Dr. Vivek Baliga B. is a consultant physician and cardiologist, and director of Baliga Diagnostics in Bengaluru. He is a keen advocate of patient education and loves to blog about all things health related. Learn more about him at drvivekbaliga.com.
Tea is one of the many favourite beverages for most people. Various research have been conducted with the aim to find out the possible health benefits found in found in drinking tea. Presently, there is growing evidence which shows that drinking tea could ward off some of the very serious conditions including dehydration, cancer, diabetes and obesity. In fact, studies show that drinking about three cups of tea in a day is better than taking the same amount of water, since tea contains antioxidants that boost the health of your body and at the same time, help rehydrate it.
The most common types of tea we get include black, oolong and green tea. However, the popularity of each one of these types differs geographically. In some regions, green tea is consumed more, when compared to other regions. Although all these types are made from the same plants, the differences in their flavours make them unique and that, is because of the differences in the method in which the leaves are processed. Regardless of the existence of different types, generally, consumption of tea has a lot of health benefits. This writeup will give more insights into the health benefits of drinking tea.
Health benefits of drinking tea
1. It lowers the risk of heart disease - Tea improves the flow of blood in the body, thus ensuring cardiac wellness. It does so by widening the key arteries and essentially reduces the risk of clotting. Moreover, tea contains antioxidants known as flavonoids which are used to slow down the onset and risk of suffering diseases. In short, drinking tea promotes heart health.
2. It hydrates the body - Although most people believe that water is the key fluid that can be used to hydrate the body after a long day at work or a strenuous exercise, studies show that drinking tea can equally serve the same purpose. Unlike water, tea provides great hydration by providing you with a source of water that is rich in flavour.
3. It reduces the risk of cancer - Some studies have recently shown that drinking tea can reduce your chances of suffering from cancer. Although the research is still developing in this area, evidence shows that there are less cases of mouth and breast cancer in people who drink tea.
4. It is good for the brain - Tea is believed to have some components that strengthen the brain's memory cells. Drinking tea helps increase one's attention span, thus preventing cognitive decline. When caffeine is combined with L-theanine found in tea, it improves the reaction time, memory, visual processing and concentration. The brain becomes well organised for the purposes of information processing Additionally, tea consumption lowers one's risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. While the primary cause of this disease is not yet known, studies show that drinking tea improves the cognitive scores for those suffering from Alzheimer and dementia.
5. It helps in weight management - Research shows that drinking tea can help with weight management because of the presence of caffeine and catechins elements in it. Usually, when one gains a lot of weight, they become vulnerable to obesity. Drinking tea apparently can reduce your chances of obesity by helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, drinking black, green and oolong tea increases calorie expenditure, hence reducing body fat.
Interestingly, tea promotes one type of fat and that is the brown fat. The brown fat, unlike the rest, is metabolically active which burns calories, improving metabolism. This also improves mental health.
6. Tea has anti-inflammatory properties - Inflammation is linked to different diseases from diabetes to the decline in cognition. In fact, inflammation is now said to be the cause of almost all chronic diseases. Tea contains polyphenols which are powerful and strong in fighting inflammation. This helps people stay healthy and prevents them from diseases such as diabetes.
To sum up, drinking tea provides the body with a natural substance called polyphenols. This substance is an antioxidant compound that reduces the body's chance of developing highly chronic diseases. However, during the processing stage, some of these components can be destroyed and this is why tea powders, bottled tea and decaffeinated teas, will not offer your body the same health benefits.
Presently, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on tea and its health benefits. But, this does not dispute the fact that drinking tea provides immense health benefits to the body.