You love your tea. Have you told it so lately?
Take a moment to celebrate your relationship. Tea’s not only a soothing companion. It’s also a healthy one.
Our last post shared some of the health benefits of coffee drinking and we want to give tea it’s due. Because—coffee lovers that we are—we love tea, too. (Yes, it’s possible to love both.)
“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage,” according to Okakura Kakuzō’s classic The Book of Tea. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows what a good cup of tea can do for your mood, your sense of well-being, and your state of mind. But what does modern science have to say about the health benefits of tea?
A lot, as it happens.
In addition to the mild stimulant and other health benefits of the caffeine found in tea, studies have shown that tea may help:
• Hydrate the body more effectively than plain water
• Boost endurance
• Protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases
• Protect against a number of cancers
• Protect against DNA aging damage
• Lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease
• Maintain healthy brain function
• Maintain healthy insulin levels
• Maintain healthy teeth and bones
These effects are due to the antioxidants, vitamins, fluoride, and other compounds that naturally occur in (true) tea: black, green, oolong, and white teas. The test results show more correlation than cause, but the agreement is that tea, indeed, is generally good for your health.
Like anything, reasonable moderation is the key to keeping your tea drinking a healthy practice. Tea can help digestion but large quantities might upset your stomach. Regularly drinking more than a gallon or two a day(!) or following other excessive practices can lead to bone disease. And drinking very hot tea, or any very hot beverage, on a regular basis can damage your esophagus. For most of us though, these problems are easily avoided, even if we’re seriously attached to our tea.