Is Tea a Secret to Longer Life?
Are you struggling to eliminate sodas and sugary drinks intake because your taste buds think water is too boring? Consider adding loose leaf teas to your daily life. You’ll not only reap some powerful health benefits, you’ll discover a whole new world of flavors.
The compounds in tea, called flavonoids, are known to help against free radicals which can contribute to heart disease clogged arteries and cancer. And while all teas have antioxidants, certain types of teas are more potent with them. Tea has also been shown to assist in weight loss by increasing fat burn, lower cholesterol levels, and increase mental alertness and brain function.
Following are the health benefits by type of tea according to WebMD:
- Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
- Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
- White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
- Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
- Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.
- Chamomile tea: Its antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, and stunt the growth of cancer cells.
- Echinacea: Often touted as a way to fight the common cold, the research on echinacea has been inconclusive.
- Hibiscus: A small study found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered blood pressure in people with modestly elevated levels.
- Rooibos (red tea): A South African herb that is fermented. Although it has flavonoids with cancer-fighting properties, medical studies have been limited.
Beware instant teas as they are usually full of sugars and artificial sweeteners. There is a general rule of healthy eating and that is not to drink your calories. Unless of course you are juicing and those raw fruit and vegetable calories are your meal. Otherwise, sugary drinks can seriously cut into your daily calorie allowance and make it difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Bag teas provide the same health benefits, but if you are craving exciting flavors, I highly recommend loose leaf tea. Loose leaf teas come in so many rich flavors that you are likely to find a few that are naturally sweet or simply appealing to you without needing to add sweeteners. Although a touch of honey goes a long way – just remember it still has calories. Sipping tea is one of the easiest ways to consume a good amount of antioxidants without also having to consume a lot of calories. Awesome.
Loose leaf teas are available in a wide variety of flavors, aromas, and levels of caffeine and can be found at your local coffee and tea shops, some specialty grocery stores, and online. Today I received my first shipment from Tea Savant, which offers free shipping and the opportunity to buy small portions so you can sample a variety of flavors. I am sipping Organic Evening Stroll which is an incredibly aromatic herbal tea.
Leave a Reply
In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~Author Unknown