Did you know that tea is the second most-consumed drink worldwide? Are you a tea drinker and wondering what the health benefits of hot tea are? In this article, discover the many benefits of tea and why you should drink it.
Read on to discover these and how if you don’t drink tea, you’ll want to today:
What Is Tea?
Tea is from a plant called Camellia sinensis. The buds and leaves are what’s known as tea. It grows in subtropical and tropical climates and is a flowering evergreen shrub with white flowers. Traditionally, it’s grown in Sri Lanka, India, Japan, and China. Other countries have emerged as well such as Kenya, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
The soil type, altitude, plant type, and age of the plant can affect the flavor. Sri Lanka is known for black tea, China for white tea, and Japan for green tea. EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) is an antioxidant only found in green teas. Be careful not to overheat your tea since this can decrease the antioxidants.
The primary types of tea are black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, purple tea, and herbal infusions. You can find flavonoids, catechins, polyphenols, flavonols, and antioxidants in tea which makes it so beneficial. Below are 7 reasons why you should add hot tea to your daily routine:
Whether you’re drinking an herbal or yellow root tea, they have been shown to help with digestion. If you suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), chamomile could help you since its an antispasmodic.
Helps Insulin Sensitivity
When you’re looking for facts about tea, did you know that green tea can help reduce complications from diabetes? Tea can protect pancreatic cells from more damage, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease inflammation. Since diabetes is a problem worldwide, enjoy that cup of tea.
Boosts Immune System
Tea can boost your immune cells so they can then reach their targets faster. If you’re looking for an immune boost, try tulsi or holy basil tea. Tea has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.
Might Battle Cancer
There’s mixed research on if drinking tea will battle cancer? It’s a good idea to increase your tea consumption if you’re currently fighting cancer.
It’s believed that the catechins and caffeine found in tea can help with weight loss. Decaffeinated teas don’t show the same effect.
Helps Your Mouth
While some drinks out there are harmful to your mouth such as sodas and juice, tea can be beneficial. Since tea contains fluoride, it can improve the bacterial populations within your mouth. This can help prevent cavities and periodontal disease.
Polyphenols found in teas are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Since this is the case, it’s thought that tea can help improve fertility.
What Are Some Popular Tea Varieties?
Green tea is made with steamed leaves and has a high concentration of EGCG. The antioxidants found in green tea can halt the growth of lung, stomach, pancreatic, breast, bladder, and colorectal cancers. They can also burn fat and prevent your arteries from clogging. Green tea can also help those improve their cholesterol levels.
Chamomile tea has been found to prevent certain complications from diabetes such as kidney and nerve damage, and the loss of your vision. Hibiscus can help you lower your blood pressure if your levels are high. Some believe that rooibos can help fight cancer thanks to its flavonoids.
Pu-Erh tea can help you reduce your LDL cholesterol and slow down weight gain. It’s made from aged and fermented leaves and is considered a black tea.
What Teas to Avoid?
While most teas are harmless, there are certain types out there that aren’t the healthiest teas. Avoid teas that are supposed to help you diet and contain aloe, buckthorn, senna, and other laxatives. Be wary of any herb-containing supplements that say they fight cancer and kill pain.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll want to be careful not to over-indulge with drinking tea. An overload in caffeine can cause insomnia, restlessness, and nervousness.
Hot vs. Cold Brewing
While drinking your tea hot or cold are both beneficial, brewing it cold for longer might have more health benefits. When you brew it cold, it enhances the tea’s health benefits. This leads to an increase in total phenolics and gallic acid content. It’s also found that brewing your tea cold can also help those who are overweight and at risk for cardiovascular complications.
When the research was done, and the participants drank unsweetened, caffeinated, and cold herbal tea, they had a greater effect of thermogenesis and fat oxidation than hot tea. This could also be beneficial to those with cardiovascular complications and can’t use thermogenic drugs.
How Long to Steep?
While steeping time is normally only 2-3 minutes, it’s best to steep your tea longer for even greater benefits. When you steep your tea for longer you might increase the total polyphenol content and increase the benefits causing some of the healthiest tea options. If you brew the tea in deionized or bottled water it can double the EGCG content in your green tea along with its antioxidants.
The minerals, magnesium, and calcium found in tap water can reduce the amount of EGCG. Since purified water has fewer minerals and elements, you’ll be able to get the most benefits from your tea.
Very hot tea can increase your chances of esophageal cancer, so drinking it cold is a better option. Whether it’s coffee or tea, you want to drink your beverage at a lower setting instead of the hottest level.
There are many benefits whether you’re drinking cold or hot tea. Whether you enjoy a cup of tea or are looking for the many benefits, it has something for everyone. Would you like to learn more about health and nutrition? Check out our other articles.