Are you a tea or coffee drinker? Personally I prefer a good cup of tea to keep me going throughout the day, multiple cups of tea when necessary. And when I started integrating caffeine back into my life, I chose to drink tea. I will still have the occasional cup of coffee, but when it comes to caffeinated beverages, tea is my choice. I enjoy chai tea, green tea, oolong, barley…. you name it. I also enjoy various flavored black teas. But did you know that there are health benefits of black tea? Mostly we associate green tea with having health benefits and we’ll cover that soon, but today let’s talk about black tea and why it may be surprisingly healthy for you…. in moderation, of course.
Tea is only second to water as the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. In case you haven’t noticed, this is good news because based on several recent studies, tea actually offers important health benefits.
All tea come from the same plant, called Camellia sinensis. The tea plant is an evergreen perennial that grows in warm weather. For decades, tea made from Camellia sinensis has been studied for their health-improving properties. The first tea to be studied was green tea, which is known for its cancer-fighting benefits. However, recent research shows that any tea – including oolong and black tea – derived from the leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant have similar cancer-fighting properties.
Black tea health benefits owe much to the presence of polyphenols in the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Scientists used to believe that black tea contains little polyphenols, if not, none at all. That’s because the processing method used in black tea, called fermentation or oxidation, causes the polyphenols to react, transforming them into compounds that do not quite have the same health-giving effect as polyphenols. But later research soon dispelled that notion and so, black tea health benefits now include the disease-fighting polyphenols.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that help protect cells from the normal, but damaging physiological process known as “oxidative stress” brought about by the presence of unbalanced oxygen particles called “free radicals.” These free radicals are know to directly cause aging, heart disease, cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and various other degenerative diseases. By fighting these free radicals and destroying them, the polyphenols present in black tea help the body cope with oxidative stress.
Another source of black tea health benefits is the compounds, theaflavins and thearubigens. These are the same compounds that give black tea its distinctive color and flavor. However, new studies showed that theaflavins and thearubigens do more than add flavor and color to black tea; they actually have black tea health benefits that are good for the body.
Several medical journals have also featured several other black tea health benefits. They declared that tea was a potential heart tonic, cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighter, and cholesterol detoxifier.
“Tea is beating all scientific expectations as the most potent health beverage ever,” says researcher John Weisburger at the American Health Foundation. “The many ways tea can promote health is truly astonishing.”
Here’s what a cup or two of black tea can do for you with its many black tea health benefits:
Save Your Arteries
One of the black tea health benefits is preventing deadly clogging of the arteries. In addition to that, drinking the beverage is also said to reverse poor arterial functioning – a condition that could trigger heart attacks and strokes.
Protect Yourself from Cancer
Tea has long been tied to a lower risk of stomach, colon, and breast cancer. Now, lab studies find that there are certain chemicals with black tea health benefits that could stop or inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Black tea health benefits also include relieving pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Research at Rutgers said that the anti-cancer compound in black tea can also suppress the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation.
Are you surprised by these? Did you know that there were health benefits of black tea?
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