Health Benefits of Tea

The Health Benefits of Tea Tea is one of the oldest herbal remedies in existence, dating back more than 4700 years, when infusions of the plant Camellia Sinensis were first brewed in China. Although modern medicine has diminished tea’s credibility as a cure-all solution, the health benefits of tea still remain relevant today.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: DEFINING TEA It's important to understand exactly what qualifies a beverage as "tea." When scientists use the word tea, they’re typically referring to organic black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea or pu-erh tea. The common link between these five categories is that they are each made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Herbal "teas" aren't actually scientifically considered teas at all, though they may be commonly referred to as such. These kinds of teas include those like chamomile and peppermint, which are made using a variety of different plants with varying nutritional values.

THE FABULOUS FIVE What makes these five types of teas distinct from one another? The preparation and maturity of tea leaves determine both the flavor and the nutritional content of each beverage. The leaves used to make black tea are both wilted and fully oxidized, meaning that they are dried and modified through prolonged exposure to air. Green tea goes though the wilting process, but not oxidization, while oolong tea leaves are wilted and oxidized, but not to the prolonged extent of black tea leaves. White tea is the young tea bud, and is neither wilted nor oxidized. Finally, Pu-erh tea leaves are fermented.

CANCER PREVENTION Researchers at the Center of Integrative Medicine at the University of Witten and Herdecke in Germany conducted 51 green tea studies, and found that drinking three to five cups per day may reduce the risk of cancers of the ovaries, lung, prostate and digestive tract. In the same study, black tea was deemed "possibly effective" for lowering the risk of ovarian cancer.

NEUROLOGICAL RISK-REDUCING The National Institutes of Health found that drinking anywhere from one to four cups of either black or green tea per day could lower the risk of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

HEART HEALTH-ENHANCING A study conducted in Japan suggested that adults who consumed five or more cups of green tea each day saw a 26 percent reduction in their risk for death caused by a heart attack or stroke. This effect was even more dramatic in the group of women studied compared with the population of men. A lead researcher in this study claimed that drinking tea could also contribute to the prevention and delay of certain risks of cardiovascular disease, while also effectively lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

SPECIFIC MECHANISMS CONTRIBUTING TO HEALTH BENEFITS Tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Catechins are unoxidized. When black tea is made, catechins oxidize to form more complex compounds called thearubigins and theaflavins. Between the two, only theaflavins contain significant antioxidant potential. Green tea contains about 30% catechins, whereas black tea contains only 4% of theaflavins. Both are powerful antioxidants. But green tea has far more in quantity, which explains why it is associated with more health benefits. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

The antioxidants in teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.

Health Benefits from Drinking Tea Regularly May Include*:

Reduced risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke Reduced risk of getting certain cancers Help in preventing blood clots Reduced cholesterol levels Reduced incidence of cavities and improved oral health Improved bone health and possible reduction in the risk of osteoporosis Strengthened immune system Decreased risk of developing kidney stones *Source: “Tea & Health Research Summary”, Tea Association of the USA, Inc., These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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