering the acidity in your stomach. As if those two examples weren’t enough, chamomile has a history of being used to sooth stomachs and relieve gas or nausea.
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We’ve tried to focus on the things that set these teas apart, what makes them special, compared to each other and other teas. There’s a lot of crossover, though. Most teas, with the exception of herbal and decaffeinated teas, have some level of caffeine in them. Most teas are also great sources of antioxidants. So, while black coffee may wake you up or keep you mentally sharp, and chamomile may settle your stomach and help you sleep, both will benefit you in a number of similar ways, too. What this means for tea-lovers everywhere is that, generally, whatever tea they love, it’s likely good for them.