Tea has been regarded as vital to good health for thousands of years in the East. Today, research continues to unearth its incredible benefits.
Studies have revealed that a good cuppa could increase mental awareness, aid weight loss and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and perhaps even cancer.
Which brew is right for you?
Black, white and green teas contain antioxidants called flavonoids, the amino acid L-theanine (which is used to treat depression, anxiety, memory disorders and high blood pressure) and caffeine, which increases mental alertness. Herbal varieties, brewed from herbs, roots, fruit or seeds, have varying benefits, depending on their chemical composition, but usually also contain antioxidants.
Black tea: heart and gut
Black teas like Darjeeling, Assam and Earl Grey contain the highest caffeine content. They not only provide a caffeine kick, but contain L-theanine, which helps to slow the body’s absorption of the stimulant. This means all the energy without the restlessness.
Drinking three or more cups a day could reduce the risk of heart disease, while black tea’s concentration of the micronutrients, polyphenols, also helps treat digestive issues. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants and have
been linked to weight loss, slowing the rate of both sugar absorption and digestion, thus preventing indigestion.
They also promote good bacteria in the gut.
White tea: blood sugar and healthy teeth
White tea, like White Peony and Silver Needle, is the least processed variety of tea and has a low caffeine content. It’s been linked to a lower risk of insulin resistance and the onset of type 2 diabetes, due to the polyphenols it contains. Its fluoride, tannins and antioxidant compounds, called catechins, could also help prevent plaque build-up.
Green tea: weight loss and antioxidants
Green tea, like Sencha, Matcha and Gyokuro, is regarded as one of the most beneficial for good health. It’s packed with antioxidants and L-theanine, and has been shown to boost the metabolism, possibly burning fat more quickly. It’s been shown to reduce abdominal fat and help lower LDL cholesterol. Many studies have also found that people who regularly drink green tea are at a lower risk of developing various cancers.
Rooibos: immunity and skin health
Made from a South African herb, rooibos is completely free of caffeine and packed with antioxidant polyphenols. Millions of rands have been invested in research into the herb’s unique health benefits, including its potential to boost
immunity, improve healthy gut flora, improve athletic performance, treat auto-immune skin diseases and help prevent skin cancer.
Herbal teas like ginseng, jasmine, chamomile, ginger and peppermint, are commonly believed to aid in weight loss, stress relief, better sleep and cold and flu prevention. The ones thought to be the most effective include:
Peppermint tea is thought to soothe an upset stomach, as menthol relaxes the stomach muscles to relieve cramping. It could also increase bile production, helping food digestion along. In addition, studies have found that peppermint could increase mental focus and act as an antispasmodic to relieve nausea.
This tea is commonly believed to improve sleep quality and has also been linked to relief from menstrual pain, reducing inflammation and helping to treat complications brought on by diabetes, due to its antioxidant properties.
Ginger tea is thought to relieve nausea and improve digestion. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties may also relieve congestion and respiratory symptoms of colds and flu.
Research has shown that drinking three or more cups a day of hibiscus tea could lower blood pressure in some individuals.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: STOCK.ADOBE.COM
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always consult your GP or a medical specialist for specific information regarding your health.