If you are trying to improve your health or drop a few pounds, think beyond superfoods and supplements, because tea, in its many varieties, deserves your attention too! You may be surprised to learn that what you drink can also affect weight management, disease prevention, and energy and stress levels. Consumed for thousands of years, tea has been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures around the globe. Studies show that the components found in tea can do wonders for your health. So drink up, and enjoy better health!
Here are six health benefits of tea:
1. Tea can help you maintain a healthy weight. A 2011 study in the journal Obesity found that mice fed a high fat diet and given compounds found in green tea gained weight at a slower rate than mice that were not fed the same compounds. The findings from this study suggest that green tea extracts may actually interfere with fat formation in the body. Take note, however, that green tea extracts should not be confused with bottled green tea drinks that may be full of added sugar. To get green tea extracts, opt for the real deal — a good old-fashioned teabag or loose tea and boiling water!
2. Green tea may help you see better. The eye, like any part of the body, can suffer oxidative stress, making it more prone to disease. But here’s a hopeful finding that might help combat this problem: A 2010 study found that components in green tea positively affected the tissues of the eyes, especially tissue related to the retina. Drink on green tea lovers, and protect your precious eyeballs!
3. White tea can help you look younger! White tea is high in polyphenols, which deliver fabulously gorgeous benefits! A recent study demonstrated that tea drinkers may have already found their fountain of youth — in their mugs! In the study, extracts in white tea inhibited wrinkle production by strengthening elastin and collagen — two important factors in the development of fine lines and wrinkles. White tea can keep your joints younger too!
4. Black tea can help to reduce stress levels. Stressed out? A cup of black tea may be just what you need. One study found that black tea actually helped reduce stress hormone levels in study participants. But the fun does not stop there! Black tea showed yet another benefit related to stress — it can lower blood pressure. As stress rises, blood pressure does too, putting us at risk for developing a heart attack or stroke. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that six months of black tea consumption lowered systolic blood pressure.
5. It may help you fight diabetes. A 2010 study reviewing a variety of caffeinated teas found that the caffeine in tea may help reduce the risk of diabetes.
6. Tea can make your ticker stronger! One study found that green tea helped to improve endothelial function (how well the inner lining of your blood vessels work) rather quickly after consumption. But resist the urge to add milk to your tea if you are drinking it for better cardiovascular health! That's because the caseins in milk may actually decrease the cardio-protective benefits you get from tea.
The tea takeaway. You can use tea bags or go loose, drink it hot or drink it cold. No matter how you take it, tea is a deliciously healthy drink. Brew a batch today and enjoy the many soothing and protective body benefits!