Why Tea is Beneficial for your Health and Wellness
In addition to providing comfort, tea is an excellent source of health and wellness. These benefits are not only felt in the short term, but they can also have long lasting effects. While health benefits vary depending on the type of tea, in general you’ll experience some level of health advantage no matter your tea of choice. Drinking tea daily is a simple way to support your body’s overall health. Bonus: drinking tea is easy, affordable, and delicious.
First and foremost, tea contains antioxidants, which are incredibly useful in fighting off the negative effects of aging and pollution. While there are antioxidants in green and black tea, you’re more likely to feel the effects in a white tea, which is usually less processed. The antioxidants in tea are called flavonoids, which protect your body from free radicals. This protection can prevent blood clots from forming; fat and cholesterol from building up in arteries; and cancer.
In its own special category is Oolong tea. Falling between green and black tea in caffeine and antioxidant levels, the labor required to process Oolong tea makes it more expensive. However, Oolong tea also contains significant levels of magnesium, potassium, sodium, and fluoride. It can help boost your immune system and metabolism. Oolong tea also rids your body of free radicals and bonus, aides in the health of your hair. It’s also a great refresher for your body and mind.
Oolong may be the best option for boosting your immune system, but drinking any type of tea is going to help strengthen your immunity. Tea boosts immune cells, hastening the process of building up immunity.
Heart Attacks and Strokes
When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, tea is an easy way to reduce your risk of both. In fact, this is the health benefit of tea that has the most corroborating evidence with several studies providing credible support for the practice. Regularly drinking green tea can lessen your chance of heart attack or stroke anywhere from 20% to 35%, depending on how much you drink and how often. To get the same effect of 10 cups of green tea, drink a cup of matcha tea and reap maximum benefits for your heart health.
If you’re concerned with heart health, black tea is also a strong option as it can promote blood vessel relaxation. Conversely, green tea is an excellent anti-inflammatory, helps prevent cancer, and is great for your skin and hair. With its lower caffeine level, you can drink more cups without feeling over-caffeinated. The more you drink, the better results you’ll see in your health. White tea is the least oxidized, so it contains the highest level of flavonoids and thus, its overall
cardiovascular benefits surpass both green and black teas.
Herbal teas are especially good at soothing the digestive system. Ginger tea can calm any nausea you may be experiencing while chamomile works well as an antispasmodic. Drink tea regularly throughout the day if you have ongoing digestive issues or drink a cup of tea with each meal to aid in digestion. Peppermint, ginger, and chamomile teas are the most beneficial for digestive support, but most teas will provide at least some relief.
Pu ehr, or pu’er, tea is a lesser known varietal, but some initial studies have shown that drinking pu ehr tea can result in lower blood sugar levels. Since pu erh tea goes through actual fermentation, there’s a higher level of polysaccharides. Polysaccharides can help lower your blood sugar.
This is a promising development, especially for those with type 2 diabetes. Additional health benefits of pu erh tea include aiding digestion, boosting metabolism, and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And as a bonus: pu erh tea is a great remedy for that hangover headache.
Tea also contains less caffeine than coffee. So if you need that extra boost of energy but want to protect your nervous system, tea is a delicious healthy alternative. Or if you want to reap the health benefits of tea and would rather stay away from caffeine altogether, there are a variety of delicious herbal teas for everyday wellness.
Likewise, herbal teas can be used as a sleep aid. Chamomile is widely regarded as the best sleep aid as it reduces inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia. Not only does it induce sleep, but chamomile has shown to increase the quality of your sleep. Valerian root, lavender, and other herbal teas can also have similar benefits to varying effect. So for a restful night’s sleep, try one of these herbal remedies.
Green tea, particularly Moringa, is widely considered to be a superfood. Containing high levels of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron, green tea will help keep your bones strong. White, hibiscus, and rooibos teas are also great options for bone support. White tea contains a high level of antioxidants, which prevent oxidative damage to bones. This is an easy way to fight osteoporosis. The high levels of flavonoids in hibiscus tea make the tea highly anti-inflammatory and aid communication between cells for proper bone turnover. Rooibos tea is a red tea from South Africa and contains several helpful minerals: magnesium, zinc, calcium, and manganese and aids in iron absorption. Most notably rooibos tea contains quercetin, which reduces cortisol levels, protecting the bones from the long term effects of chronic stress.
Teeth Whitening and Health
While coffee typically stains your teeth, tea does not erode tooth enamel and can prevent cavities. Tea actually changes the pH levels in your mouth when you drink it, effectively brightening your teeth. The flavonoids in tea also reduce bacteria and inflammation in your gums. Due to the lighter color of green and white teas, they are the better option to get your caffeine and/or health benefits without worrying about staining your teeth with coffee or black tea.
Without any additives, tea contains zero calories. So if you want to drink a no-calorie beverage other than water, tea provides a flavorful alternative that will also contribute to your overall wellness. Swap your sugary drink out for a cup of tea and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. While tea can contribute to weight loss, the healthiest way of integrating tea into your diet is to aid in other health concerns which will in turn support your body in a way that will make it easier to lose weight.
Is Loose Leaf Tea or Bagged Tea the Healthier Option
Deciding between green, black, white, pu ehr, herbal, and other teas is just one consideration. There are a lot of benefits of choosing loose leaf teas over bagged teas. While there can be high quality bagged tea and low quality loose leaf tea, generally loose leaf tea is of a higher quality. With loose leaf tea, you have more control over how much tea you use and thus how strong the cup of tea is. The flavor is generally stronger and more enjoyable with loose leaf tea. This makes
loose leaf a better option if you want to add milk or sugar and still taste the tea.
One might assume loose leaf tea is more expensive than bagged tea, but in most cases it’s more affordable, similar to any other bulk pricing. You can even re-steep the tea leaves and there is less waste overall. However, loose leaf tea can be time consuming and require more of your attention. Not to mention the additional tools needed, which requires more upfront cost, like a tea infuser or strainer. Pro tip: There are affordable kettles with built-in infusers, two tools for the
price of one. Whether you drink loose leaf or bagged tea, you’re going to reap the benefits. If you’re short on time or resources, bagged tea might be the best choice for you. But if you have the extra time and interest, loose leaf tea can provide the perfect cup for both wellness and enjoyment.
While drinking tea shouldn’t be used as the primary treatment for any health concerns you may have, it’s an easy way to integrate more health and wellness in your everyday life. Unless you are looking for additional support for a very specific health condition, there’s no need to spend too much time worrying about which tea to drink. Try out the variety of teas at your disposal, pay attention to how your whole body feels when you drink each tea, and also which tea you prefer drinking and preparing. Start with teas that may address your primary concerns and
continue on from there. At the end of the day, the type of tea you enjoy drinking based on taste and how it makes you feel is going to be the best option because you’re more likely to keep up a daily routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.